Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act is still alive and kicking — John Peel

Hermosa Park
Hermosa Park

From The Durango Herald (John Peel):

It’s not exactly screaming through Congress, but the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act is still alive and kicking, backers and aides to two key congressional leaders say.

“It’s moving at a snail’s pace, but it is moving,” says Ty Churchwell, backcountry coordinator for Trout Unlimited and one of the movers and shakers of the plan.

The problem is congressional gridlock, some would say dysfunction. Senators and congressmen just aren’t in the mood to do anything that might help the opposing party, particularly with mid-term elections looming.

“If Hermosa doesn’t pass, it won’t be because of substance,” says Jeff Widen of the Wilderness Society. “It’ll be because of politics.”

An aide to Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said this week that Tipton hopes to get the bill to a floor vote by August recess.

More Hermosa Creek watershed coverage here and here.

CU research team studying earthquake activity near Greeley — The Greeley Tribune

Deep injection well
Deep injection well

From The Greeley Tribune (Sharon Dunn):

A small team of Boulder graduate students and their professor hope to soon put an end to the mystery of what created a small magnitude earthquake on Saturday northeast of Greeley.

While the quake measured 3.4 in magnitude — barely enough to be felt and not enough to cause damage to structures — the coincidence of its proximity to wastewater injection wells has researchers pondering the potential of an oil and gas role.

Yes, it could be natural, scientists say. It’s not altogether impossible the Greeley area could have a natural earthquake — though there hasn’t been any such activity in a good 30 years.

A temblor of that size could happen anywhere in the country, seismologists say.

But recent years have proven throughout drilling fields in Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas that the connection between quakes and oil and gas wastewater disposal wells is rather strong.

That’s where University of Colorado at Boulder geophysics professor Anne Sheehan and her small team of graduate students come in. They spent the last several days deploying seismographs in and around what the U.S. Geological Survey determined was the epicenter of the quake believed to have originated five miles beneath the surface about four miles northeast of Greeley.

They “believe” only because the closest station to record tectonic activity is in Idaho Springs, 70 miles away.

The epicenter of the quake was a bit of an educated guess, as well as the depth. But based on what are called “felt reports,” in which area residents reported what they felt at the time of the earthquake, Sheehan has been able to zero in a little better on the area to get the best readings.

Having seismographs closer in the suspected area — which is near two injection wells — will help scientists get a better fix on the cause.

“I guess we wouldn’t have done this if we didn’t think there would be some small follow-up earthquakes,” Sheehan said. “It’s possible we won’t record anything of interest. One would hope there would not be any more earthquakes. But if there are, we will study them.”

In fact, just two hours after Saturday’s quake, there were three smaller tremors that followed, Sheehan said. One was 2.0 and the other two were 1.4 in magnitude. Those aren’t recorded at the USGS in Golden, which only tracks quakes of 2.5 magnitude and above.

Wastewater disposal wells take in produced water from fracking and drilling operations, a practice that has been going on for several years and which is practiced by a variety of industries.

There are about 150,000 injection wells across the country — 40,000 of which are for oil and gas waste, or “Class II” disposal wells. Weld County has 28 of them.

There were two injection wells in proximity to the epicenter of Saturday’s quake, one dug more than 8,700 feet deep and the other 10,700 feet. One is 20 years old, the other just two years old.

Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission officials earlier this week said they were skeptical that the wells caused the quake because they believe the three historic well-related quake instances recorded in Colorado all shared one common characteristic: the point of injection was the epicenter of the quake.

They said that wasn’t the case in Greeley.

But even that is difficult to measure, given the inexact measuring from 70 miles way, said Justin Rubinstein, a seismologist in Menlo Park, Calif., who has studied the increasing phenomenon of man-induced earthquakes for the last three years.

“As long as there is a pathway for the fluids to transfer, it doesn’t matter where you’re injecting,” Rubinstein said of the misconception on locations. “Faults are an incredible transmitter of fluids and fluid pressures. Just because earthquakes are occurring deeper than where injections are, there’s no reason to say they can’t be related.”

But, he said, there’s little proof of any cause at present, and he wouldn’t rule out a natural quake.

An injection well is dug 10,000 feet below the surface into very porous rock. The rate and volume of the water that is pumped in is governed by state and federal regulations.

Once pumped into the porous rock, the water disperses through that formation, allowing more water to be pumped in.

Sometimes the pressure of the water is such that it causes earthquakes in the existing faults.

The injection wells in question were those of High Sierra Water Services, which manages injections wells throughout Weld County and also recycles produced water for companies.

High Sierra also recycles produced water in an ever-growing amount, shipping it back out to the field for further use in drilling.

“We looked at our charts and we’re operating within the parameters of the well and it’s been operational for quite some time,” said Josh Patterson, operations manager for the company.

Sheehan said by studying whether any subsequent quakes are a result of injection wells potentially being drilled into faults, or the wrong rocks, or were simply overvalued in terms of volume and rate capacities, will help bring about better practices in the field.

“If we find out something useful about whether injection causes earthquakes, it might be something that the industry can use to do a better job of injecting, if that turns out to be a problem,” Sheehan said. “So maybe if they inject at lower volumes or spread it out more, it could be that there are things that we’ll learn that can help inform some sort of best practices.”

More oil and gas coverage here.

Montrose: Gov. Hickenlooper signs HB14-1030 (Hydroelectric Generation Incentive)


From The Watch (William Woody):

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1030 into law Saturday, near the rushing waters of the South Canal, east of Montrose, where new hydroelectric generation facilities are creating megawatts of power.

The law directs the Colorado Energy Office to work in conjunction with federal agencies to streamline its review of new hydroelectric projects, decrease waiting periods and allow applications to clear federal and state review in as little as 60 days (without violating state environmental regulations).

Republican State House District 58 Rep. Don Coram (R-Montrose), who introduced the legislation along with Rep. Diana Mitsch Bush (D-Steamboat Springs), said he first brainstormed about the idea over coffee with U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) at the Coffee Trader in Montrose last fall. The law mirrors the federal Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act approved by Congress last year (in conjunction with the Rural Jobs Act introduced by Tipton) and signed by President Barack Obama in August.

Hickenlooper said that although Democrats and Republicans “do not see eye to eye on everything,” this law is a great example of both sides working together to create jobs and boost the state’s renewable energy portfolio.

“This is an obvious opportunity to do something significant right now that has much more potential over the next five to ten years with these small hydro projects,” Hickenlooper said Saturday.

The law allows farmers and ranchers to offset energy consumption by adding hydroelectric generation to their existing irrigation infrastructure, which can take up more than 70 percent of their seasonal operating budget, said Ron Carleton, deputy commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Coram said he and fellow lawmakers were acting as “advocates for agriculture” during the law’s development, and that the partnership between the Delta-Montrose Electric Association and the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association is a model for other projects, moving forward.

UVWUA Board President George Etchart said water from the 105-year-old, 5.8-mile long Gunnison Tunnel now has dual roles – both producing electricity and feeding the crops of the Uncompahgre Valley. “The water in this valley is the lifeblood of the this valley,” he said…

A pair of generation stations created onto the South Canal last year by the Delta-Montrose Electric Association are currently generating about five-and-a-half megawatts of electricity, capable of powering about 3,000 homes in the Uncompahgre Valley. At Saturday’s bill-signing, water from the 105-year-old Gunnison Tunnel was moving at about 950 cubic feet per second. Peak flows both plants are expected to produce between seven and seven-and-a-half megawatts. Last year DMEA produced about 16,000 megawatt hours of electricity from the South Canal project…

The Gunnison brings water every year from the Gunnison river through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to an expansive canal system that feeds 76,000 acres of farmland throughout the Uncompahgre Valley.

The South Canal projects are estimated to remove 270,000 tons of carbon from the environment and produce about 27 million kilowatt hours of electricity. Along with the 3,000 homes powered, the DMEA reports the cost savings from the hydro power drops about $2 million back into the local economy through annual savings.

More 2014 Colorado legislation coverage here.

2014 Colorado legislation: Governor Hickenlooper wields veto pen, SB14-023 is history #COleg #COWaterPlan

Colorado instream flow program map via the Colorado Water Conservation Board
Colorado instream flow program map via the Colorado Water Conservation Board

Here’s the release from Governor Hickenlooper’s office:

Gov. John Hickenlooper today vetoed Senate Bill 14-023 because of unresolved concerns about its potential impact to water rights. At the same time, the Governor voiced support for a targeted pilot program that would encourage conservation of water resources and keep more water in streams and rivers for water quality purposes.

“This decision was not easy; it was a close call,” the governor wrote in a letter to the Colorado Senate. “That is because the bill’s goals are important for our water future and we appreciate and honor the thousands of hours that went into crafting this legislation. Despite these efforts, there was a breakdown in consensus toward the end of the legislative session that divided the water community and, in our view, would make implementation of the policy more difficult.”

The governor told lawmakers his veto is not designed to stop this legislation from ever becoming law; rather, it allows more time to work with stakeholders to address concerns and build broader consensus for experimentation involving the instream flow program.

“This bill already has a good cross section of support from various interests, including sportsmen, conservationists, and some in the agricultural community,” the governor wrote. “Unfortunately, and despite the best efforts of the bill’s sponsors, important questions remain about how best to expand the state’s instream flow program without creating injury or cost to downstream users, principally in agriculture.”

The governor directed the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado Water Conservation Board to work with lawmakers on a pilot concept in preparation for the next legislative session that addresses concerns raised by opponents of SB 14-023.

“Making the topic of this legislation an administration priority next year would give us an opportunity to re-engage stakeholders who have concerns about SB 14-023, and build a broader base of support for passage next year,” the governor wrote. “If I am re-elected by Colorado’s voters to a second term, my administration will be committed to pursuing bipartisan resolution of this important issue.”

Click here to read a copy of the governor’s veto letter.

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

Bowing to pressure from agricultural users, Gov. John Hickenlooper this week vetoed a bill that would have encouraged voluntary conservation measures and given incentives for private investment in conservation.

Hickenlooper tried to downplay the veto by saying that he would pursue similar legislation if re-elected, but that’s not nearly enough in a state that is now in a perpetual struggle to find enough water to sustain the economy and a healthy environment. As usual, the environment got the short end of the stick.

From Conservation Colorado:

Governor Hickenlooper today vetoed Senate Bill 14-023 (SB 23), an important water conservation bill crafted over the course of a year in close partnership with diverse water interests, including the Governor’s own water policy experts. SB 23 had support from many rural Coloradans, major water providers, Colorado’s leading conservation organizations and Colorado Water Congress, the state’s leading voice for water policy.

The bill was designed to bring investment to rural western Colorado to incentivize the implementation of irrigation efficiency improvements that would ultimately benefit agricultural operations and Colorado’s rivers and streams. Under the bill’s provisions, ranchers, farmers and other agricultural water users in western Colorado could voluntarily implement irrigation and water efficiency measures and ensure that water they save can benefit Colorado’s rivers without risking abandonment of their water rights or harming other users. The result would have been increased private investment in upgrades to and modernization of irrigation infrastructure, healthier rivers and streams, and more resilient farms and ranches.

“SB 23 was a chance for Colorado to demonstrate leadership among all western states struggling with a limited water supply and the balance between all-important human uses of water and the needs of our rivers and streams,” said Russ Schnitzer, agriculture policy adviser, Trout Unlimited. “This sends a signal that despite the Governor’s expressed commitment to water conservation, he is willing to bow to those who oppose change in any form. With this veto, innovative, common sense water efficiency solutions benefitting Colorado farms and ranches have been cast aside in favor of perpetuating the status quo locked in 19th management concepts. As an organization, we are committed to forging win-win solutions for agriculture and conservation, and SB 23 was just that. For the Governor to veto such a tool after his own water policy experts testified in support and following passage by the General Assembly is baffling and disappointing.”

According to a 2013 Colorado College poll, the vast majority of Coloradans agree that using the state’s existing water resources more efficiently is a priority. In fact, low water levels in rivers is a major concern of Coloradans, second only to unemployment. In addition, water managers agree that Colorado’s growing population is driving an imbalance between water supply and demand, which is jeopardizing the $9 billion recreational economy and Colorado’s natural mountain environment.

“Faced with a dry future and growing water use, Colorado needs innovative, collaborative policies to reverse the imbalance between water supply and demand and the increasing strain on our rivers and streams,” said Pete Maysmith, executive director, Conservation Colorado. “This legislation is precisely the type of collaborative innovative policy Colorado century water needs, so the Governor’s action today is a disappointing set back. Given the opportunity to lead on conservation, the Governor instead chose to enforce the status quo. This flies in the face of his stated commitment to water conservation and ensuring water resources for Colorado’s fish, wildlife and outdoor recreation are protected in the developing state water plan.”

More 2014 Colorado legislation coverage here.

Runoff/snowpack news

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of snowpack data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

From email from Reclamation (Erik Knight):

Aspinall Unit releases were increased this afternoon [June 5] by 1,200 cfs. This release should bring flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon up to around 9,500 cfs. Flows in the Gunnison River at Delta are expected to enter the 13,000 cfs to 13,500 cfs range by tomorrow morning.

From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

Flow in the Big Thompson River has been rather steady the last two days. Inflow peaked this morning around 1090 to Lake Estes. As a result, outflow through Olympus Dam to the canyon stayed closer to 500 cfs.

Today [June 5], it decreased some more, dropping to around 350 cfs. Our models are showing inflows to Lake Estes staying around 1000 cfs through tonight. Consequently, we are anticipating the 350 cfs to stay in place through morning.

From The Denver Post (Corrie Sahling):

Colorado’s wet spring and winter are paying big dividends for the state’s snow pack and reservoirs in northern parts of the state, but southern areas are still below normal, federal officials said Thursday.

The statewide snow pack is almost double that of normal conditions for this time of year — and more than triple in the South Platte basin. Reservoirs are at 95 percent of normal — up from 75 percent last year at this time — and are at about 62 percent of capacity.

Southern river basins, including the San Juan and Upper Rio Grande, are nearly snow-free and have reservoirs that are far below their capacity, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“Normally at this time of year, most of the snow is melted. But we still have a pretty decent snow pack,” said Mage Hulstrand, a USDA hydrologist.

The latest snow pack measurements from the USDA show there is still 20 to 40 percent of the total snowpack remaining in the higher elevations of the Colorado , Yampa , North Platte and South Platte basins.

“If the current wet weather patterns persist into June, the chances for continued high water levels in the streams in these basins are quite good,” the news release said.

The South Platte basin is where the largest percent of snow pack is left — this area includes the Cache la Poudre River, Boulder Creek and the Big Thompson River — where there has already been high water levels and flooding.

The South Platte basin measures at 311 percent of the median snow pack, which is up from 209 percent at this time last year, the release said.

Reservoirs in the South Platte basin are at 113 percent of normal, 114 percent of normal in the Yampa/White basin and 109 percent of normal in the Gunnison basin.

Snow pack is just 39 percent of the median in the Rio Grande basin and is at 59 percent in the San Juan, Animas, Dolores and San Miguel basin, the USDA said. The Arkansas basin is at 132 percent of normal, but reservoirs are at 56 percent of normal. Reservoirs are at 66 percent of normal in the Rio Grande basin.

Colorado: Wrangling continues over Denver Water’s proposed new transmountain diversion, reservoir enlargement

Northern Water sets rates for 2015

From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Ryan Maye Handy):

While the district’s board of directors opted to wait until July to resolve the debate of how to change long-term water rates, the short-term rates for 2015 were fixed. At its monthly meeting, the board voted to raise the cost of water 9 percent for all its customers — from irrigators to cities to industrial users.

Nearly three months ago, the district announced that it needs to change its water rates, or else it will continue to borrow from its financial reserves to stay afloat. It hired Denver-based CH2MHill consulting firm to come up with three suggested changes to its rate structure.

The water in question comes from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, or C-BT, a network of reservoirs on the Western Slope that provides water to Northern Colorado. Like many cities, Fort Collins gets much of its water from the project. The city is equally dependent on water from the C-BT and from the Poudre River.

Northern Water charges for water by the acre foot. Fort Collins Utilities, for instance, owns 18,855 units of project water, 12,803 units of which go for about $28 per acre foot. That cost will likely double when Northern Water rates increase in 2016.

In addition to setting the rates for 2015, the board did agree that the rate structure should shift from being based on users’ ability to a model based on the cost of service. The board was divided, however, on how quickly the rates need to change.

CH2MHill gave the board two options: one is for a gradual increase, the other for a rapid increase that would help the district quickly recover lost revenue. The gradual increase would bump rates by 20 percent and 41 percent for cities and irrigators, respectively. The sharp increase would bump rates by a respective 61 percent and 92 percent.

More Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District coverage here.

#COdrought news

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of drought data from the US Drought Monitor. Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:

Central and south-central Plains

In the dry swath from South Dakota and Minnesota southward through Oklahoma, fairly widespread moderate to heavy rain fell on southeastern, central, and northern sections, Amounts generally topped 2 inches, with patches of 4 to 7 inch totals reported in southeast South Dakota and adjacent Minnesota, from east-central through northeastern Oklahoma and adjacent Kansas, and on the eastern tier of the Nebraska Peninsula. Spotty amounts over 2 inches were also reported in the Oklahoma Panhandle and southwestern Kansas, but otherwise, light precipitation at best fell from western Kansas and southeastern Colorado southeastward through roughly the southwestern half of Oklahoma, including most areas along the Red River.

The broken pattern of precipitation made it difficult to justify large-scale improvements, but dryness in several areas eased up one category, specifically most of the areas that received over 4 inches of rain, and parts of the region from southeastern Nebraska southward into northwestern Kansas.

In contrast, light precipitation of late in central and most of southern Oklahoma, including less than half of normal for the last 30 days in central and south-central Oklahoma, has pushed 90-day moisture deficits into the 4 to 8 inch range, prompting a significant eastward expansion of D1 to D3 conditions, most notably right along the Red River.

Winter wheat continued to suffer in the region, and prospects for improvement look bleak. NASS reported 62% of the crop in Kansas and 78% in Oklahoma was in poor or very poor condition. Nationally, 44% of the crop in the primary growing areas are in poor or very poor condition. Both the topsoil and subsoil are substantially short of moisture in many areas across the central Plains. Deficient topsoil moisture covers 55% of Nebraska, 60% of Kansas, and 68% of Oklahoma. Insufficient subsoil moisture is even more widespread, covering 75%, 75%, and 84% of these states, respectively.

In parts of the central and south-central Plains, the impact designation was changed to “L” (primarily long-term) from “SL” (both long- and short-term). As a basic rule, areas with surpluses going as far back as 90 days were designated “L.”

Texas and adjacent southern Plains

It was a wet week across eastern Texas and the northeastern half of the Texas Gulf Coast and adjacent Louisiana. Rainfall totals exceeded 2 inches throughout this region, and were much greater in some areas. Totals of 4 to locally over 8 inches were measured in a large part of southwestern Louisiana away from the immediate coast, and amounts of 3 to 7 inches, with isolated higher amounts, were common along the immediate Texas Gulf Coast. The Drought Monitor classification was improved in most areas receiving over 3 inches of rain, with small areas of 2-category improvement introduced where the heaviest rains fell in southwestern Louisiana.

In stark contrast, most of the central and western two-thirds of Texas was dry, with only scattered reports of a few tenths of an inch of rain at best. However, significant rainfall deficits on the 90-day time scale are limited to parts of western and northern Texas due to the heavy rain that fell on a large part of the interior last week. Fairly broad swaths of Texas were reclassified as “L” rather than “SL” as a result.

There were some new assessment tools available for Texas this week, and based on a substantial amount of added information, almost the entire state was redrawn, though Drought Monitor change was limited to 1 category in most of the state. Exceptions included some of the wet areas in the east, and a re-evaluated area in west-central Texas which has received significantly more relief than has been previously indicated.

Despite recent rains in some areas, crops continue to struggle and soil moisture shortages cover a large proportion of the state, subsoil moisture more so than topsoil. Last week, 64% of Texas winter wheat was in poor or very poor conditions, as were 33% of Texas oats. Deficient topsoil covers more than half the state (53%), and short subsoil moisture is even more widespread (62%).

The New Mexico Rockies, Intermountain West, and West Coast

In the dry areas from the eastern Rockies westward to the Pacific Ocean, measurable rain was limited to parts of the southeastern Rockies, western Oregon, and western and northern Washington. However, normal precipitation is relatively low in most of this region, thus deficits grow slowly, and drought intensifies in like fashion. The dry week kept short-term precipitation amounts low through most of the region (though not markedly below normal in many areas), with 30-day totals under 0.25 inch reported in much of central and east Washington and Oregon, and from southern Idaho and the Oregon/California border southeastward through the desert Southwest, the lower elevations of Utah, Arizona, and the western half of New Mexico.

Light precipitation and low normals mean little change moisture shortages and , analogously, in the Drought Monitor. D0 was pulled away from part of central Colorado where 1.5 to 3.5 inches of rain fell in the last 30 days, and there was D1 elimination and some D0 reduction in northwestern most Oregon and adjacent Washington.

Looking Ahead

Moderate to very heavy rain is expected across large parts of the dry areas in the central and south-central Plains, the Tennessee Valley, and the southern Appalachians during June 5 – 9, 2014. Generally 1.5 to 3.5 inches are forecast across the entire dry area from north Mississippi and west Tennessee eastward through the southern Appalachians. Farther west, precipitation may be heavier and even more widespread. Amounts near or over 2 inches are anticipated from western Nebraska, Kansas, southern Iowa, Missouri, and western Illinois southward through the northern half of Arkansas, almost all of Oklahoma, and the north-central and eastern Panhandle portions of Texas. The heaviest amounts, ranging from 3.0 to 5.5 inches, are expected in the southwestern half of Missouri, central and eastern Kansas, central and northeastern Oklahoma, and adjacent Arkansas. Elsewhere, the forecast is for 0.5 to 1.5 inch of rain in south Florida and south-central Virginia, plus most of the High Plains, northern Great Plains, upper Midwest, southern Arkansas, central and northeast Texas, and the west half of the Texas Panhandle. South of this area, anywhere from a few hundredths of an inch to near 0.5 inch is forecast in west-central, southern, and eastern Texas as well as Louisiana and southern Mississippi, with amounts expected to decrease going southward to the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico. In sharp contrast, areas from the eastern Rockies westward to the Pacific Ocean are likely to get no measurable rainfall.

The ensuing 5 days (June 10 – 14, 2014) features enhanced chances for above-normal rainfall across the dry area in the southern Appalachians, Tennessee Valley, and upper Southeast once again. The odds also favor surplus rainfall in the lower Mississippi Valley, east Texas, and from eastern Nebraska and most of Iowa northward through the dry areas in the northern Plains. On the other hand, most of the High Plains, the southwestern Great Plains, the eastern tier of the Rockies, central and northern Utah, the northern half of the Intermountain West, central and northern California, and all but the northernmost tier of the Pacific Northwest seem more likely to end up drier than normal for the period. Across the D0 area in Alaska, the odds don’t favor unusually wet or dry weather along the south-central coast, but odds lean toward above-normal precipitation in the rest of that region.

NRCS: Snowmelt in Full Swing across the State


Here’s the release from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (Mage Hultstrand):

According to the latest snowpack measurements conducted by the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the statewide snowpack is melting rapidly thanks to recent warm temperatures. The southern river basins, the Upper Rio Grande, and the combined San Juan, Animas, Dolores & San Miguel, are very close to being snow free. The snowpack in the remaining basins is becoming surface runoff very quickly as well. But with large amounts of snow accumulated this winter in basins such as, the Colorado, the Yampa, the North Platte and the South Platte, 20 to 40 percent of the total snowpack remains in the higher elevations. If the current wet weather patterns persist into June, the chances for continued high water levels in the streams in these basins are quite good.

Reservoir storage in the state is currently at 95 percent of normal and 62 percent of capacity. Again the southern basins report the lowest storage totals statewide while the northern basins are reporting near to above normal totals. The northern basins will have every opportunity this spring and summer to add significantly to their reservoir storage…