Colorado River District: Annual Water Seminar Thursday, September 16

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From email from the Colorado River District (Jim Pokrandt):

[Click here to] find our Colorado River District Board of Directors News Summary and the working agenda and registration form for our Annual Water Seminar Set for Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction.

The Seminar this year features an overview of the water supply mediation effort that has been taking place between the West Slope and Denver Water for the past four years. We also will offer insights into the western U.S. water rights market, how Australia copes with a low-supply, high-demand water supply reality and how Molson Coors views its water footprint.

It’s still only $25 and includes lunch. Additionally, the Seminar this year follows on the heels of the September Colorado Water Conservation Board meeting in Grand Junction.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here.

Colorado Foundation for Water Education: 2012 Year of Water

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From email from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education (Nicole Seltzer):

The Colorado Foundation for Water Education is coordinating an effort to turn the year 2012 into Colorado’s Year of Water. There are currently over 50 people planning events and special programs for 2012 to raise awareness of the importance of water to many segments of Colorado.

We would like you to get involved!

Join us for an open meeting to learn about this effort and how you or your organization can help out. We will meet in Vail on Wednesday, August 25 from 1:30-4:30pm.

For more information about the meeting, its purpose and this project, see the [this link] (PDF).

Information from past meetings of the planning group are available at:

Thanks, and I hope to see you in Vail on the 25th.

Nicole Seltzer

More Colorado Foundation for Water Education coverage here.

Energy policy — oil and gas: Ned Prather sues Williams Production RMT and Nonsuch Natural Gas Inc over benzene tainted spring

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From The Denver Post (Nancy Lofholm):

An outfitter who drank contaminated water from a faucet in his cabin north of Parachute more than two years ago has filed suit against two oil and gas companies for allegedly poisoning springs on his property. Ned Prather and other family members with an interest in his property filed suit in Garfield District Court asking for damages from Williams Production RMT and Nonsuch Natural Gas Inc. Williams and Nonsuch had pits and tanks above Prather’s cabin for fluids involved with hydraulic fracturing and production water from drilling rigs. After Prather took a drink that burned his throat and sent him to a hospital emergency room in 2008 , the springs below those facilities were found to be contaminated with benzene, toluene and xylene — carcinogenic compounds found in fracturing fluids and naturally released during the drilling process.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

Southern Delivery System: Colorado Springs Utilities lays out the conditions to share the pipeline facilities

Southern Delivery System map via Colorado Springs Utilities

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Colorado Springs Utilities’ position is that new users would provide their own water and storage; meet all the environmental, land-use and federal contracting requirements, and not impede Colorado Springs Utilities water operations and must provide a financial benefit to our customers. Colorado Springs City Council would have to individually approve each application.

In May, the Colorado Springs City Council, sitting as the Utilities Board, agreed to change its policy to allow more flexibility to offer water-related services to other water providers in the region. That ended a long-standing policy that limited water service to the city’s boundaries other than for emergencies or special circumstances and opens new questions about how SDS could be used. The road map for the change was drawn after months of deliberation by the Utilities Policy Advisory Committee, which authored a white paper on regional water delivery in April. During presentations, Colorado Springs made it clear there would be additional capacity in the SDS pipeline to bring water to other communities. At one meeting, Wayne Vanderschuere, Colorado Springs Utilities Water Resources Manager, said there would be available space in the 50-mile pipeline from Pueblo Dam to El Paso County during the winter months, and that off-season pumping would be a way to even out flows and allow full use of the pipeline…

Colorado Springs has not solicited participation, but there has been interest as communities acquire water rights in the Arkansas Valley. The Pikes Peak Regional Water Authority and El Paso County Water Authority provided input for the white paper. Among communities not in SDS that have water rights purchases or pending contracts in the Arkansas Valley are Donala, Widefield and Woodmoor water districts…

The report also reveals that Colorado Springs would need new sources to meet population projections beginning in the 2040 decade. Those sources could include new purchases of water rights, sales of water through lease agreements with the Super Ditch or other entities, physical reuse or other options, Vanderschuere said…

Regional water service would provide financial relief for Colorado Springs’ ratepayers and open the door for other regional water cooperation, such as the lingering issue of stormwater control, the report states.

More coverage from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:

he Bureau of Reclamation has received 19 comments on the Southern Delivery System since negotiations with Colorado Springs began in May. The number contrasts sharply with the nearly 400 comments received in 2008 while Reclamation was preparing an environmental impact statement, and the comments are divided between support or criticism of the project. Only three people have spoken during public comment periods during the negotiations: Marilyn June of Pueblo, Pueblo Chieftain Assistant Publisher Jane Rawlings and Walter Lawson, a Colorado Springs resident.

More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

Arkansas Valley Conduit: Scoping sessions to start next week

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Public scoping meetings for the Arkansas Valley Conduit and a master contract for communities up and down the valley will begin next week. The Bureau of Reclamation announced the meeting schedule Sunday…

The master contract is being sought by the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District for up to 28,000 acre-feet of excess-capacity storage in Lake Pueblo. While part of the contract is tied to the conduit, also sponsored by Southeastern, other communities also want a long-term option to store water in Lake Pueblo. Pueblo West, Fountain and Security, partners in the Southern Delivery System who would gain storage under SDS, also want to participate in the master contract. Also involved in the master contract discussions, which have been going on since the Preferred Storage Option Plan was developed in 2001, are communities upstream of Lake Pueblo on the Arkansas River. In June, the Southeastern district decided to pair the environmental evaluations of the conduit and the master contract as a cost-saving option. The National Environmental Policy Act process can cost sponsors millions of dollars, and the federal government would be required to assess both efforts in the same geographic location.

More Arkansas Valley Conduit coverage here and here.

Greeley: A look back at the life of Burton Davis Sanborn

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From The Greeley Tribune (Peggy A. Ford Waldo):

Burton Davis Sanborn (1859-1914) was 11 years old when he came to Greeley with his parents, John and Jennie, who were members of the Union Colony…

Sanborn realized water was the key to development in northern Colorado. He organized the Seven Lakes Reservoir Co., with reservoirs located on more than 800 acres northeast of Loveland. The largest, Boyd Lake, was almost solely financed by Sanborn and completed in 1908. In 1901, several small irrigation companies were incorporated as the North Poudre Irrigation Co. with B.D. Sanborn as president, Charles H. Wheeler as treasurer and George M. Houston (his father-in-law) as secretary. The company had $400,000 in capital stock, 14 reservoirs and 20,000 acres of land for sale. In 1901-02, its most expensive project was the construction of Fossil Creek Reservoir.