An area on Upper Williams Creek, owned mostly by T-Cross Ranches, is a popular location for a terminal storage reservoir

From the Colorado Springs Independent (Pam Zubeck):

The Norris family, owners of T-Cross ranches, wants to create a water district and build a reservoir on Upper Williams Creek, the same general location eyed by Springs Utilities, the Pueblo Chieftain reported last week.

The family filed an application with El Paso County for Marlboro Metropolitan Water District. (Steve Norris’ father, Bob, portrayed the Marlboro Man in TV ads.) Steve Norris told the Chieftain that the reservoir would hold nearly 30,000 acre feet of water. The Norrises and the State Land Board own the property, located southeast of the Springs.

Norris couldn’t be reached, but from the sound of things, he believes his project would be used by Springs Utilities or another project that needs water storage. He told the Chieftain, “There has been lots of interest throughout the region for creating a regional storage reservoir.”

The reservoir site Norris chose would not require relocation of Bradley Road, as contemplated by SDS, the Chieftain reported, so Norris said his plan might save the city money. Norris and his friend, Aaron Million, who is planning a pipeline from Flaming Gorge Reservoir and the Green River in Wyoming, also envision the site as terminal storage.

But Utilities spokeswoman Janet Rummel says the Norris reservoir location “appears to conflict” with the city’s site planned as Phase 2 of the SDS project. SDS, an $880 million pipeline from Pueblo Reservoir to the Springs’ east side, will deliver water in 2016 and is causing water rates to rise sharply.

More Flaming Gorge pipeline coverage here and here. More Southern Delivery System coverage here and here.

‘The Water Leaders Program is an amazing opportunity for water professionals from any number of diverse backgrounds’ — Greg Johnson


From Your Water Colorado Blog:

“The Water Leaders Program is an amazing opportunity for water professionals from any number of diverse backgrounds to learn leadership skills, gain professional knowledge, and network with peers in an open and educational environment,” said Greg Johnson, a recent Water Leader graduate and employee of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

Water Leaders is open to mid-level professionals in Colorado who are interested in water resources and career development. All Water Leaders exhibit leadership potential within their own organizations, as well as interest in seeking leadership roles on public boards and commissions. Throughout the course, Water Leaders focus on personal and professional growth —eventually graduating with a better understanding of their strengths, skills and challenges.

“The experience allowed me to reflect upon and appreciate my unique qualities. It gave me the confidence and tools to practice those strengths within the workplace and beyond. I recommend Water Leaders to anyone who is curious about themselves and others,” said Kristin Maharg, manager of the Water Leaders program at CFWE.

More Colorado Foundation for Water Education coverage here and here.

Basalt: New hydroelectric plant complete


From The Aspen Times (Scott Condon):

The town government teamed with Holy Cross Energy to build a facility that takes advantage of water being piped down from Basalt Mountain to the town’s treatment plant to produce power.

“All we did was plumb this in line,” said Bentley Henderson, Basalt’s public works director, while showing the new turbine and generator used to produce power.

The system will generate roughly 300,000 kilowatt-hours annually, Henderson said. That will power between 30 and 40 houses and reduce greenhouse-gas production by an estimated 500,000 pounds annually, he said.

Councilman Pete McBride, who is nearing the end of a four-year term and isn’t seeking re-election, said he considers the micro-hydroelectric plant one of the town’s biggest accomplishments during his tenure. The project was a partnership that was completed through a creative approach. It produces clean energy from a water source without affecting any streamflow, which he said is important to him.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

2nd Annual Front Range Standards Committee Water Utility Expo, Friday, June 8th, 2012


Click here to download an information packet. From the website:

Gain direct contact with other municipalities and vendors. This event gives you the opportunity to see and talk about the current and the latest products on the market.

More conservation coverage here.

Metro Wastewater Reclamation District inks monotoring contract with US Geological Survey for METROGRO farm’s groundwater quality


Here’s the release from the Metropoitan Wastewater Reclamation District (Steve Frank):

The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District has signed a contract with the US Geological Survey for a continuation of the independent monitoring program at the 52,000-acre METROGRO Farm in eastern Arapahoe and Elbert Counties.

This monitoring program was developed based on the current USGS monitoring program, which has just ended. The new monitoring program runs April 1, 2012, through December 31, 2014.

The new program covers monitoring water quality conditions in eight wells on or near the METROGRO Farm. Five wells will be sampled quarterly and three will be sampled annually. With each sample, depth to water, water temperature, specific conductance, pH, dissolved oxygen concentration, and acid-neutralizing capacity will also be measured.

Stakeholders involved with the Metro District’s biosolids management program also provided input to this plan’s development.
“Based on data collected at our farm for almost 20 years, we have seen no negative effects from using biosolids as a fertilizer and soil amendment,” said Alicia Gilley, director of the Metro District’s Resource Recovery and Reuse Department.

“As in the past, the data we collect will continue to be made available to the public via the USGS NWISWeb database.”

The Metro District is the largest wastewater treatment agency in the Rocky Mountain West. The Robert W. Hite Treatment Facility at 64th and York treats about 140 million gallons of wastewater a day. The service area includes nearly 1.7 million people and encompasses approximately 715 square miles, including Denver, Arvada, Aurora, Brighton, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Thornton, and part of Westminster, together with about 40 sanitation and water and sanitation districts in the metropolitan Denver area.

More wastewater coverage here and here.

Western Resource Advocates: ‘Oil Shale 2050’ report is hot off the press


Click here to download a copy of the report Oil Shale 2050: Data, Definitions, & What You Need to Know About Oil Shale in the West. Here’s an excerpt:

As the debate over potential oil shale development in
the western United States continues, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) has focused on understanding the nature of the oil shale deposits; the state of the technologies companies are trying to advance; the environmental, economic, social, and climate impacts of exploiting these deposits; and what development would mean for our energy demands and goals. This report explores these matters.

This report is largely an educational tool, concentrating on the salient issues central to the ongoing debate over the wisdom and feasibility of producing liquid fuel from oil shale. Many of the issues discussed in this report are framed from the perspective of the year 2050. Why 2050? First, it is a baseline that states commonly use to project water demands. It is also roughly the date by which such companies as Royal Dutch Shell predict they might be in a position to produce large quantities of oil from shale, depending on the results of current research and testing…

By the year 2050, economists, biologists, climatologists, and a variety of other scientists predict huge changes to the West. Their models forecast that there will be less water in the Colorado River Basin, with escalating demand from a rapidly growing population. The population of the state of Colorado is projected to swell by 57% over the next 30 years. Utah, the second-driest state in the nation, anticipates a 105% increase in its population by 2050. Because of this growth, in Colorado alone, municipal and industrial water demands are estimated to increase by as much as 83%.

By 2050, the competition for water will be fierce and will only be compounded by climate change. Decisions we make today about a host of concerns, including whether or not to develop oil shale, will directly impact the amount of available water in 2050. As a result of climate change, water in the Colorado River Basin is projected to decrease anywhere from 5% to 20% by 2050. Current projections conclude that we will rely heavily on water currently used for agriculture to cover growing municipal and industrial demands.

By 2050 we might be less reliant on fossil fuels for planes and automobiles. Alternatives might include electric cars powered by renewable sources, or biodiesel made from algae, or energy sources that researchers are not yet exploring.

More oil shale coverage here and here.

Parker: Rueter-Hess Reservoir is complete, just add water


Here’s the announcement from the Parker Water and Sanitation District website:

What does it take to construct a 72,000 acre-foot reservoir on Colorado’s crowded Front Range during years of belt-tightening and competition for scarce water resources? It takes 25 years of managing complex planning, permitting and construction projects, and more importantly, it takes the vision and tenacity of the water district managers in charge. In Parker, all these elements coalesced to complete Rueter-Hess Reservoir – the first major water storage facility on the Front Range in several decades.

Parker Water celebrated the completion of the massive Rueter-Hess Reservoir project on March 21st with more than 100 contractors, metro water partners and government officials in attendance on the tower of the Frank Jaeger Dam.

John Stulp, special policy advisor on water issues to Governor Hickenlooper, commended Parker Water and its partners in Douglas County for collaborating on a forward-looking project that will be needed as Colorado gains an estimated 4-5 million residents over the next 30-40 years.

Colorado State Senator Ted Harvey read a resolution adopted unanimously by both houses of the legislature the previous day, congratulating Parker Water on its foresight and persistence in planning and constructing Rueter-Hess Reservoir. Senator Harvey said, “We can’t bring in good companies to Douglas County and create jobs if we don’t have the needed resources to serve them. Rueter-Hess is a key part of that.”

The Douglas County Commission also adopted a resolution of congratulations for 50 years of service to customers in Douglas County. County commissioners Jack Hilbert and Jill Repella specifically cited the cooperation that led communities to work together on Rueter-Hess Reservoir.

To culminate the ceremony, the PWSD Board Members in attendance: Mary Spencer, Sheppard Root, Mike Casey and Darcy Beard, activated the release of water stored in the nearby Cherry Creek diversion structure into the reservoir. The crowd applauded as a remote camera captured the water flowing from the outlet into the south side of the reservoir.

Already, Rueter-Hess Reservoir holds some 4,000 acre-feet of water from flows captured in the reservoir beginning in May 2011 – enough water to serve 9,000 homes over the course of a year. The Douglas County water districts partnering in the reservoir, including the Town of Castle Rock, Castle Pines North, and Stonegate, will continue to capture storm runoff and reuse water, and plan to develop additional surface-water sources in the future.

More coverage from Clayton Wouliard writing for From the article:

A completion ceremony was held March 21 by Parker Water and Sanitation, which paid for the construction of the reservoir that can hold 72,000 acre feet of water. The dam for it cost about $135 million, with a total cost of the project at about $200 million, including an environmental impact study, pumps and legal work, according to Jim Nikkel, assistant manager of Parker Water and Sanitation. The project was funded through a general obligation bond approved by voters in 2002.

“It’s the first of a long process of ensuring the area of northern Douglas County has sustainable water for now and in the future,” Nikkel said.

Nikkel said a water treatment plant is currently being built for $50 million that is slated to be finished by summer 2014 and will treat water from the reservoir. Currently, Parker gets its water from aquifers, which are not renewable. The treatment plant construction is being funded through revenue bonds and will process up to 10 million gallons per day, Nikkel said.

More Rueter-Hess Reservoir coverage here and here.