Fryingpan-Arkansas Project update: 213 cfs in the river below Ruedi Dam for the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program

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From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

August seems to be upholding its reputation for traditionally being the hottest and driest month in Colorado. As a result, flows in the Colorado River have dipped slightly. In response, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is calling for water for the identified habitat of the endangered fish.

To meet that call, we are increasing releases from Ruedi Dam to the Fryingpan River by 25 cfs. This will put about 213 cubic feet per second at the Ruedi gage just below the dam.

More Fryingpan-Arkansas Project coverage here.

Wastewater: The Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation District’s new plant near Brighton is ‘an opportunity to sharpen our vision and expand our practice of sustainable treatment,’ says General Manager Catherine Gerali

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From the Commerce City Sentinel (Kevin Denke):

Members of the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District’s board of directors gathered on the site of a former auto salvage yard at U.S. Highway 85 and Weld County Road 2 ½ to shovel ceremonial clumps of dirt. In doing so, they celebrated what district leaders hailed as a new era in regional water treatment.

Metro Wastewater District Manager Catherine Gerali highlighted the technological advancements the district will utilize at the plant. “We have used this plant as an opportunity to sharpen our vision and expand our practice of sustainable treatment,” she said. “Like our existing facility (in Commerce City), this new, advanced treatment plant will rely on the beneficial reuse of bio-solids and will recycle methane gas, which is a byproduct of the treatment process, to generate heat and power for this facility.”

The new plant, scheduled to go online in 2015, will be spread out over 90 acres of land, which starts at the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 85 and Weld County Road 2 (168th Avenue). At the completion of Phase 1, the plant is expected to serve 300,000 residents in five communities and treat 24-million gallons of water a day.

More Wastewater coverage here.

Lamar pipeline: The Elbert and Highway 86 Commercial Metro District withdraws its request of the Elbert County Commissioners to approve operations across county lines, Karl Nyquist says they will be back

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From The Denver Post (Karen Crummy):

The district’s retreat, which its director calls temporary, was met with loud cheers and whistles from about 1,000 people — the county has a population of about 22,000 — who showed up at the county commission meeting expecting a vote. Instead, a statement of withdrawal from the attorney representing Elbert and Highway 86 Commercial Metro District was read into the record…

Karl Nyquist, head of GP Water and the district director, said the pipeline is not on hold but didn’t provide any details about how he would proceed without authority to operate across county lines. “Our request to delay the vote on the district service plan amendment is simply to allow more time to educate the public and provide the facts about the project and its benefits,” he said in a news release. “The project will be moving forward in all respects despite this delay.”

The next time around, however, the district may face tougher challenges from county officials, who said they would make changes to the review process and who are facing intense public pressure. “We appoint you,” said Jim Eller, who teaches at Metropolitan State College of Denver, to commissioners Del Schwab and Kurt Schlegel. “You disappoint us, we dis-appoint you.”[…]

Elbert County, which does not have a renewable water source, relies on its aquifers, which are generally being depleted faster than they can be recharged. Many in the community fear that Nyquist will take too much water out or that his plan to store treated Arkansas River water in the aquifers will hurt their water quality. Additional concerns were raised after Nyquist failed to rule out using water for the oil and gas companies, which use millions of gallons for exploration.

More coverage from Barbara Preskorn writing for the Lamar Ledger. From the article:

Nyquist and his firm GP Resources, held a second stakeholder meeting at the Lamar Community Center, Tuesday, August 23 to share his business plan “Southeast Renewable Water Project Initiative: A new vision for Colorado’s water future.” Following the template offered by the Arkansas River Basin Roundtable, Nyquist’s firm is starting the process of obtaining comment from stakeholders about water issues. Several attorneys and water engineers in the firm’s employ were present as well as were representatives of the Lamar City Council, the Prowers County Commissioners and Prowers County Development, Inc. Colorado Springs water attorney David Shohet, retained by the City of Lamar, was also in the packed crowd.

“We are proposing a win-win sustainable business opportunity for Prowers County that will provide the region with a water treatment plant and with water storage in the gravel pit on land that I own. We have engineers studying the possibility of underground alluvial storage. One possibility for disposing of brine would be deep underground injection that is used successfully elsewhere.”

“Construction jobs and permanent operational jobs will be created, property tax will increase on the land where the treatment plant will be located because this is a private and not a government enterprise. We expect that school enrollments would go up as a result of these new jobs.” Nyquist stated…

When asked about how this project might be impacted by future extended extreme drought that this county is currently facing, water engineer consultant, Ken Knox stated that “Periods of extreme drought from the 1950s, 1977 and 2002 have been reviewed and that information is being considered in the GP Group’s plan. Few records exist from the 1930s, but indications are that the 1950’s actually were dryer.”

Jillane Hixson, Hixson Farms, stated that she was “under the impression that according to the Colorado-Kansas Compact agreement, river water could not be transferred from below the John Martin Reservoir.” Nyquist responded “This will be reviewed in water court when the application for change-of-use is filed. We will be able to show that no harm will be caused to downstream users, to wildlife or to the environment.”[…]

Roger Stagner, Mayor, City of Lamar, stated following the meeting “The Lamar City Council is watching this proposed business project very closely, but we do not have enough information yet to form an opinion as to whether this would be beneficial to the community or how much benefit it might bring to the region.”

Joe Marble echoed his statement “The Prowers County Commissioners are waiting to receive GP Resources 1041 permit application. We will then have enough information to review the proposal. We will probably need our own legal expertise to help us in this review process.”

More Lamar pipeline coverage here.

Colorado Water Congress annual summer meeting: U.S. Representative Cory Gardner — ‘Water projects in Colorado have been set back, delayed or canceled because of federal policies’

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“In Colorado, job creators rely on water and a stable water future,” Gardner said. “If job creators know we are committed to building future water supplies and enacting common-sense conservation policies, it will boost our economy and continue to attract new employers to the state.”[…]

One of the key themes of the summer meeting of Water Congress has been the need for more storage to capture the ample water that flowed out of both the Colorado and South Platte basins this year…

The $400 million Northern Integrated Supply Project, promoted by 15 communities in the Northern Water Colorado Conservancy District, is an example of the type of project that could move more quickly without restrictive federal policies, he said. The storage would benefit agriculture as well as cities, Gardner said, pointing to agricultural losses in Southeastern Colorado this year.

More coverage from Joe Moylan writing for the Craig Daily Press. From the article:

Gardner said he helped pass H.R. 2018, or The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011, in July. The legislation preserves the authority of each state to make determinations on its own water quality standards and limits Environmental Protection Agency controls that undermine state and local water authorities concerning water management. “I know that some people oppose this legislation,” Gardner said. “But I just happen to believe that Coloradans know best when it comes to their water.”[…]

Gardner pledged to fight for Colorado by abiding to his three-prong strategy that focuses on water storage, water conservation and creating critical partnerships when necessary, without sacrificing Colorado as the leader when it comes to its own water and economy.

“Because of limited storage, good Colorado water is flowing out of the state,” Gardner said. “This water could have been and should have been stored right here, growing our farms and our businesses.

“And, as (State Rep.) Jerry Sonnenberg said, ‘We didn’t even get a thank you note from Nebraska.’”

More coverage from Allen Best writing for the Colorado Independent. From the article:

…Gardner, in his speech at the meeting of the Water Congress, Colorado’s top organization for traditional water providers, said that Colorado and other states should have the right to determine their own water quality. “I just have to believe that Colorado knows what’s best when it comes to their water resources,” he said…

Becky Long, of the Colorado Environmental Coalition…panned the idea of pulling back federal authority. Problems with hormones and petrochemicals persist, and the problem of nutrients creating dead zones isn’t just one found where the Mississippi River pours into the Gulf of Mexico. Grand Lake—the lake, not the town – has the problem too, she pointed out…

Gardner also called for more water storage, a theme of many speakers at this conference. It was, after all, an epic year for water runoff in much of Colorado. A new record for snowfall was set in the state, with Buffalo Pass, located about 8 miles from Steamboat, still having so much snow by late May that there was still seven feet of water content…

Again, environmentalists were not persuaded. “There are different kinds of storage,” observed [Steve Glazer]. Dams to control floods must be kept empty, those to steel communities against drought should be kept full…

As Gardner noted, Aspinall famously noted that when you touch water in the West, you touch everything. But a lot of that stored and diverted water was the result of federal loans and grants–something we aren’t seeing a lot of these days.

Finally, here’s a Tweet from the Colorado River District:

Day1 #ColoradoWater Congress Summer Conf focuses on energy-water nexxus and features Colo Congressmen Tipton and Gardner and state reps

More Colorado Water coverage here and here.

Energy policy — hydroelectric: U.S. Representative Scott Tipton wants the federal government to get out of the way with respect to generation projects

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“We have to get Americans back to work and adopt an all of the above energy policy,” Tipton, a Republican who represents the Third Congressional District, told the Colorado Water Congress on Wednesday. “Proven, clean hydroelectric power provides 75 percent of the renewable energy for this country.”

Tipton did not specify projects, but instead said federal regulations on wild and scenic rivers should be replaced by state evaluations, and suggested that wilderness designations should stop at the water’s edge.

More coverage from Allen Best writing for the Colorado Independent. From the article:

To get America back to work, Tipton said, it needs an all-of-the-above energy approach. And one of those energies should come from hydropower, which is carbon free. But to achieve that, he said, government regulations should be stripped.

One of his proposals is something he calls a regulatory impact statement. Regulations, he said, are inhibiting job growth and by requiring an impact statement for each new federal regulation, people would at least know the likely effect of a regulation before it is implemented.

More hydroelectric coverage here.

Groundbreaking for the Republican River compliance pipeline is scheduled for August 29

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From the Holyoke Enterprise:

The Republican River Water Conservation District (RRWCD) will be holding the groundbreaking ceremony of the Compact Compliance Pipeline Monday, Aug. 29, beginning at 10 a.m. It will be held 12 miles north of Laird on County Road RR near the location of the future pipeline collection tank. Interested members of the public are invited…

GEI Consultants, an engineering firm from Denver, has designed the pipeline and Garney Construction has been selected by the [Republican River Water Conservation District] to be the general contractor. Garney will start construction in mid-September and plans to complete the pipeline no later than mid-July, 2012…

Speakers during the groundbreaking ceremony will be Congressman Cory Gardner; Dick Wolfe, State Engineer with the Colorado Division of Water Resources; Jennifer Gimbel, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board; Colorado State Senator Greg Brophy; and Dennis Coryell, chairman of the Republican River Water Conservation District.

More Republican River basin coverage here and here.

Steve Jobs to step down as CEO of Apple, Inc.

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I’m writing this using the Safari web browser while my iPhone syncs with my iMac. In a little while I’ll load up my Macbook Air on the bicycle for the commute to work. I guess you get the idea that I’m a fan of Apple gear.

Click here to watch the commercial that introduced Macintosh to the world.

Here’s a report from CNN (Brandon Griggs).

Good luck Mr. Jobs and thanks for all the wonderful gear going back to 1984.