Forecast news: Snow is on the way #codrought #cowx

Loveland: City councilors raise water rates


From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Tom Hacker):

The measure combines long-term debt, internal borrowing and rises in rates paid by business and home owners that will double their costs in nine years. The prickly issue for councilors, one that extended discussion of the measure until nearly 11 p.m., was whether to commit $750,000 annually for five years from the city’s general fund to pay for water system improvements…

Mayor Cecil Gutierrez, who had adamantly opposed the general fund ingredient in the formula to pay for water line replacement and treatment plant upgrades, reversed himself in casting the deciding vote on the issue.

Council member Joan Shaffer said steering surplus general fund money to the utilities department jeopardizes the city’s ability to meet other needs, particularly those related to economic development.

Councilors Hugh McKean, Daryle Klassen, Dave Clark and John Fogle joined Gutierrez in supporting the new rate plan.

Shaffer and councilors Ralph Trenary and Phil Farley cast the minority votes. Trenary’s motion to eliminate the general fund appropriation from the package had failed on a 4-4 vote.

The rate structure covering the years through 2022 would become official with another council action March 5.

More infrastructure coverage here.

Drought/snowpack news: No spring soccer on Denver Parks’ fields #codrought


From The Denver Post (Jeremy P. Meyer):

A prolonged drought is forcing Denver Parks and Recreation to close its grass sports fields for soccer and lacrosse until April 1 — which will keep thousands of children and adults from playing their sports. The news of the closure came only 15 days before the start of the spring season for most teams…

Public Schools, which has 362 acres of irrigated playgrounds and sports fields that normally consume 400 million gallons of water a year, is examining whether to shut down access to its fields. District officials will meet with Denver Water to figure out the next steps, but at this point, the district’s fields are still open for the spring.

From (Dave DeLozier) via the Fort Collins Coloradoan:

While the snowfall in eastern Colorado is beneficial to winter wheat farmers, what farmers who use irrigation really need is a major snowfall in the mountains. That would provide a snowmelt that could help fill reservoirs and provide water for irrigation throughout the growing season. “Frankly, as far as we’re concerned it will have to be a storm of epic proportions to get us caught up,” [Dana] Strongin said…

The water storage facilities in northern Colorado are currently far below normal for this time of year and there is grave concern there may not be enough water to get farmers through this growing season. “They are looking at a situation in which they may just choose not to plant this year and rent out the water back to cities,” Strongin said.

Nominees sought for annual ‘Bob Appel — Friend of the Arkansas River’ award


From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Nominations are now being accepted for the ninth annual “Bob Appel — Friend of the Arkansas” award to be presented at the Arkansas River Basin Water Forum, April 24 and 25 at the Walsenburg Community Center. The award is designed to honor an individual who has demonstrated commitment to improving the condition of the Arkansas River as it flows from its headwaters near Leadville to the Kansas state line.

Nominations should include a thorough description of why the individual is being nominated as well as any testimonials or letters of recommendation. Nominations may be sent to Jean Van Pelt, Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, 31717 United Ave., Pueblo, CO 81001 or, or faxed to 719-948-0036.

Nominations need to be received by March 15.

For information call 719-948-2023.

More Arkansas River Basin coverage here.