Colorado Mesa University forum — ‘Value of the Colorado River to Western Colorado Economies’ May 22

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From email from the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University (Hannah Holm):

Value of the Colorado River to Western Colorado Economies

Hosted by the Mesa County Conservation Forum, Colorado Mesa University Water Center, Protect the Flows Project

Opening Comments by Al White Colorado Tourism Office Director, Denver

Steve Acquafresca, Mesa County’s Director to the Colorado River Water District
Tom Kleinschnitz, Adventure Bound Outfitters, Club 20 Tourism Chair
Max Schmidt, Manager, Orchard Mesa Irrigation District
Kurt Mill, Regional Manager, Colorado Parks & Wildlife
Bruce Talbott, Local Grower and representative of local growers

Moderator: Hannah Holm, CMU Water Center

Join in the dialogue about how many different uses of the Colorado River impact our local economy.

Tues May 22nd 6-8:00pm, CMU Center Ballroom

More Colorado River basin coverage here.

The Crystal River makes the top ten most endangered rivers list, Wild and Scenic designation in the future?

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From The Aspen Times (Scott Condon):

Rivers in Colorado remained off the list in 2011, but appeared again this year with the Crystal River showing up as the No. 8 most endangered river in the United States. It flows out of the mountains, through Redstone and into Carbondale where it meets with the Roaring Fork River.

The threat: dams and diversions. The same reasons the Upper Colorado was listed in 2010.

At stake in both scenarios are fish and wildlife habitat, beautiful vistas and visitor recreation. On top of that, the Crystal River is one of the few remaining free-flowing streams in Colorado. “But new hydropower dams, reservoirs and water diversions threaten to destroy the river’s unique values,” the report states.

The Colorado River District and West Divide Conservancy District hold conditional water rights that could be used to build the 4,000-acre-foot Placita Reservoir; a similar-size reservoir on Yank Creek, a tributary of the Crystal River; and a water diversion on Avalanche Creek, the largest tributary of the river. The Placita Reservoir would be about four miles upstream from Redstone.

The designation is just the beginning of action, American Rivers’ Colorado conservation director Matt Rice said. “We hope this will begin a renewed effort to protect the Crystal River with a ‘Wild and Scenic’ designation,” he said. That designation would bring federal protection and prevent dam building.

More Crystal River coverage here and here.

The Denver Post editorial board weighs in on the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement

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From The Denver Post:

One of the linchpins is that Denver Water, which serves more than 1.3 million customers on the Front Range, gets approval for the expansion of Gross Reservoir near Boulder. The utility needs the project so it may ensure adequate water for customers on the northern edge of its service area…

The agreement calls for Western Slope parties to not oppose — and in some cases support — the Moffat Collection System project, which includes the reservoir expansion.

More Colorado River Cooperative Agreement coverage here.

Colorado Water 2012: Water and livestock

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Water for production is just one factor in the relationship of ranching with water. The impact of livestock upon the watershed and its ability to receive snowmelt and rainfall is critical to a healthy water cycle that makes maximum use of nature’s heavenly gift. The most immediate need for a livestock operation is to supply the daily water consumption of the animals. Roughly 20 gallons of water per head per day are required in summer, and about 10 gallons per head per day in the winter.

Water quality is also very important. One of the most important things a livestock producer has to be concerned about is the dependability and quality of an adequate water supply. This certainly can be challenging at times during drought and with poor or failing wells.

More Colorado Water 2012 coverage here.

2012 Colorado legislation: Governor Hickenlooper signs CWCB construction funds authorization

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From email from Governor Hickenlooper’s office:

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed several bills today in Poncha Springs, Alamosa and South Fork…SB12S-002, Water Conservation Board Construction Fund Projects, Schwartz & White / Sonnenberg & Baumgardner, Concerning the funding of Colorado Water Conservation Board projects, and, in connection therewith, making appropriations.

More 2012 Colorado legislation coverage here.