South Platte River basin: $153 million ACWWA water supply project catches the eyes of the Arapahoe County commissioners

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From The Denver Post (Karen Crummy):

The commission also intends to publicly question Gary Atkin, general manager of the Arapahoe County Water and Wastewater Authority, about the $153 million project that experts have criticized as mismanaged and risky.

Here’s the announcement of the deal from ACWWA in December of 2009.

More South Platte River basin coverage here.

Metro Roundtable Reception March 31: An Exclusive Reception for Decision Makers In Water Management, Land Use Policy and Planning

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Here’s the link to the information page at the Colorado Foundation for Water Education.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

The Environmental Protection Agency announces a plan to regulate perchlorate

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From Water World (Patrick Crow):

The decision to undertake a first-ever national standard for perchlorate reverses a 2008 Bush Administration decision and comes after EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson ordered EPA scientists to make a thorough review of the chemical. The agency said more than 4% of public water systems have detected perchlorate and between 5 million and 17 million people may be served drinking water containing perchlorate.

Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and man-made chemical best known for its use as rocket fuel ingredient. EPA said research indicates that it may impact the normal function of the thyroid, which produces important developmental hormones.

More perchlorate coverage here and here.

The Greenway Foundation 1st Annual Golf Tournament May 23

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From email from the Greenway Foundation:

Announcing The Greenway Foundation’s 1st Annual Golf Tournament at Meridian Golf Club. Please join us for a fun date of golf benefitting the Greenway Foundation.

• Support The Greenway Foundation
• Be A Sponsor
• Put Together A Foursome
• Refer Your Friends and Family

8:00 am Registration
9:00 am Shot Gun Start

Lunch and awards to follow the tournament

More information and registration at:

More South Platte River basin coverage here.

17th Annual Arkansas River Basin Forum April 27-28

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From the Arkansas River Basin Forum website:

The 17th Annual Forum will be held at the Norris-Penrose Event Center in southern Colorado Springs.

The 2011 forum will be hosted by the Fountain Creek Watershed, Flood Control, and Greenway District and the District’s Citizens Advisory Group (CAG).

April 27-28, 2011

2011 THEME
Retaining. Rethinking. Restoring.

More Arkansas River basin coverage here.

Fort Morgan: City council sets C-BT share costs for businesses

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From The Fort Morgan Times (Dan Barker):

When smaller businesses need to buy C-BT water shares, they are not always knowledgeable about buying it on the open market, said City Water Resources Director Gary Dreessen.

Under those circumstances, it would be business-friendly to help them out by selling them shares of the water that the city owns, said Acting City Manager Jeff Wells.

Council members seemed to reach a consensus that the city would sell water shares at a price based on the average cost over the past three years.

However, Councilman Scott Bryan wondered if the city should charge the going price, instead of the average of three years.

Giving local businesses a break is part of being business-friendly, said Councilman Brent Nation.

Councilman James Powers urged city officials to keep an eye on how businesses are buying water shares, so they would not be able to speculate on them to make a profit.

Any company which would want to buy a large amount of water, say 40 or 50 shares, would be helped by the city acting as a kind of broker, but the city would not sell that many shares directly, Wells said.

Powers also insisted that any money the city receives from water share sales go into a fund for purchasing more water, not just into the general water department revenue. In the past, that happened and the money seemed to get lost. Different organizations handle water sales differently, but the Morgan County Quality Water District does use the proceeds to buy more water and that seems to work, Nation said.

Businesses which bought water from the city directly would pay a $500 transaction fee for the work the city put into the sale — over and above the cost of the water, Dreessen said. Given the water market, this policy would likely change in the future, but it should work for now, Nation said.

The price for a business buying a city share of water would be $7,433 this year, which would be an average of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 prices.

This was a work session, which meant the council could not vote on the policy, but it will go on the agenda for the next meeting in two weeks.

More Morgan County coverage here and here.

Fort Morgan: The city is partnering with CSU Morgan County Extension to offer ‘Water Smart Turf Management’ classes

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From the CSU Extension office (Joanne Jones) via The Fort Morgan Times:

In an effort to help save water – and money, Colorado State University Extension in Morgan County is partnering with the City of Fort Morgan to offer a series of presentations titled “Water Smart Turf Management.”

Presentations begin on April 7, 2011 and will be held on Thursday`s at the Extension office, 914 E. Railroad Ave in Fort Morgan beginning at 6:30 p.m.

April 7 presentation title is Soils and Soil Amendments with Matt Givens, Parks Superintendent for the City of Fort Morgan, presenter; April 14 Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Turf Species with Joanne Jones, Horticulture Agent, CSU Extension; April 21 Fertilizing, Mowing and Aeration of Home Lawns with Steve Cramer, retired Horticulture Agent, CSU Extension; April 28 Turf Pests (insects, diseases and weeds) with Dr. Tony Koski, Professor and Turf Specialist, CSU; May 5 Irrigation Systems with Joel Schneekloth, Regional Water Resource Specialist, CSU Extension; and May 12 Sprinkler Audits of Home Systems with Jacque Weimer and Deb Schauermann, Colorado Master Gardener volunteers. Weimer and Schauermann will discuss the sprinkler audits that participants will schedule for later in the season.

Presentations and audits are available to the public at no charge; however, the City of Fort Morgan has offered an incentive to Fort Morgan utilities users. Participants who attend five of the six presentations and have an audit completed will be eligible for a chance at $25 off one month`s utility bill.

This is not a sprinkler maintenance class; sprinklers should be in good repair before the audit is scheduled. Sprinkler audits show residents how to irrigate more efficiently, in turn reducing the amount of water used and saving money.

To register for the series of presentations and the audits, or for more information, contact Jones at CSU Extension in Morgan County at 970-542-3540,, or Doak Duke with the City of Fort Morgan at

More conservation coverage here.

Colorado Trout Unlimited’s new video ‘Tapped Out’

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From email from Colorado Trout Unlimited (Sinjin Eberle):

In Colorado, cold, clean water is our most precious resource. Healthy, free-flowing rivers support recreation opportunities like fishing, kayaking and rafting, while also supplying drinking and irrigation water to Colorado’s families and farms. Unfortunately, many of the rivers and streams that we depend on to sustain life and our western way of living are on the brink of collapse. The Colorado River is one such river on the brink.

Today, over 50% of the Upper Colorado River’s water is permanently removed and shipped across the Rocky Mountains to growing Front Range cities and suburbs, threatening the health of fish, wildlife and local headwaters communities. And Now, despite this, proposals like the Moffat and Windy Gap Firming Project threaten to TAKE MORE, leaving less for fisherman, farmers, and West Slope communities and threatening the very survival of our state’s namesake river.

In honor of World Water Day, please take a moment to watch our new video, ‘Tapped Out,’ then take the pledge to use our water resources wisely and keep the Colorado River flowing.

More Colorado River basin coverage here.

2011 Colorado legislation: Governor Hickenlooper signs HB 11-1177 (Healthy Rivers Fund Tax Donation)

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From the Vail Daily:

On Tuesday, House Bill 11-1177, Healthy Rivers Fund Tax Donation, sponsored by Sen. Jean White, R-Hayden, was signed today by Gov. John Hickenlooper. This bill continues the work of the Colorado Healthy Rivers Fund, which works to protect outdoor areas across the state.

More instream flow coverage here.

Energy policy — nuclear: The Environmental Protection Agency opens up an additional comment period for waste product storage at the proposed Piñon Ridge Mill

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From The Telluride Daily Planet (Matthew Beaudin):

The EPA is tasked with permitting the waste product storage at the would-be uranium mill near the Colorado-Utah border between Telluride and Bedrock, Colo. From now through April 8, the agency will conduct another comment session though it’s not a regulatory requirement. The comments, like the EPA’s involvement, must be narrow in scope and limited to “uranium by-product impoundments,” or waste storage, according to the agency. A passel of citizens and governments in the region have flooded regulators, such as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the EPA, with letters asking for more review of the mill. “We got a lot of inquires from San Miguel County and others around the mill,” said Deborah Lebow Aal, the acting director of the EPA’s air program. “If there are some really relevant and good comments we will look at them.”

The mill still needs to collect water and air permits from the State of Colorado…

“I think it’s great that the EPA paid attention to the requests that were made. I think all of these processes should be a public process,” [Hilary White, the executive director of Sheep Mountain Alliance] said. “Ultimately, a victory would be for them to deny the permit. I think we understand that that’s a long shot. What we’re really going for is a strong independent analysis.” White said the EPA is reviewing radon emissions, specifically. Radon, a gas, is a uranium mining byproduct that is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung-cancer deaths a year, according to a 2003 EPA study…

Currently, Sheep Mountain Alliance is in a fight with both the state and Energy Fuels. It filed a suit that accused state regulators of violating federal and state laws in the run up to approving the mill and ignoring dangers to air and water quality. The CDPHE and Energy Fuels have both asked the court to throw the suit out. “The Department disputes the vast majority of SMA’s allegations, many of which are misstatement of fact and law, irrelevant, exaggerations and mischaracterizations,” reads the state’s suit, filed by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.

More nuclear coverage here and here.

Arkansas River basin: The Pueblo Board of Water Works leases additional water to the Fort Lyon Canal

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The Pueblo Board of Water Works will sell an additional 5,000 acre-feet of water to the Fort Lyon Canal this year. That will bring total sales through short-term leases to 15,000 acre-feet, with revenues of $715,000…

Outside water sales, through short- or long-term leases, make up about one-fourth of the $29.8 million in operating revenue in this year’s budget. Xcel will pay $4.9 million for water used at the Comanche Plant, while Black Hills will pay $360,000 when its new plant starts up later this year. Aurora pays $1.58 million under two long-term agreements to trade and move water. There are several smaller long-term contracts.

More Pueblo Board of Water Works coverage here.