Landowner meetings will be at the Chaffee County Fairgrounds on Thursday, September 22nd at 5:30pm and Sunday, September 25th at 3:00pm. In attendance will be representatives from Trout Unlimited and the [Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas], a meeting facilitator, and aquatic experts. Snacks and beverages will be provided. To insure adequate handouts and materials please register by calling the Land Trust office at 719-539-7700 or emailing email@example.com.
Years after launching an effort to plan for a long-term source of renewable water, Castle Rock put out an invitation to hear from water providers that might be able to compete with the Water, Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency program, long touted as the solution to meet the needs of Castle Rock and several south-metro area municipalities.
Among the water providers that submitted bids were Renew Strategies, headed by former Gov. Bill Owens; Stillwater Resources, which acts as a broker to match providers with municipalities like Castle Rock; and United Water, which serves public water districts such as the East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District and the South Adams County Water District.
WISE, a project from the South Metro Water Supply Authority, was not among the providers that responded to the request for proposal. WISE has long aimed to buy its water from Aurora and Denver and store it in the Rueter-Hess reservoir. The Army Core of Engineers earlier this year notified Rueter-Hess officials that the plan violates a provision of the reservoir’s federal permit, and town councils from Aurora and Denver have yet to approve a proposal for the WISE project.
The responses included a proposal from Renew Strategies to acquire underground water from the Lost Creek Basin for between $23,000 and $24,000 per acre foot, plus infrastructure costs of up to $75 million; Stillwater’s option to purchase 4,000 acre feet of Boxelder farm water rights for about $21,000 per acre foot; and United Water’s proposal to sell South Platte surface water to Castle Rock for $23,850 per acre foot, which includes about $9 million in infrastructure costs.
So, if the Green River only flows through Moffat County for about 35 miles or so, why should people in Routt County concern themselves with the pipeline proposal? The decision to fund the first part of the study of the plan comes at a time when energy development is making more demands on Western Slope water. We’re seeing the beginnings of what could be a boom-let of oil wells here. And if those wells use fracturing techniques to pry the hydrocarbons out of the Niobrara shale, they’ll require large amount of precious water…
Heather Hansen, of Red Lodge Clearing House Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, zoomed in on the essential point in a recent essay published in High Country News.
Hansen pointed out that the Green River plays a major role in the obligation Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico have to deliver 7.5 million acre feet of water annually to the lower basin states of California, Nevada and Arizona under the 1922 Colorado River Compact.
The 250,000 acre-feet the Million proposal would subtract from the Green only puts more pressure on the Yampa, White, Eagle, Roaring Fork and Gunnison rivers to meet those obligations in a future that includes a growing Front Range of Colorado.
More Flaming Gorge Pipeline coverage here and here.
From the Associated Press via The Columbus Republic:
According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (http://bit.ly/pblJYV ), western Colorado water providers want an agreement on the operation of the Shoshone power generating station in Glenwood Canyon and another on the operations of Green Mountain Reservoir.
Six months ago, officials from the Western Slope and Denver announced they had a general agreement that would resolve most of the issues, but none of the backers have signed an agreement.
More Colorado River Cooperative Agreement coverage here.
From the Associated Press via The Aurora Sentinel:
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission signed a memorandum of understanding with Colorado last year that allows multiple agencies to review requests for hydropower projects at the same time. The Governor’s Energy Office says that can cut wait times on permits from three years down to less than two months.
The Governor’s Energy Office said Wednesday that the 23-kilowatt Meeker Wenschhof project in northwest Colorado went through the process to get a license allowing for construction and operation. The hydropower project will use water historically used for irrigation to offset the electricity used to power an irrigation sprinkler.