2017 AWRA Colorado Section Annual Symposium @AWRACO #AWRACO2017

I don’t have time to write up yesterday’s symposium — I’m heading to downtown Denver for the People’s Climate March.

Here’s the link to my Twitter notes. Be sure to click on the “Latest” tab to view the whole stream.

Everyone that I talked to praised the program afterward. Thanks to Laurna Kaatz and the rest of the volunteers that pulled it off.

Good luck to Dick Wolfe. He is moving on from State Engineer after 10 years. I’ll miss our conversations about the great rock and roll stars we both admired.

Photo: The commissioners of the Republican River Compact Administration sign the long-term resolutions on August 24: (from left) Commissioner David Barfield, Chief Engineer, Kansas Department of Agriculture; Commissioner Dick Wolfe, State Engineer, Colorado Division of Water Resources; Commissioner Jeff Fassett, Director of Nebraska’s Department of Natural Resources. Photo credit Governor Hickenlooper’s office.

Watershed: It’s not a building for storing water – News on TAP

Denver Water celebrates Arbor Day with a tribute to Mother Nature’s own water filtration process.

Source: Watershed: It’s not a building for storing water – News on TAP

@COHighLineCanal: High Line Canal Community Vision Plan reveal Today

Celebration and tree planting acknowledge multi-jurisdictional
endorsement and launch membership program

Who: District 4 Councilwoman Kendra Black, Denver; Nina Beardsley Itin, High Line Canal Conservancy Board Chair; Chris Castilian, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Executive Director; and Jim Lochhead, Denver Water CEO.

What: A press conference with Jim Lochhead and other dignitaries marks the completion of the first phase of planning for the High Line Canal – a critical first step to ensuring a vibrant future for the 71-mile recreational and ecological corridor. The vision has been endorsed by Denver Water and all 10 jurisdictions along the Canal’s reach – Arapahoe County, City of Aurora, City of Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, Greenwood Village, High Line Canal Conservancy, Highlands Ranch Metro District, City of Littleton, South Suburban Parks and Recreation District.

Following the press conference, Jim Lochhead, along with key elected officials, will plant a tree and reveal a stone engraved with the community-driven vision statement to be placed along the Canal.

Anyone can participate throughout the event on social media by following @COHighLineCanal and using the hashtag #71Miles.

Where: Mamie D Eisenhower Park (east end) and High Line Canal, 4300 Dartmouth Ave, Denver, CO 80222

When: Friday, April 28, 2017
9:30 am – 9:50: Press conference
9:50 am: Stone reveal and tree planting
10:00 am: Celebration

Why: Tackling the challenges of a growing region requires different ways of thinking, increased collaboration and new types of partnerships. The Community Vision Plan for the High Line Canal represents a model of regional cooperation – led by an effective partnership between the High Line Canal Conservancy, Denver Water and representatives from every jurisdiction actively and eagerly “at the table.” Thousands of community members actively participated in the writing of the Vision Plan, helping to shape the next 100 years for the beloved regional greenway.

While the vision planning initiative was the public’s first real opportunity to engage with planning for the future of the Canal, the community’s voice and support moving forward is arguably even more important. The event will mark the soft launch of the High Line Canal Conservancy’s membership drive, an important next step for the public’s engagement.
BE A HIGH LINE HERO. Joinhighlinecanal.org


The High Line Canal Conservancy was formed in 2014 by a passionate coalition of private citizens to provide leadership and harness the region’s commitment to protecting the future of the High Line Canal. With support from each jurisdiction and in partnership with Denver Water, the Conservancy is connecting stakeholders in support of comprehensive planning to ensure that the Canal is protected and enhanced for future generations. The Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.

Learn more about the Conservancy and planning initiative here: highlinecanal.org

Aspen councillors still set to dam Castle and Maroon creeks in the future


From The Aspen Times (Rick Carroll):

An Aspen city councilman said this week he erred by voting in favor of potentially damming Castle and Maroon creeks, but he failed to persuade his fellow elected officials to rescind their unanimous decision from October.

Bert Myrin conceded that it was “my mistake” when he voted in favor of the city’s pursuit of preserving its water rights on the two pristine streams.

Myrin’s proposal, which was not on the council’s Monday meeting agenda and had not been formally noticed to the public, came eight days before the May 2 municipal elections.

Council members Art Daily and Ann Mullins are up for re-election and face four challengers. Mayor Steve Skadron is seeking re-election to his third and final two-year term. Lee Mulcahy is the challenger.

The dam issue has been one of the hot-button issues of the election season.

Candidates Ward Hauenstein and Torre, both of whom have Myrin’s public support, have been vocal in their opposition against the city preserving its water rights, as has Mulcahy. Council candidate Skippy Mesirow has expressed a desire to preserve the water rights but not dam the streams. And at a candidate forum last week, candidate Sue Tatem vowed to lay down in front of a bulldozer if and when construction on the reservoirs ever begins.

Others, however, have argued that candidates are capitalizing on an issue that has been overblown because the city has regularly extended its water rights for the two streams since 1971.

Those conditional water rights allow the potential for building a 9,062-acre-foot reservoir in Castle Creek Valley and 4,567-square-foot reservoir in Maroon Creek Valley.

The issue is now pending before the District 5 Water Court in Glenwood Springs, where several parties, including Pitkin County, have filed opposition to the city’s extension.

Elected officials and city officials also have maintained they must renew the water rights in preparation for 50 years from now when Aspen’s population could be nearly triple what it is today, as well as climate change’s impact on the water supply. Maroon and Castle creeks supply the city’s drinking water.

Motorized boats banned from Lemon Reservoir to combat invasive species #coleg

Lemon Dam, Florida River

From The Durango Herald (Jonathan Romeo):

On Thursday, the U.S. Forest Service announced the ban of motorized boats on Lemon Reservoir, which joins two other Southwest Colorado lakes – Totten and Narraguinnep – that were closed this year because of the threat of invasive species…

While some Southwest Colorado lakes offer a boat inspection, the Forest Service said the resources are unavailable to fund and staff an aquatic nuisance species inspection station at Lemon Reservoir.

Motorized boats in recent years have become significant transmitters of invasive species – such as the New Zealand mud snail, Asian carp and rusty crayfish, among other plants and animals – into uninfected waters.

But the main culprits, microscopic zebra and quagga mussels, can quickly infest a waterway, clog reservoir infrastructure and endanger other aquatic life. Costs to treat an infestation, the Forest Service said, are expensive.

According to the Forest Service, the decision to close Lemon Reservoir to motorized boat use was made after local irrigators, recreationists, the Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, La Plata County commissioners and the city of Durango showed significant support…

The city of Durango pulls its main water supply from the Florida River, out of a reservoir downstream of Lemon Dam. If mussels were introduced into Lemon Reservoir, it wouldn’t take long for the city to feel the impact, Salka said…

According to the water district’s website, releases from Lemon Dam, about 14 miles northeast of Durango, provide irrigation water for nearly 19,500 acres.

The Forest Service said a barrier and sign will be installed at the Miller Creek boat ramp, and the closure will be enforced by the agency seven days a week.

Invasive aquatic species, and finding the money for inspections, are increasingly becoming a problem in Southwest Colorado.

At Vallecito Reservoir, a popular boating and fishing destination 20 miles northeast of Durango, the boating season this summer was in jeopardy when Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it was unable to fund an inspection station…

As a result, businesses and community members dependent on the tourism dollars generated from lake users raised $10,500 to help cover operating costs for the inspection station, Beck said.

The effort was set to raise more, Beck said, when CPW last week said it could cover the remaining $43,500 needed to fund a full season of operation, which starts May 1.

Beck added that managers were forced to close boat access on the north end of the Vallecito Lake after several incidents where people illegally put their boats into the reservoir.

Beck said launching a boat illegally could result in a $75 fine, but the agency has “tried not to bite down that way.”


He said CPW proposed a bill in the state Legislature this year that would require boaters to purchase a $25 aquatic nuisance species sticker that would fund an inspection station program throughout the state.

Photo gallery: Greeley Children’s Water Festival “Water is Life”

Joshua Polson/jpolson@greeleytribune.com | The Greeley Tribune

From The Greeley Tribune (Joshua Polson):

Colton Lancaster, 10, tries to stay dry as he stands in a rain simulator Wednesday at the 26th Children’s Water Festival at Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley.

The annual event hosted students from schools from across the state to learn about water in Colorado.

This year’s theme was “Water is Life,” and it looked at how water is essential for life everywhere.

The event creates lasting lessons, said Kathy Parker, public information and education officer for the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District.

“It makes the learning experience so memorable they’ll never forget what they learned today,” she said.