AWRA — Colorado Section: Summary of the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s (CWCB) 2012 Annual Instream Flow (ISF) Workshop

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From the AWRA — Colorado Section website (Margaret Herzog):

The more than 40 attendees represented a wide variety of interests, including the US Forest Service, the US Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Dept. of Transportation, the Colorado Div. of Parks and Wildlife, several Colorado Water Conservation Board staff and new board members, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, the Colorado Water Trust, Western Resource Advocates, the City of Fort Collins, the Colorado River District, High Country Citizens’ Alliance, consultants, and other interested parties.

The workshop went well beyond a review of recommended ISF projects for board consideration this year. It also covered a discussion of potential synergy between ISF appropriations and acquisitions with stream restoration projects and multi-purpose water supply projects. New SWSI 2010 Nonconsumptive Needs Assessment maps and related projects by Basin Round Table (BRT) were also presented, the successful culmination of an Interbasin Compact Committee / Basin Round Tables (IBCC/BRTs) analytical process which began in 2005.

More instream flow coverage here.

Hydraulic fracturing projected to use slightly more than one-tenth of one percent of the total water used statewide by 2015

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From the Denver Business Journal (Cathy Proctor):

“In 2010, it reflected slightly less than one-tenth of one percent of the total water used [statewide],” says a report from the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC). “In 2015, it is projected to increase by 4,800 acre feet to slightly more than one-tenth of one percent.”

Meanwhile, most oil and gas operators in Colorado are reporting hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the state, according to this report from Cathy Proctor writing for the Denver Business Journal. From the article:

The Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) launched a voluntary water-testing program in January for any energy company that’s drilling in Colorado. It has signed up companies that are drilling 93 percent of all the oil and gas wells being worked in Colorado every year, said Tisha Schuller, COGA’s president and CEO. “And it’s expanding. We think that everyone [drilling in Colorado] should be in this program,” she [said].

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

Statewide Roundtable Summit: Governor Hickenlooper touts the importance of understanding the water-food nexus, adios bluegrass?

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The governor said bluegrass lawns in cities take water away from water needed for agriculture, and one of the easiest fixes is to get people to change their landscape habits. “We’re taking water from ag uses and applying it toward urban landscapes,” Hickenlooper said. “We don’t have an abundance of food. We’re going to need more water for food to make sure farmers don’t run short.”[…]

“Water is a public good, and the roundtables are bringing all of the interests in a river basin together to decide how to manage water in a basin,” he said. “The basin roundtables are on the cutting edge. They become a crucible to determine the needs of the state.”[…]

Citing Denver’s campaign that led to 20 percent water conservation, Hickenlooper outlined several statewide approaches that will increase public awareness of water stress and the need for farm water:

– The ongoing Colorado Water 2012 campaign.
– Incorporating water issues in the upcoming TBD (To Be Determined) Colorado roundtables.
– A “Pedal the Plains” event next fall, similar to “Ride the Rockies.”

The governor also mentioned “shuttle diplomacy” as a strategy to resolve lingering water conflicts. Last year, the state brokered talks between oil companies and environmentalists to rewrite rules on hydraulic fracturing that left both sides feeling like winners.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

Paonia: The Delta County commissioners are hosting an oil and gas exploration and production seminar tomorrow

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From the Delta County Independent:

The Delta County Commissioners are holding an oil and gas public information meeting this Saturday at Paonia High School from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Local residents interested in learning more about oil and gas leasing and development are encouraged to attend.

The morning sessions will include a presentation by David Noe, PhD, a senior geologist at the Colorado Geological Survey in Denver, on the geology of the North Fork Valley. Other sessions will include a panel discussion about the leasing and permitting processes for oil and gas exploration as well as an overview of regulations for hydraulic fracturing, water and air quality.

Presenters from the morning sessions will lead breakout sessions in the afternoon where the public can ask questions and learn more about the oil and gas leasing process, water, air quality, drilling, hydraulic fracturing, private land issues and current oil and gas activities.

Staff from the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Geological Survey, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Delta County, Delta County Health Department, U.S. Forest Service and industry representatives will participate in the meeting.

For more information, contact Carolyn Clemens, executive assistant, Delta County administration at 874-2101.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.