The City of Boulder is betting on drier and hotter conditions in the future when planning their raw water supply infrastructure


From the Colorado Independent (David O. Williams):

Boulder officials are now fast-tracking funding for water infrastructure projects, including a new water pipeline that will give the city more options for potential water sources and a dam rehabilitation project to enhance the city’s water storage capacity.

Boulder and all of Colorado just experienced the hottest August ever, according to NOAA. So did five other states – New Mexico, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona – and the average temperature in the United States in August was 3 degrees Fahrenheit higher that the long-term average between 1901 and 2000. Precipitation nationwide was .29 inches below the long-term average.

These statistics will no doubt provide ammo for supporters of two ballot questions in Boulder’s Nov. 1 municipal election asking voters to essentially approve a new municipal electrical utility. Proponents of the plan to kick Xcel Energy to the curb say the state’s largest utility is not shedding coal-fired power quickly enough.

More than half the electricity used in Boulder is generated by burning coal, which spews twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas and up to 100 percent more CO2 than alternative energy sources like wind and solar. CO2 is the main component of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change, and Boulder officials have a goal of reducing those emissions to 1990 levels by 2012.

Here’s the link to a new climate change study from the City of Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association that assesses the vulnerability of the city’s water supply to climate change.

More infrastructure coverage here.

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