Colorado State University Precipitation Monitoring Network to Host Free Training Session for Poudre School Teachers, General Public on Aug. 10

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Here’s the release from Colorado State University (Emily Wilmsen):

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS, has invited Colorado K-12 schools to participate as volunteers in a fun “citizen science” program that helps weather and climate scientists across the nation.

A free training session, which is also open to the general public, will be 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10 at the Fort Collins Public Library, Harmony Campus, 4616 S. Shields Road.
Participants will learn how the National Weather Service measures precipitation, why it is important, and will have the opportunity to contribute their own precipitation data that will benefit both their local communities and scientists. The program is fun, easy, and takes only a few minutes a day.

Fundraising efforts have been ongoing, and teachers who sign up and attend a training session are eligible for a free rain gauge for their school.

Nolan Doesken, Colorado State University state climatologist and founder of CoCoRaHS, will host the training session, titled “How to measure rain, hail and snow in your own backyard.”

Current CoCoRaHS volunteers who have not attended a training session are also encouraged to attend.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Noah Newman at (970) 491-8545 or noah@cocorahs.org.

Supply and demand on an imbalanced Colorado River is the theme of the Colorado River District’s Annual Water Seminar set for Sept. 15, 2011

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Here’s the release from the Colorado River District (Jim Pokrandt):

The hard-working Colorado River received supercharged inflow this spring and summer, but all eyes remain on an uncertain future where supply and demand will remain a delicate balance. Water planners are figuring out how to meet water supply gaps while sustaining the river in the face of climate change, population growth and potential drought.

This balancing act will be examined during the Colorado River District’s Annual Water Seminar from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011, at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction, Colo. The public is invited. Registration is $25, to defray lunch costs. To register, go to http://www.ColoradoRiverDistrict.org, call Meredith Spyker at (970) 945-8522 or e-mail mspyker@crwcd.org. Application is being made for continuing education credits for attorneys and real estate professionals.

One of the panels will feature a West Slope Roundtables’ discussion of Western Colorado’s responsibility to meet the state’s looming water supply gap, which is mostly on the Front Range. Colorado River District General Manager Eric Kuhn will address his risk-management strategy for future water development. Professor Mark Squillace will review the Colorado University School of Law’s “Rethinking the Future of the Colorado River” Project.

Here’s the agenda and registration form.

More Colorado River basin coverage here.

Energy policy — nuclear: Lincoln Park/Cotter Mill superfund site cleanup focusing on groundwater pollution with an eye towards discontinuing pumping

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tracy Harmon):

A top priority, according to Mill Manager John Hamrick, is to move away from having to pump contaminated groundwater that slips past a failed treatment wall and is then moved back onto the mill property. The site is called the dam-to-ditch area which is located between an earthen dam and an irrigation ditch which divides the mill property from the Lincoln Park neighborhood. “We’re investigating the best way to clean it up so the goal will be to eventually quit pumping. It is a small area and the plume is small there but the concentrations (of uranium and molybdenum) have remained the same — they are just sitting there,” Hamrick said. On Monday, Cotter officials notified the state public health department that they have a plan to clean up the dam-to-ditch site…

Cotter officials also are delving into the presence of TCE in groundwater underneath the mill. TCE stands for trichloroethylene and it was first detected in October 2010. “We are investigating the nature and extent of the TCE groundwater plume. There are a couple of things that are puzzling about its presence and we are not even sure the contamination is ours,” Hamrick said. Cotter officials also seek to stop pH testing in the primary waste impoundment. State health officials have ordered Cotter to neutralize the pH level in the impoundment but that requires the injection of a liquid containing lime. “That is going against another order we have to dry out the impoundment,” Hamrick explained…

The tailings pond currently is used as a site to dispose of the old mill buildings that are being dismantled. Also, some old, leftover process liquids, such as kerosene, are being mixed with an absorbent and placed into the impoundment in a dry form, Hamrick said, so keeping the drying-out process going is difficult when liquid containing lime has to be injected into the impoundment.

More Lincoln Park/Cotter Mill superfund site coverage here and here.

Lamar pipeline: The CEO for GP Water Group estimates the pipeline will cost $340 million

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Developers who want to build a 150-mile pipeline from Lamar to growing communities in El Paso and Elbert counties estimate it would cost about $340 million to construct. “We believe we can build it cheaper than government engineers would estimate,” said Karl Nyquist, CEO for the GP Water Group. “We’ve done a fair amount of this type of work, and there are a few similar projects we’ve watched.”

GP Water proposes to build a 24-inch diameter pipeline to deliver water from rights it owns on the Lamar Canal. Customers would include the Cherokee Water and Sanitation District near Colorado Springs, and potentially other users in Elbert or El Paso counties. It would deliver up to 12,000 acre-feet annually. The primary purpose of the project is to provide renewable water to growing communities that are now mining the Denver Basin aquifers as more wells are drilled…

GP’s engineering team estimates it would cost between $330 million and $340 million to build the proposed pipeline. The cost includes the water, pump stations, a treatment plant at Lamar and the pipeline…

There would also be costs associated with treatment and transmission. Water would have to be treated for high salinity and pumped at least 2,400 feet uphill…

In most court decrees for water transfers, only the consumptive use of water may be moved. The Lamar Canal water rights have already been changed to allow multiple uses, but GP would need a new decree to use the water in a new location. GP plans to be able to move the water within five years.

Here’s the schedule of GP Water Group’s planned public meetings:

Thursday: Elbert County issues, the old gym at Simla High School, 619 Pueblo Ave., Simla.

Aug. 16 and 23: Prowers County issues, Lamar Community Building, 610 S. Sixth St., Lamar.

Aug. 17: Elbert County issues, Legacy Academy Charter School, 1975 Legacy Circle, Elizabeth.

Aug. 22: El Paso County issues, Sand Creek High School, 7005 N. Carefree Circle, Colorado Springs.

More Lamar pipeline coverage here.