There are 44 transbasin diversions in Colorado that move water between river basins. Tour some with CFWE! #ColoradoRiver

2014-15 State of the Rockies Project

stateoftherockies2014to2015
Click here to go to the project website.

Click here for information on the first speakers series event. Here’s an excerpt:

“Sharing Water: What an Environmental Experiment in Mexico can Teach us About the Future of the Colorado River”, Monday, September 8, 2014, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The first event of the 2014-15 State of the Rockies Speakers Series will feature journalist and author John Fleck. Fleck’s writing centers on water issues in the Southwest and the multitude of issues associated with the Colorado River Basin. His talk will focus on the recent work to reconnect the Colorado River with the Sea of Cortez, and the foundation for collaboration that has been laid for the future. Fleck’s blog can be found here: http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/.

More education coverage here.

USGS: Analysis of Water Quality in the Blue River Watershed, Colorado, 1984 through 2007

Blue River
Blue River

Here’s the release from the United States Geological Service (Nancy J. Bauch, Lisa D. Miller, and Sharon Yacob):

Water quality of streams, reservoirs, and groundwater in the Blue River watershed in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado has been affected by local geologic conditions, historical hard-rock metal mining, and recent urban development. With these considerations, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Summit Water Quality Committee, conducted a study to compile historical water-quality data and assess water-quality conditions in the watershed. To assess water-quality conditions, stream data were primarily analyzed from October 1995 through December 2006, groundwater data from May 1996 through September 2004, and reservoir data from May 1984 through November 2007. Stream data for the Snake River, upper Blue River, and Tenmile Creek subwatersheds upstream from Dillon Reservoir and the lower Blue River watershed downstream from Dillon Reservoir were analyzed separately. (The complete abstract is provided in the report)

Click here to read the report.

More USGS coverage here.

Colorado communities get $545,000 in federal economic aid — Denver Business Journal #COflood

Plume of subtropical moisture streaming into Colorado September 2013 via Weather5280
Plume of subtropical moisture streaming into Colorado September 2013 via Weather5280

From the Denver Business Journal (Cathy Proctor):

Colorado’s rural communities have received $545,000 in federal grants from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.

The money is going to:

  • Estes Park, to help the community recover from the devastating September 2013 floods;
  • and Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning (LEAP) of Montrose, to help the agency figure out the best way to assist the economic recovery of Delta and Gunnison counties after the closure of the Oxbow Elk Creek coal mine in December 2013.
  • Estes Park received a $300,000 grant to develop a strategy to diversify the regional economy and keep jobs after the 2013 floods. One key component of this grant will be developing a specific plan to make use of Estes Park’s existing fiber optic ring to deliver improved broadband services to the Town and region, according to the commerce department…

    The other grant, for $245,000, will help the Region 10 LEAP develop an in-depth, data-driven analysis to help set priorities to create a more diverse economy, the commerce department said.

    More on #AMI deployment & customer engagement with Allison Kastama, Heather Pohl — Water Values podcast

    Flagstaff: Adaptive Management Work Group to Meet in Flagstaff, Ariz., on #ColoradoRiver Topics — August 27 – 28

    Colorado River Basin including out of basin demands -- Graphic/USBR
    Colorado River Basin including out of basin demands — Graphic/USBR

    Here’s the release from the US Bureau of Reclamation:

    The Bureau of Reclamation announced that the Adaptive Management Work Group will meet on August 27 – 28, 2014 in Flagstaff, Ariz., to address topics related to the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program. The AMWG committee provides a forum for discussion of topics related to the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and ongoing monitoring of resource conditions downstream of the dam.
    A number of agenda items will be covered during the two-day meeting including current Upper Colorado River Basin hydrology and Glen Canyon Dam operations; the Water Year 2015 hydrograph; science updates on food-base studies, status of humpback chub and trout and new insights on trout-chub dynamics, and the changing substrate of the Colorado River; 2015-2017 budget and work plan items; new information on razorback sucker in western Grand Canyon; and the status of the Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement including draft alternatives, process, and current schedule.

    The AMWG is a federal advisory committee appointed by the Secretary of the Interior with representatives from federal agencies, Colorado River Basin states, Native American Tribal governments, environmental groups, recreation interests, and contractors for federal power from Glen Canyon Dam. The Secretary receives recommendations on how to best protect downstream resources and balance river operations through the varied stakeholder interests represented by the AMWG.

    The meeting will be held at the Little America Hotel, Ballroom B, 2515 East Butler Avenue, Flagstaff, Ariz. The meeting will begin on August 27, at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will run from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on August 28.

    More Colorado River Basin coverage here.

    Grand Junction: The Colorado River District Annual Seminar is September 19 #ColoradoRiver

    coloradoriverdistrictannualseminarpage109192014

    Click here for the registration form.

    For more info please contact: Meredith Spyker, 970-945-8522, ext. 221, mspyker@crwcd.org

    More Colorado River Water Conservancy District coverage here.

    Eagle River Valley: Streamflow above average — thanks North American Monsoon #COdrought

    Eagle River Basin
    Eagle River Basin

    From the Vail Daily (Melanie Wong):

    For the first time in more than 110 weeks, according to the Colorado Climate Center, none of the state is in “exceptional drought,” the direst level of drought, which has only been seen once or twice every 100 years.

    “They are not out of the woods in southeast Colorado yet,” said Wendy Ryan, assistant state climatologist. “They have a long road to recovery after four years of drought. These are the first real rains they have seen in some time.”[…]

    It’s been a good summer for the area’s waterways, as far as river levels go. So good, in fact, that the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District hasn’t had to make changes to its water operations in order to keep stream levels up.

    The water district’s Diane Johnson said that in previous years, a combination of dry skies and hot temperatures have forced the district to pull the area’s drinking water from different parts of the river in order to maintain the minimum stream-flow levers.

    “A benchmark for us is that both the Eagle River and Gore Creek have been above the median for the whole season, which is great,” Johnson said. “Once it peaked, it’s stayed above the norm, which is good for fishing and boating.”[…]

    Experts are calling the current wet cycle “monsoon” conditions, which they say is helping to alleviate the dry conditions that racked the state last year. In fact, statewide, precipitation was at 112 percent of average, and so far in August totals are 90 percent of the average.

    Cortez Sanitation District gives some businesses a break on rates

    Cortez early 1900s via Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
    Cortez early 1900s via Crow Canyon Archaeological Center

    From the Cortez Journal (Tobie Baker):

    The Cortez Sanitation District will provide temporary relief to dozens of local businesses that saw sewer rates spike 100 percent or more this year…

    The CSD resolution states it is “fair, equitable and in the public interest to limit any rate increase to 100 percent in any one calendar year.” Teresa Wlodyka, owner of the Tomahawk Lodge on South Broadway, is among 54 customers to be impacted by the resolution. Rate changes should be reflected in September bills…

    CSD manager Tim Krebs said the adjusted rates could remain in effect for 12 months.

    “The board can adjust rates at any time,” said Krebs. “We just wanted to give some relief to those who were affected above 100 percent.”

    The resolution also states “rates being adjusted down are subject to up to another 100 percent per calendar year until their rates meet the current SFE schedule.” Krebs said that if a customer’s previous bill, for example, was $100 per month, the stipulation allows the board to increase the bill to $200 per month next year and even up to $400 per month the following year.

    “The rates need to eventually meet the same rate schedule everyone else is being billed from,” said Krebs.

    Approved by a 3-1 margin, the resolution is forecast to cost the district $68,589, but save business owners $56,628 and public entities $11,961. Board member John Stramel voted against the measure. Board member John Candelaria was absent from the public hearing.

    More infrastructure coverage here.