The Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association is organizing opposition to Crystal River conditional storage rights

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From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (Janet Urquhart):

The Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association (CVEPA) has asked both [Pitkin] county commissioners and the county’s Healthy Rivers and Streams Board to oppose the conditional water rights. The Crystal River Caucus has joined in that call, according to Redstone resident Bill Jochems, a member of both the CVEPA board and the county rivers and streams board…

The Glenwood-based Colorado River Water Conservation District holds the conditional water rights on behalf of the West Divide Water Conservancy District. The rights, decreed in the 1950s, are the basis for two proposed water storage projects on the Crystal that were authorized by Congress in the mid-1960s but never built. The West Divide Project water rights must be reauthorized in Colorado Water Court every six years. In May, the holders of the water rights must show diligence, or continued progress on the project, in order to keep the water rights alive. The Crystal River groups have asked the county to challenge the validity of the rights. “Nothing has been done on the ground for 54 years,” said Jochems. Progress has been limited to studying the options, he added…

The conditional water rights allow for the proposed Osgood Reservoir, which would impound nearly 129,000 acre feet of water, flooding the town of Redstone, Redstone Castle and several subdivisions, CVEPA said. Also envisioned is the Placita Reservoir south of Redstone, which would impound about 62,000 acre feet of water. For the sake of comparison, Ruedi Reservoir on the Fryingpan River, east of Basalt, holds 140,000 acre feet of water, CVEPA noted in its letter to county officials. “We do not think anyone takes these proposed reservoirs seriously, yet they threaten to deny designation of the Crystal River as a Wild and Scenic River and cost the taxpayers money as they continue to be defended,” the letter states.

With no dams or significant diversions on the Crystal currently, advocates would like to see it further protected by the federal Wild and Scenic River designation. The upper Crystal River Valley is nestled between the Raggeds and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness areas to the east of Marble. The Crystal River flows into the Roaring Fork River at Carbondale.

More Crystal River watershed coverage here and here.

RIP Dick MacRavey

Dolores River

Here’s the release from the Colorado Water Congress (Doug Kemper).

Richard D. MacRavey
Executive Director Emeritus
Colorado Water Congress
1931 – 2011

Dick MacRavey passed away this morning at about 5:00 am. Over the past few days, he was fighting an infection and fever. His oxygen level dropped significantly. He died peacefully.

Dick was the Executive Director of the Colorado Water Congress from 1980 until 2006. He will be remembered for his tireless work in rescuing the Colorado Water Congress from financial difficulty. He built a legislative record that will stand as a permanent tribute to a man whose vision shall endure. Without his leadership, there would be no Colorado Water Congress today.

A memorial service to celebrate Dick’s life is being planned for the latter part of March in Castle Rock. More details will be released as they become available.

“This is truly a sad day for Mary, the MacRavey family and friends, and the entire water community. Dick will always be remembered as the face of Water Congress for so many years. He will be greatly missed by all.” Joe Frank, Colorado Water Congress President

“. . . his is a life worth celebrating with many great and wonderful stories. I am certain Chips, John Sayre, and MacRavey are already in some heated argument over the doctrine of prior appropriation!” Sam Mamet, Colorado Municipal League Executive Director

“It is certainly a sad day for the water community. Dick was dedicated to us and to our interests. May he rest in peace.” David Robbins, Colorado Water Congress Former President

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

Richard D. “Dick” MacRavey, who had a knack for herding the state’s water buffaloes in basically the same direction, died Monday. MacRavey, who would have been 80 on Wednesday and lived in Denver, was the executive director of Colorado Water Congress from 1980-2006, and helped that group shape state water policy in many ways.

When MacRavey retired in 2006, then-Sen. Ken Salazar noted: “Dick MacRavey is retiring from the Colorado Water Congress at a moment when the outlook for consensual politics in the West is strong. This is no coincidence. Dick has championed an approach to water that calms our quarrels by highlighting our shared interests.”

More coverage from Kyle Glazier writing for The Denver Post. From the article:

A man who colleagues say worked tirelessly to save the Colorado Water Congress from financial difficulty and protect Colorado’s water resources died this morning after several days of illness, the Water Congress said. Richard MacRavey died after battling fever and infection, said a Water Congress news release. MacRavey served as executive director of the water-rights advocacy group from 1980 to 2006. He was 79.

Pueblo: Arkansas River levee repairs update

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Britney Whatley):

Water has to be moved away from the levee through the Downtown Whitewater Park. Using the HARP channel to carry more water is one way to meet that goal. The water on the main Arkansas River channel needs to be low enough for equipment to be lowered into the water to repair the levee before water levels begin to increase later this month, said Gus Sandstrom, president of the Pueblo Conservancy District…

The project began in early February. Sandstrom said repairs should be finished by March 15 at the earliest and April 1 at the latest. “Our goal is to be completed enough to not endanger the accreditation of the levees,” Sandstrom said. The goal is to complete as much of the repairs as possible, depending on the type of moisture that occurs through March.

More Arkansas River basin coverage here.

South Platte River basin: Basin roundtable non-consumptive needs report

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As part of the roundtable process the various basin roundtables are working on the non-consumptive needs (recreation, wildlife, riparian environment). Click here for the CWCB web page for the 2010 SWSI Update and the supporting docs. Click on the thumbnail graphic to the right for the South Platte basin map.

Thanks to Eric Hecox for pointing out the docs.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.