Donala Water and Sanitation water rates to rise January 1

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From The Tri-Lakes Tribune (Lisa Collacott):

Customers should expect to see a three percent increase if they use 1-10,000 gallons of water a month. That equals to about $3.40 per billing period. Customers that use 10,000-20,000 gallons of water a month will see a six percent increase or $4.55 per month. If customers use 20,000-30,000 gallons of water per month, they should expect an eight percent increase or $5.25. For 30,000-40,000 gallons of water used customers will see a nine percent increase or $6.60 per month.

There is a significant increase in rates for customers using over 40,000 gallons. They will see a 13 percent or $9.60 increase and for those using over 50,000 gallons of water or more there will be a 14 percent increase or an additional $11 tagged onto their monthly bill.

Donala is trying to get more people to conserve water, especially the high volume users. Duthie said Donala had 660 people go over that 40,000 gallon mark between June and September. “We are trying to get people to understand they need to cut back on water usage,” [Dana Duthie, general manager for Donala] added.

In addition, townhome irrigation rates will be the same as single family homes up to 40,000 gallons. If they go over the 40,000 gallon plateau it will be $8.50 a month and $7.50 for cooperative landscaping. The sewer rates will remain the same at $27 per month. And there is also a monthly minimum whether water is used or not and that is $13 per month. Golf course irrigation rates will be increased accordingly due to usage.

More infrastructure coverage here.

Moffat Collection System Project: The Colorado Wildlife Commission is looking at the possible impacts to the fishery and riparian environment

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From KUNC (Kirk Siegler):

Meeting in Colorado Springs Thursday, state wildlife commissioners got their first look at a proposal by Denver Water to increase the amount of water it sends to the Front Range from the Frasier River and its tributaries in Grand County…

The state wildlife commission has a say though because of concerns about further de-watering rivers, and what that means for trout and the rest of the ecosystem.

Speaking during a public comment session at a hotel conference center, Barbara Green also alluded to economical concerns. Fishing and river guiding is a big business in the central mountains. “The number one concern of the Grand County commissioners, and they said to say this in a very loud voice, is to protect the aquatic environment,” said Green, an attorney representing the Grand County Commission. “That is their number one concern about these two projects,” she said.

More Moffat Collection System Project coverage here and here.

2010 Colorado elections: Governor-elect Hickenlooper is ‘inclined to support it’ (Northern Integrated Supply Project)

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From The Greeley Tribune (Bill Jackson):

And while the state “needs serious conservation” efforts, the needs of agriculture also have to be met when it comes to water, Hicklenlooper told a crowd of close to 200 at the 2010 Colorado Ag Classic at the Embassy Suites in Loveland. The classic is the joint annual convention of Colorado Wheat organizations, Colorado Seed Growers Association, Colorado Seed Industry Association, Colorado Corn, Colorado Sunflower Administrative Committee and the Colorado Sorghum Producers. Hickenlooper joined Cory Gardner, recently elected to represent Colorado’s 4th District in the U.S. House, as featured speakers. The soon-to-be governor was asked where he stands on the proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project, which includes a new reservoir northwest of Fort Collins that would supply 40,000 acre-feet of water annually to 15 water providers in Larimer and Weld counties. “I have seen a presentation, and I think I’m inclined to support it. But I want to see the results of the environmental study first,” Hickenlooper said.

Water will be one of Gardner’s priorities when he joins Congress in January. “We’ve got to store more water,” the Yuma Republican told the group. If that doesn’t happen, the buy-up and dry-up of agricultural water will escalate, he said, noting that the state not only needs to build additional storage but enlarge existing storage facilities where appropriate.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District board meeting recap

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District adopted a $2.5 million budget Thursday. Nearly half of the budget is designated for water rights acquisition. The district is in the process of buying shares in the Larkspur Ditch from the Catlin Canal. Larkspur brings water from the Gunnison River basin into the Arkansas River basin. The district also owns Twin Lakes shares and has water rights on several ditches. The rest of the budget goes to support its activities, which are aimed at keeping water in the Arkansas River basin and the Lower Arkansas Valley, General Manager Jay Winner said.

More Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District coverage here.

Great Outdoors Colorado grants

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From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

The latest GOCO grants, $24 million overall, drive more than just land deals. A total of 55 projects in 32 counties include town initiatives to cover and renovate an ice-skating rink in Crested Butte, improve lighting and snow-making at Steamboat Springs’ Howelson Hill ski jump, and install an astro-turf soccer field for rural players east of Colorado Springs.

Among the new $1 million-plus land deals in the works:

* Saguache County — Saguache Creek Corridor — 1,970 acres
* Routt County – Smith Rancho – 4,800 acres
* Rio Blanco County — Agency Park Ranches — 1,340 acres
* Jackson County — North Park Ranchland — 2,550 acres
* Alamosa County — Rio Grande Headwaters — 1,300 acres
* Pitkin County — Wapiti Ridge Mountain Park — 930 acres

New metro area open space includes a 223-acre Riverdale Bluffs addition along the South Platte River in Adams County and a 25-acre expansion of the Westminster Hills Open Space east of the former Rocky Flats nuclear bomb factory.

More conservation coverage here.

Snowpack news

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From The Denver Post (Jeremy Meyer):

[Denver] is on track for one of the driest snow seasons in history, with only 1.5 inches of snow since July. The average snowfall total by this time of the season is 25.6 inches. “It’s way down there,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Fredin. “But the month isn’t over. Goofy things happen.”[…]

Bill Vidal, deputy mayor and manager of Public Works, said the city plans for about 50 to 60 inches of snow every year and up to 16 events. So far, the plows have been idle, with only a 1.5-inch event last month.
“But you can never be too sure,” he said. “I always tell people to stop wishing for a white Christmas.”