The Petroleum Association’s pit liner petition to repeal Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Rule 905 was withdrawn at the commission’s regular meeting Monday.
The nonprofit public interest environmental law firm Earthjustice opposed the petition on behalf of the Colorado Environmental Coalition and other conservation and sportsmen’s groups. Pit liners are large sheets of synthetic, impermeable material used to keep fluids and other mining waste products from seeping into the ground during drilling operations. Used pit liners are typically coated with a variety of chemicals and hydrocarbons. Burying liners in the ground could lead to contamination of soil and groundwater.
Meanwhile say hello to fracfocus.org. The website is a portal where oil and gas companies can disclose the chemicals used in their hydraulic fracturing processes. The actual debut is Monday.
From the La Junta Tribune Democrat (Bette McFarren):
The meeting was short and decisive. Finance Officer Cathy Clevenger reported that before further progress is made, the engineering agreement needed to be officially signed. Money is available at this time through the Rural Development but the no interest loan and grant money could not be released until the engineering agreement was signed. The city had been contacted by Bob Takeda of the engineering firm TST concerning invoices in the amount of $191,000, of which they are requesting $115,000 as soon as possible. Rocky Ford is requesting $115,000 to be released by Rural Development.
In other matters, the Water Treatment Plant is completely paid off, with $42,500 as the final payment to the contractor.
The storm sewer problem which floods the basement of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church was approved to be put out to bid.
Evans residents may water between April 15-Oct. 15, but not during the hours of noon-5 p.m. Even-numbered addresses can water Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Odd-numbered addresses can water Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Earl Smith, the director of public works for the city, said the city imposes these restrictions to avoid wasting water and so the city does not have to pay Greeley a fee if the city goes over its water cap.
Of the $9.1 million, $3.3 million went to the water treatment facility for improvements, which included filtration upgrades, rehabilitation of the existing storage tank and a new 400,000-gallon storage tank.
The town’s wastewater facility received a $5.8 million upgrade, with major improvements to the treatment process. Of that money, the town will have to pay back, interest free, $3.8 million over the next 20 years.
The meeting will be Thursday, April 21, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., at the Ridgway Community Center. A potluck dinner will follow. The [Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership] is dedicated to understanding the health of the Uncompahgre River, according to Rachel Boothby of the UWP. It was created in 2007 when regional groups and citizens applied for a consensus-based watershed plan that details how the land, people, and water interact in the Uncompahgre Watershed…
In October 2010, 20 volunteers joined the UWP in a full day of visiting sites along the Uncompahgre River from Ouray to Delta to assess the health of the riparian habitat. At the April 2011 meeting, analyzed data will be ready to present in a “report card” of the river’s physical health.
More Uncompahgre River watershed coverage here and here.
The Fort Morgan City Council voted Tuesday night to set the prices for shares of Colorado-Big Thompson water owned by the city, which could be purchased by local businesses.
The price has been set based on a rolling three-year weighted average of C-BT shares bought by the city. Over the course of three years, the city bought 199 shares for a total cost of $1,479,250. That averages out to $7,433.42, which is the price council members approved for the current year. That rate would be adjusted in the future based on future averages. The $7,433.42 per share covers the cost of “the water rights portion of a tap fee, when C-BT water must be purchased to cover increased water use by an existing customer, and for new business purchases,” according to a memo to the council from City Water Resources Director Gary Dreessen. In addition, council members approved a $500 service fee per related transaction, except for certain tap fees that have all fees included in one price.
House Bill 1274 spends $14 million for water projects across the state, including $12 million so the state can buy water from the federal government in the reservoir southwest of Durango. The state has the right to buy 10,460 acre-feet of water in Lake Nighthorse. If it refuses to make the purchase, the water would be split between the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute Indian tribes, each owns 33,050 acre-feet already…
The water purchase will cost around $36 million, which the state plans to pay in three yearly installments. The Legislature approved the first payment in 2010. The Colorado Water Conservation Board will decide later this year whether to buy all the water or stop this year. The board has not decided yet how it will use the water, but it could serve as a hedge against lawsuits from downstream states to force the state to supply more water to the Colorado River system.
More Animas-La Plata Projec coverage here and here.
Bedload sediment is the stuff that forms sandbars and clogs the channel during floods. As it passes over the collector, it will drop into a chamber where a vacuum will periodically suck it out. Left in the water will be fish — yes, there are fish in Fountain Creek — and the fine silts that farmers downstream rely on to seal ditches. “It will harvest and beneficially reclaim what the river delivers,” said John McArthur, president of Streamside Systems…
The Findlay, Ohio, company is building the 30-foot collector for a demonstration project in Pueblo that already has gained the attention of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its potential to deal with problems throughout the West. There already are smaller collectors in New Mexico, to improve fish habitat, and Silverthorne, where the Colorado Department of Transportation is using one to remove traction sand (used on icy roads) from mountain streams. The Fountain Creek project will be the first large collector installed west of the Mississippi River, however. If successful, it could lead to as many as three others placed along Fountain Creek in Pueblo to deal with the large piles of material constantly moving downstream…
The high-capacity collector will be able to remove up to 130 12-cubic-yard truckloads of sediment from Fountain Creek after it is installed, probably in mid-May. The collector should arrive in Pueblo within the next two weeks, and will be installed just upstream of an out-of-service railroad bridge near the confluence with the Arkansas River. Contract arrangements for installation are being worked out. The collector can pump up to 800 gallons per minute. But it won’t run at full tilt all the time. “It’s variable frequency, so it depends on what’s going on in the creek,” McArthur said. “The motor will turn on once or twice a day, when it needs to pump.”
“Basically, we just have too many straws in the drink,” said [Peter McBride]. “The reality is it’s everyone in the West. It supplies water for 30 million people, seven states and we’re all users. There’s not really one culprit out there. There are some bad boys in the river so to speak, but we’re all users, and we all need to be far more conscious of this river.”
McBride’s artistic and educational findings compile a new exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. “The Colorado River: Flowing through Conflict,” is a collection of McBride’s photographs of the river and its surroudnings. It includes several breathtaking aerial shots taken by McBride while his father piloted a small plane 5,000 feet above the river. The exhibit goes hand-in-hand with McBride and Waterman’s book, “Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River.”
First, beginning this evening April 6, releases from Granby Dam to the Colorado River will be increased by 60 cfs, raising the flow at the Granby Dam gage from around 20 cfs to about 80 cfs. Northern Water will make a similar increase tomorrow, bringing the flow below the dam to 140 cfs. Another change on Friday, will bring the flow to about 200 cfs. We anticipate the 200 cfs will remain at least through the weekend.
Northern is also making changes at Willow Creek Dam tomorrow and Friday. By the weekend, flows in Willow Creek below the dam could be as high as 350 cfs.
To help keep folks updated on the pending run-off season, Reclamation and Northern Water will host a public runoff season meeting a week from tonight, April 13, in Granby at the Granby Library, starting at 6 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the community information on what to expect from this year’s run-off season including possible changes in flows and operations. A flier announcing the meeting is attached to this e-mail.
We’ve recently received the April 1 forecast and April is looking to have a little higher run-off than what the March 1 forecast showed. As a result both we and Denver Water will be upping releases over the next few days to balance reservoir storage with anticipated inflow. At Green Mountain Reservoir, we’ll be ramping up in increments of 50 cfs over the next four days, starting…April 5…
That means by Friday afternoon, releases from Green Mountain to the Lower Blue will be 500 cfs. I anticipate that level will stay through this coming weekend, but keep an eye on the gage, just to be sure. With these releases in anticipation of run-off, we’ve been maintaining a surface water elevation of about 7895 in Green Mountain Reservoir. That’s approximately 55 feet down from full–a difference in water level elevation we’re fairly certain to make up during run off.