Snowmass approves tax increase for sewer plant overhaul — The Aspen Times

Wastewater Treatment Process
Wastewater Treatment Process

From The Aspen Times:

Snowmass Village water district residents approved a tax increase to pay for a new wastewater treatment plant Tuesday.

Four hundred twenty-eight residents voted in favor of the mill levy increase that will cover the almost $20 million cost of the project, according to unofficial results from Tuesday’s election.

The increase means property owners in the district will pay an additional $1.89 per $100,000 of assessed property value each month. The water district is required to overhaul its wastewater treatment facility in order to comply with new standards handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Sixty-nine residents voted against ballot measure 5A. All residents of the district, including rental tenants, who are registered to vote could participate in the election as well as any property owners or their spouses who are registered to vote in the state of Colorado.

Snowmass Villagers also elected Shawn Gleason and David Spence to fill two vacancies on the district’s board.

Colorado Water Trust: RiverBank 2016 – 15th Anniversary Celebration, June 14, Denver Botanic Gardens

Click here for all the inside skinny.


Denver: 20th Annual WateReuse Research Conference, May 22-24

Denver photo via Allen Best
Denver photo via Allen Best

From the Water Reuse Foundation website:

The latest research focused on helping communities develop resilient water supplies will be presented at the 20th Annual WateReuse Research Conference in Denver, CO on May 22-24, 2016. The Research Conference provides a unique opportunity for water professionals and researchers to interact, network, and discuss current research and future trends. This solutions focused event will provide water professionals and industry with tools to address water scarcity and sustainability challenges.

Click here to register.

Weekly Climate, Water and #Drought Assessment of the Upper #ColoradoRiver Basin #COriver

Upper Colorado River Basin April 2016 precipitation as a percent of normal.
Upper Colorado River Basin April 2016 precipitation as a percent of normal.

Click here to read the current assessment. Click here to go to the NIDIS website hosted by the Colorado Climate Center.

West Drought Monitor April 26, 2016.
West Drought Monitor April 26, 2016.

How did they flush the toilet on the Death Star?

Mile High Water Talk

And four other water questions to ponder about Luke, Chewbacca and the gang.

Yoda meme Yoda credit: cmiper, Flickr Creative Commons

By Steve Snyder and Jay Adams

It’s May 4, also known in some circles as Star Wars Day. (“May the Fourth Be With You.” Get it?)

And as “Star Wars” geeks ourselves, we hope that fans of the iconic films will appreciate our tribute, which comes, as you would expect, with a water twist.

While you may not realize it, the films explore some fascinating water issues. Many planets were covered with it, and several species evolved in it.

With that in mind, we present our top five burning questions (and answers) about water a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

  1. Is the water connection in “Star Wars” really that strong? Yep. When we meet one of the franchise’s greatest heroes, he is working in the water…

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Running Water, Together

Your Water Colorado Blog

Jerry Gallegos unloading hay to feed cattle Jerry Gallegos feeds his cows an alfalfa mix that he grows with water from the San Luis People’s Ditch. 

From a centuries-old “gentle art” to a modern form of water collective, these irrigators function almost like family.

By Steve Knopper, excerpts from an originally published piece in the Winter 2016 issue of Headwaters magazine

Every March, in the tiny southern Colorado town of San Luis, some 25 representatives from 62 family farms attend a meeting at the old courthouse. They get down to business quickly—no refreshments or snacks.

First, they appoint a mayordomo, an irrigation expert who plots out a strict watering schedule for 1,062 acres of farmland along the San Luis People’s Ditch. The mayordomo spends the summer making sure all the farmers on the ditch get their fair share of water, and fixes problems with flooding by contacting a platoon of neighbors who come out with their shovels…

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#ColoradoRiver: Bonytails reproducing in the wild — #Utah DWR #COriver

Wild bonytail chub
Wild bonytail chub

From the Utah Division of Wildlife via The Deseret News:

For the first time since work to recover bonytail started in the 1980s, they’re raising their own young in the wild, officials with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources say.

Bonytail are the rarest of the endangered fish that live in the upper Colorado River system.

“This finding represents a major step forward in recovering the species and ultimately getting it removed from the federal endangered species list,” Krissy Wilson, native aquatic species coordinator for the DWR, said in a statement.

In spring 2015, researchers with the DWR found adult bonytail in Stewart Lake near Jensen. The lake is a managed floodplain that’s connected to the Green River. When the floodplain was later drained in the fall, the researchers found 19 young-of-the-year native chub.

As the researchers analyzed their data, they expected the young-of-the-year chubs to be roundtail chubs. But they realized the size of the chubs did not fit with the timing of when the roundtail chubs would have spawned.

“That’s when the researchers got excited,” Wilson said. “Were the specimens they were examining the first documented evidence of bonytail reproducing in the wild?”

The researchers sent the preserved specimens to the Larval Fish Laboratory at Colorado State University. There, scale and body measurement analysis was done. Next, the specimens were sent for genetic testing. Both analyses confirmed what the UDWR researchers were hoping: the specimens were bonytail.

Wilson says the last wild adult bonytail were collected in the late 1990s. Since then, bonytail have been reared at the DWR’s Wahweap State Fish Hatchery at Lake Powell. The bonytail are reared to 12 inches long before being stocked in the upper Colorado River system.

Wilson says for the past four years, the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and its partner, the Bureau of Reclamation, have coordinated spring releases from Flaming Gorge Dam to connect floodplain habitats along the Green River near Jensen. Connecting the floodplains provides important nursery habitat for the endangered Colorado River fish.

“So far,” Wilson says, “razorback sucker is the species that’s benefitted most from the releases. It’s exciting to see that the releases are also benefitting bonytail.”

Along with bonytail and razorback sucker, humpback chub and Colorado pikeminnow are the four fish the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program is working to recover. More information about the program and its work is available at

Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program
Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program