Pueblo: Fryingpan-Arkansas Project ‘listening-session’ August 10

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Here’s the release from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

Reclamation is hosting a public listening session on determining the criteria for market rate pricing for the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project Wed., Aug. 10 at the Pueblo Shrine Club from 3-5 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to collect perspectives on developing market rate pricing criteria for excess capacity contracts utilizing Fryingpan-Arkansas Project facilities. A court reporter will be present to record comments.

The Pueblo Shrine Club is located at 1501 W. McCulloch Blvd., Pueblo West, Colo. 81007. The Bureau of Reclamation constructed, owns and operates the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project…

Media Contact: Kara Lamb, klamb@usbr.gov, (970) 962-4326

Lower Arkansas Valley: Aurora leases nearly 5,000 acre-feet of water to the Holbrook and Highline canals along with allocating 713 acre-feet to the Colorado Canal for revegetation efforts in Crowley County

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From the La Junta Tribune-Democrat:

Since March, Aurora has been providing what will amount to almost 5,000 acre- feet (af) to both Holbrook and Highline Canals, systems with which the city has payment agreements. The exchange of water for normal cash payments from Aurora resulted in an extremely favorable exchange rate for the farmers of $15 per af. The city also provided the Colorado Canal with 713 af at no cost to help with continuing revegetation efforts in Crowley County.

Bob Barnhart, Superintendant of the Holbrook Mutual Ditch Company, as well as a farmer on the Holbrook ditch, welcomed this opportunity. “This water comes at a time when we were in great need for supplemental water for irrigation,” Barnhart stated. “With the drought the way that it is in southeastern Colorado this has been a great help to us to keep our corn and alfalfa growing and healthy. This water will keep our yields high and increase our net profit for this year. Before we got Aurora water this year we were hurting and scrambling trying to find some source of water to keep our crops alive.”

More Aurora coverage here and here.

Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District tour attracts nearly 100 taxpayers, city officials, water district employees and students

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From the Carbon Valley Miner and Farmer (Gene Sears):

Nearly 100 participants attended the tour, a mix of taxpayers, city officials, water district employees and students, split between two buses hired by the district for the trip. Starting at NCWCD headquarters in Berthoud, the tour headed northeast up Big Thompson Canyon, through Estes Park and onto Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, headwaters for much of the district’s supply…

Built at a cost of $162 million, the project began full water deliveries in 1957. As it stands now, the Colorado-Big Thompson system consists of 12 reservoirs, 35 miles of tunnels, 95 miles of canals and 700 miles of power transmission lines. Spanning 150 miles east to west and 65 miles north to south, C-BT provides water to almost 700, 000 irrigated acres and more than 750,000 people in the South Platte River Basin.

More Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District coverage here.

Energy policy — oil and gas: Today Governor Hickenlooper told attendees at the Colorado Oil and Gas Association annual meeting to expect a rule requiring fracking rule disclosures by the end of the year

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From the Denver Business Journal (Cathy Proctor):

“Everyone in this room understands that hydraulic fracturing doesn’t connect to groundwater, that it’s almost inconceivable that groundwater will be contaminated,” said Hickenlooper, who worked as a petroleum geologist in Colorado in the 1980s. “But the industry needs to be transparent. It needs to demonstrate, beyond a doubt, that this doesn’t happen. [Transparency] creates a tremendous show of good faith and shows that the industry cares,” he said…

Many oil and gas companies voluntarily have disclosed the contents of frack fluid via http://www.fracfocus.org, a website sponsored by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission. The website, which allows companies to redact information deemed proprietary, went live on April 11. As of Tuesday, the website listed information on 500 Colorado wells drilled since Jan. 1…

But Hickenlooper said he envisions a new Colorado rule similar to those in Texas and Wyoming.

• Texas’s law, passed in June, requires companies to post lists of chemicals used in fracking for all wells drilled in the state via the fracfocus.org website. The law allows exemptions from the list for chemicals deemed “trade secrets,” but the landowner where the well is drilled, an adjacent landowner or a state agency can appeal the exemption.

• Wyoming’s law, passed in 2010, requires companies to disclose the contents of fracking fluid, and that the information be made available to the public, with some exemptions for proprietary information.

“We need to make it easier for the broad population to trust us,” Hickenlooper told oil and gas executives, adding that “hopefully, we’ll have a disclosure ruled worked out through the COGCC by the end of the year.”

More coverage from the Associated Press via Fuel Fix:

Hickenlooper also proposed a voluntary program to test groundwater around oil and gas wells before and after drilling to check for signs of contamination. He said that testing would be paid for by the industry but performed by a third party. Results would be recorded by the state health department.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

Greeley: Annual water and sewer facilities tour August 25

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From Greeley Water via The Greeley Tribune:

The city of Greeley is offering residents the chance to tour the city’s water and sewer facilities with the city’s Water and Sewer Board. The tour is set for 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25. Residents interested in attending are asked to reserve seating by Aug. 19 to (970) 350-9812. The purpose of this annual tour is to visit water and sewer facilities to learn about new and developing projects, according to a city news release.

More Greeley coverage here.

Drought news: Five San Luis Valley counties get drought disaster designation

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Matt Hildner):

[U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack] notified Gov. John Hickenlooper Friday of the designations, which also included the naming of nine other counties as contiguous disaster areas and also eligible for aid. The declaration makes producers eligible to apply for Farm Service Agency emergency loans and for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program.

The five valley counties include Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Rio Grande and Saguache. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, sections of Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla and Rio Grande are in exceptional drought, a listing that’s only matched in Colorado by Baca County.