SB13-183 would allow homeowners under HOA agreements to choose xeriscape over turf #coleg

Click here to read the bill.

Forecast news: More snowfall for Colorado today #codrought #cowx

From the Loveland Reporter-Herald:

On Tuesday, a cold front will move through the region bringing scattered snow showers to the area, says Yates. High temperatures will be in the upper 20s and lower 30s under cloudy skies. Winds will be breezy. Overnight, snow showers will decrease and temperatures will return to the single digits and teens. Snowfall accumulations through Tuesday will be light, with most locations seeing less than an inch of snow.

Snowpack news: Weekend storm bumps the South Platte Basin to 63% of avg, still tracking the 2002 line #codrought #cowx



Click on the thumbnail graphics for the statewide snowpack map and the South Platte Basin High/Low graph from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

From the Fairplay Flume:

According to figures from the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow network, in the 48-hour period ended at 7 a.m. Monday, 3.8 inches of snow fell in one area of Bailey. During the same time period, 5.5 inches of new snow fell in an area of Fairplay, and 3 inches of new snow fell in an area of Lake George. The CoCoRAHs figures show that the Conifer area in Jefferson County got hit harder than Park County, receiving 12.4 inches of new snow in the 48-hour period ended at 7 a.m. on Feb. 25. During that period of time, an area near Pine in Jefferson County received 7.8 inches of new snow…

According to CoCoRAHs figures, in the five-day period ended at 7 a.m. on Feb. 25, 7.8 inches of new snow fell in the KZ Ranch subdivision, northwest of downtown Bailey. The CoCORAHs figures show that during that five day period from Feb. 21 through Feb. 25, new snow was recorded every day. During that same five-day time period, one area of Fairplay recorded 12.2 inches of new snow. During the same five-day period, one area of Lake George in southeastern Park County, recorded 7.8 inches of new snow…

From the five days from Feb. 21 to Feb. 25, one area of Confier got 17.8 inches of new snow. During the same period of time, an area of Pine received 10.8 inches of new snow.

From KRDO via The Pueblo Chieftain:

The weekend’s snowstorm wasn’t a drought-buster but every little bit helps. Colorado Springs is already planning water restrictions this summer. Pueblo doesn’t have any mandatory restrictions yet. For now, Pueblo’s Board of Water Works is urging people to conserve the amount of water they use. Every drop of moisture helps increase the amount of water stored in Pueblo’s reservoirs. But with little snowfall in Pueblo so far this year, there’s not much snowpack in the mountains. “We’re at around the 60 percent of our snowpack for the year and that’s where most of our drinking water comes from is that water that’s stored by mother nature in the snowpack during the wintertime,” said Paul Fanning of Pueblo’s Board of Water Works…

As of January, Pueblo’s Board of Water Works had nearly 28,000 acre feet of water in storage- that’s down by 35 percent from what it had during that time last year. For now, Fanning says people in Pueblo are encouraged to conserve water as they wait to see how much more moisture is in store for the Steel City. Fanning says if this drought continues for another full season, there could be water restrictions in Pueblo by next year.

From email from the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District:

Regional Pool Program water will not be available in 2013.

The program provides Northern Colorado water users with another method to acquire Colorado-Big Thompson Project water on a seasonal lease basis. Based on RPP rules, Northern Water’s Board of Directors may allocate water from the Regional Pool only when C-BT Project storage reserves exceed 200,000 acre feet on November 15 of the same water year. Reserves on November 15, 2012 fell about 85,000 acre feet short of this amount.

This policy is intended to help maintain supplies in C-BT storage for future years. This is the first year reserves have not been high enough for pool allocations since the program’s first allocations in 2010.

Grand County ponies up dough for instream water rights for whitewater park #coriver


From the Sky-Hi Daily News (Tonya Bina):

A manmade play wave, fashioned with rocks and concrete boulders in the river, would be the first whitewater park in Grand County. Such play waves attract paddlers from far and wide. It is planned to be located at Pumphouse, the popular Bureau of Land Management boating site on the Colorado River west of Kremmling off the Trough Road, between the Gore Canyon’s class 4-5 rapids and the splashy, family friendly class 2-3 section below Pumphouse. The Pumphouse site is already developed with a parking area and bathrooms, and is a strong location for boaters late in the season due to upstream reservoir releases…

Grand County is seeking water rights attached to the whitewater park at Pumphouse and a potential feature — someday in the future — at Hot Sulphur Springs, which the town has indicated it favors having as an attraction, according to Grand County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran. The county, with help from hired Project Coordinator Caroline Bradford of Eagle, established these locations as most-preferred among actual users of the river by conducting a series of meetings and reaching out to boaters across the state. Bradford received more than 100 letters in favor of the park, she said…

The county is seeking river flows varying from 800-1,200 cfs, depending on the time of year between April and October, for recreational use on the Colorado River. The rights are still pending in District 5 Colorado Water Court, and Underbrink Curran said the county has satisfied the concerns of all but three objectors. Water attorneys for the county are “optimistic,” Underbrink Curran said. They have indicated they are “confident that they have a good opportunity to settle with the objectors,” two of which are Colorado Springs Utilities and Climax. The county has until April 2014 to settle…

Financing the $1.7 million project remains another hurdle. Grand County has pledged $600,000 and is using a chunk of that to pay for the legal process of obtaining water rights. Last week, Bradford announced a “a huge step forward” for the park when the Colorado Water Conservation Board committed a $500,000 grant toward the project from its Water Supply Reserve Account. Although more than $39 million has been awarded to hundreds of water projects across the state since the fund’s inception in 2007, it was the first time the board awarded money for a recreation project…

Meanwhile, fundraising continues to see the project to fruition. Bradford is charged with leading the effort to raise another $500,000 to $600,000 from within the boater community and from other partners, she said.

Work on the project will be overseen by both the Bureau of Land Management and the Army Corps of Engineers, according to Carey, and the county will be applying for appropriate permitting. The process will involve public comment periods.

Construction of the project would take place during a three to four month window, taking into account the sensitivity of the river, he said. The project would involve diverting the river channel around the work area.

More whitewater coverage here.