#COWaterPlan: The latest issue of “Colorado Water” is hot off the presses from the #Colorado Water Institute

McInnis Canyon National Recreation Area via the BLM
McInnis Canyon National Recreation Area via the BLM

From the Colorado Water Institute:

Director’s Letter (Reagan Waskom):

The release of the Colorado Water Plan ushers in a new era in our water management, where environmental and recreational values are given the same sense of urgency as traditional water development. As communities look for ways to get involved in Water Plan implementation at the local
level, Stream Management Plans (SMPs) are an excellent place to get started.

The concept of the SMPs is still new, with only a few communities having completed or in the process of working on their plans. So, there is plenty for everyone to learn, and the existing plans that are featured in this issue of Colorado Water provide inspiring models for how the plans can
go beyond previous efforts and help to bring communities together.

The Colorado Water Plan highlighted the need for SMPs as a tool to protect watershed health, the environment, and recreation in Colorado. It stated an ambitious goal to “cover 80 percent of the locally prioritized lists of rivers with SMPs by…2030.” SMPs are stakeholder-driven management plans that shepherd environmental and recreational goals and values into actionable projects aimed at “maintaining or improving flow regimes and other physical conditions,” for localized environmental and recreational water uses. Per the Water Plan, SMPs “can provide a framework [to basin roundtables, local stakeholders, and decision makers] for decision making and project implementation.” This special issue of the Colorado Water newsletter is intended to serve as an initial resource guide with topics including an overview of what SMPs are, the steps of the process, available tools, and shared lessons learned from select case studies around the state. The case studies here, alongside others we were unable to include, provide a foundation of water management collaborations that have involved professionals and committed staff who are working on similar issues in every major river basin. Special thanks goes to CSU alumna Claudia Browne from Biohabitats for spearheading.

Two workshops supported by the Colorado Water Conservation Board provided forums for many of the contributors to gather and share these resources in August and October 2016. Workshop presenters included: representatives from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Colorado Water Trust, Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, Open Water Foundation, American Rivers, CSU, the City of Steamboat, and consultants, among others. Bridging the gap between academia and practitioners, CSU students, faculty, alumni, and partners are bringing integrated science, engineering, and social tools to the table. The process should yield better outcomes for Colorado’s streams and rivers as SMPs are implemented.

SMPs are one part of the many approaches outlined in the Colorado Water Plan to secure future water supplies while protecting the environmental, social, and economic values held by Colorado citizens. The academic and research community has an important role in bringing objective science and education to the implementation process for the Water Plan. As the SMP process evolves, there will be room for many more creative minds and voices to help shape the future of wise water management for both humans and the environment.

Rocky Mountain Climate Organization releases reports on projected climate extremes September 22, 2016

The figure above shows how the number of days 95° or hotter in the Denver metro area could go from an average of 5 per year late in the last century to 77 per year late in this century. For future periods, the figure shows the range of the middle 80 percent of projections from multiple climate models (the checkered portions of the columns) and the medians (the numerals), for four possible levels of future heat-trapping emissions. Graphic via the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.
The figure above shows how the number of days 95° or hotter in the Denver metro area could go from an average of 5 per year late in the last century to 77 per year late in this century. For future periods, the figure shows the range of the middle 80 percent of projections from multiple climate models (the checkered portions of the columns) and the medians (the numerals), for four possible levels of future heat-trapping emissions. Graphic via the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.

Here’s the release from RMCO:

The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization released two parallel reports on projected climate extremes, one covering Boulder County and the other Larimer County, both in Colorado. RMCO also released the results from the first phase of a similar analysis covering the entire Denver metro area.

The analyses show what could be an astonishing transformation of Colorado’s climate. With a continuation of current trends in heat-trapping emissions, by the middle of the century Denver could average 35 days a year 95 degrees or hotter. Boulder could average 38, and Fort Collins 24. By late in the century, Denver could average 77 days that hot, Boulder could average 75, and Fort Collins could average 58.

“This information shows why we need preparedness actions to address the impacts we could face, not only wildfires and possibly more floods but also more heat waves that can threaten people’s health and even lives,” Saunders said. “It also powerfully illustrates how important it is to reduce future emissions to keep the extent of climate change within manageable limits.”

The reports covering Boulder County and Larimer County were funded by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, to help those counties become more resilient in the face of climate change’s impacts on future disasters including wildfires and floods. The Denver analysis is funded by the City and County of Denver’s Department of Environmental Health.

Hutchins Water Center Upper #ColoradoRiver Water Forum, November 2-3, 2016 #COriver


Click here for all the inside skinny and register.

What different types of aerial photographs are available through the USGS?

Landsat view of Colorado via the USGS.
Landsat view of Colorado via the USGS.

Here’s the FAQ page from the United States Geological Survey. Here’s an excerpt:

What different types of aerial photographs are available through the USGS?

The aerial photographs date as far back as the 1940’s for the United States and its territories. Availability of specific coverage, film type, and acquisition dates vary from agency to agency.

The Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS) in Sioux Falls, SD has digitized over 6.4 million frames of aerial film creating medium-resolution digital images (400 dpi) and associated browse images for online viewing. Products can be downloaded at no cost through EarthExplorer or GloVis. Several kinds of aerial photos are available.

  • CIR (color infrared) film, originally referred to as camouflage-detection film, differs from conventional color film because its emulsion layers are sensitive to green, red, and near-infrared radiation (0.5 micrometers to 0.9 micrometers). Used with a yellow filter to absorb the blue light, this film provides sharp images and penetrates haze at high altitudes. Color infrared film also is referred to as false-color film.
  • Black-and-white panchromatic (B/W) film primarily consists of a black-and-white negative material with a sensitivity range comparable to that of the human eye. It has good contrast and resolution with low graininess and a wide exposure range.
  • .

  • Black-and-white infrared (BIR) film, with some exceptions, is sensitive to the spectral region encompassing 0.4 micrometers to 0.9 micrometers. It is sometimes referred to as near-infrared film because it utilizes only a narrow portion of the total infrared spectrum (0.7 micrometers to 0.9 micrometers).
  • Natural color (also referred to as conventional or normal color) film contains three emulsion layers which are sensitive to blue, green, and red (the three primary colors of the visible spectrum). This film replicates colors as seen by the human eye.
  • Photographic reproduction of images from the USGS film archives ceased on September 3, 2004. For those who specifically need paper or film products, there is a list of USGS Business Partners who provide aerial photographic research and image printing services.

    Learn more:

    Maps, Imagery, and Publications

    National Aerial Photography Provgram

    National High Altitude Photography Program
    EROS (Find Data)

    LandsatLook Viewer

    Earth Observing-1 (EO-1)

    USGS study shows that extreme rainstorms are critical for groundwater recharge in the West

    Summit County Citizens Voice

    ‘Without them, groundwater resources become depleted’

    Raindrops ... @bberwyn photo. Raindrops … @bberwyn photo.

    Staff Report

    Extreme precipitation events that cause severe flooding, loss of life and property damage aren’t exactly at the top of the weather wish list for most people. But it turns out they play a key role in replenishing underground aquifers in the western U.S.

    The importance of groundwater will continue to grow in the years ahead — an era of population growth and climate disruption, so understanding the connection between big storms and groundwater recharge is critical, according to U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation scientists who have released a new study analyzing large, multi-year, quasi-decadal groundwater recharge events in the northern Utah portion of the Great Basin from 1960 to 2013.

    They evaluated groundwater levels and climate information and identified five large recharge events with a frequency of about 11 to 13 years. Findings show these events…

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    5 DIY fall landscape tips that will save you money

    Mile High Water Talk

    Thwart costly repairs and upgrades next year with this prewinter checklist

    By Travis Thompson

    Remember when you were paid to do chores as a kid? Well, we found a way to make those jobs profitable again.

    Follow this easy do-it-yourself checklist to avoid costly landscape and irrigation system repairs next spring, and put the money you saved back into the bank:

    John Gebhart, Denver Water Conservation technician, showed 9News viewers how to protect exposed outdoor pipes and nozzles from freezing this winter. John Gebhart, Denver Water Conservation specialist, showed 9News viewers how to protect exposed outdoor pipes and nozzles from freezing this winter.

    Winterize: In 2015, Denver Water techs discovered about 80 homes with an irrigation system leak, and about half of those leaks occurred in September and October — when the nightly temperatures started to drop.

    Don’t become a statistic. With freeze season underway, winterize your irrigation system now to prevent costly damage caused by frozen water left in pipes. Here are some tips from Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

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    Fraser Flats gets ready for environmental makeover

    Mile High Water Talk

    Grand County project aims to bring more bugs, bigger trout and better fishing to a stretch of the Fraser River.

    By Jay Adams

    A stretch of the Fraser River in Grand County is on tap for a makeover. It’s a $200,000 environmental endeavor that marks the first river restoration project led by Learning By Doing — a partnership between East and West Slope water stakeholders aimed at restoring, enhancing and improving the rivers and streams of Grand County.

    On Sept. 27, members of the Learning By Doing team toured a 0.9-mile section of the river north of the town of Fraser where the restoration project will take place.

    The Learning By Doing team included representatives from Trout Unlimited, Grand County, Denver Water and the Colorado River District.

    During the kick-off gathering, the group reviewed plans to rehabilitate the river with Freestone Aquatics — a fisheries consulting company…

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