Republican River basin: Kansas Gov’s letter to Coloradan leaves the State Engineer’s office wondering if he has been paying attention

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From the Lawrence Journal World (Scott Rothschild):

In a recent letter to a Colorado resident, Brownback said the Bonny Reservoir in Yuma County, Colo., which abuts the border of northwest Kansas, is a valuable recreational area for many residents in surrounding communities. He added in the letter to Audrey Hase, who is trying to save the reservoir from being drained, “Because Colorado is a party to this compact, it is named in the lawsuit, but Kansas seeks no relief against Colorado at this time.”[…]

Colorado State Engineer Dick [Wolfe] said Brownback was off base. “I’m not sure what the basis for that statement is,” [Wolfe] said Monday. “We do know that it is wrong,” he said.

The release of water from Bonny Reservoir is necessary for Colorado to make up a water debt it owes Kansas and comply with the 2003 settlement of the 1942 Republican River Compact between Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas, [Wolfe] said…

Wolf said he spoke with Kansas water officials to make sure Brownback wasn’t signaling a change of plans. He said they told him the plan hasn’t changed.

More Republican River basin coverage here and here.

Colorado Water Congress annual summer meeting: Combining the meeting with the Colorado Coal & Power Conference deemed successful

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From the Craig Daily Press (Joe Moylan):

Last week was the culmination of that partnership as more than 310 water advocates and energy leaders came together at the first ever Water and Energy Conference to discuss common challenges and opportunities facing their industries.

“I think we were very pleased,” said Jerry Nettleton of the Colorado Coal and Power Generation planning team. “The Water Congress has their fall meeting here every other year. We looked at it and decided there were a lot of common elements in terms of water and energy and some of the challenges and opportunities they face…

Doug Kemper, executive director of the Colorado Water Congress, said his board was pleased with the partnership and is already talking about returning to Steamboat next year.

“We’ve had a tradition of being in Steamboat every other year for about the last 15 years,” Kemper said. “When we’re not in Steamboat, we hold the Congress somewhere in the I-70 corridor. But my board has already asked me to look into bringing the conference and the energy partnership back to Steamboat next year.”

Kemper, who had never visited a power plant or a working coal mine, said the tours of Craig Station and Trapper Mine were the highlights of the conference.

More Colorado water coverage here.

Energy policy — oil and gas: Select Energy Services Acquires Salt Water Disposal Well in Weld County, Colorado

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Here’s the release from Select Energy Services via Business Wire:

Select Energy Services, LLC (“Select”), a water solutions, oilfield service and supply company headquartered in Houston, TX, announced today the acquisition of Lone Star, LLC (“Lone Star”), a salt water disposal facility in Weld County, Colorado.

Lone Star currently holds a 37-acre property and salt water disposal facility in Weld County, Colorado, in the heart of the DJ Basin and Niobrara Shale activity. Currently, there are 23 rigs running within a 20 mile radius of the Lone Star property and therefore the new facility should be advantageous for operators in the region due to the current shortage of disposal facilities in Weld County.

“The acquisition of Lone Star will provide Select with a valuable entrance point into salt water disposal services in the Rocky Mountain region and further compliment our current service offerings in the region,” said John Schmitz, CEO of Select. “We look forward to providing a cost effective solution to the region’s water solution and transportation needs.”

This transaction will augment Select’s current position in the Rockies and further bolster its regional water solutions division. The local demand for salt water disposal is robust and growing with the increased emphasis in the Niobrara Shale. Select’s entry into water solutions and transportation in Weld County marks a significant step forward in both Select’s presence and growth potential in the Rocky Mountain Region.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

Part three of The Durango Herald’s series, ‘The Animas in a Changed Climate’

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Here’s part three of The Durango Herald’s (Lynda Edwards) series titled The Animas in a Changed Climate. The article takes a look at the future of the river and what Durango water users might face in the coming years. Here’s an excerpt:

[Durango’s 2011 Water Efficiency Management Plan] urges Durango to consider expanding an existing ordinance that restricts some new developments from planting high-water-use trees and plants not grown for human consumption. It also requires low-water-use plants on certain slopes and water-efficient irrigation. The study asks Durangoans to consider expanding and enactingthese restrictions across the city.

The plan also suggests adopting a “green building” ordinance for all new development. The plan does not mention what the ordinance would say.

Sandra Henderson of Project BudBurst, a program that recruits local residents to help document climate change, said: “Doing nothing about environmental problems creates stress. Doing something is empowering. Durangoans can take their city’s future into their own hands.”

Click through for the photos of the installation of a xeriscape garden and drip irrigation.

More Animas River watershed coverage here.