Your Canal. Your Community. Your Vision — @COHighLineCanal

From the Highline Canal folks:

In 2016, the Conservancy led an unprecedented community outreach effort in which thousands participated in the writing of the High Line Canal Vision. This vision passionately states that the High Line Canal’s 71 meandering miles will be preserved and enhanced as a cherished greenway that connects

2nd Annual Conference on Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watersheds

This image was taken during the peak outflow from the Gold King Mine spill at 10:57 a.m. Aug. 5. The waste-rock dump can be seen eroding on the right. Federal investigators placed blame for the blowout squarely on engineering errors made by the Environmental Protection Agency’s-contracted company in a 132-page report released Thursday [October 22, 2015]

Here’s the Click here to register. From the release:

JOIN US IN FARMINGTON. Building on last year’s successful conference, the 2nd Annual Conference on Environmental Conditions of the Animas and San Juan Watersheds with Emphasis on Gold King Mine and other Mine Waste Issues will continue to facilitate the exchange of data and research results associated with monitoring efforts related to the August 2015 Gold King Mine spill. Since the spill, quite a bit has happened on the site and this conference will provide an update of the increased understanding of the spill, along with lessons that have been learned.

The conference is an opportunity to meet, learn from, and share ideas on a broad effort that includes four states, three Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regions, two Tribes, and numerous local and municipal agencies and public water systems.

The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute (NM WRRI) will host the conference on June 20-22, 2017 at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico. This year’s technical program will include oral and poster presentations in addition to plenary talks from some of the region’s leading experts on environmental catastrophes and their impacts on our communities. This year’s conference will include an all-day educational field trip of the Animas and San Juan watersheds.

Particularly relevant topics to be featured at the conference this year include:

  • Geology, minerology, ore bodies and natural sources of contamination
  • Analysis of Animas and San Juan watersheds as a result of Gold King Mine spill
  • Effects of acid mine drainage after more than a century of mining
  • Effects of historical mill-waste discharges
  • Effects of historical spill events
  • Effects of the Gold King Mine spill
  • Differentiating geologic and historical contaminants from Gold King Mine spill contaminants
  • Transport and fate of mining contaminants in the Animas and San Juan watersheds
  • Contaminant uptake into the food web
  • Mining and milling contaminant impacts on surface water, sediment, groundwater, agriculture, livestock, wildlife, and humans
  • Long-term monitoring
  • Existing corrective measures to control mine seepage and hydraulic consequences
  • Options for additional source control, spill prevention, and remediation
  • E. coli and other organisms in nutrients
  • Streamflow and water quality sensitivity to climate change
  • Groundwater and surface-water geochemistry and their interaction with the hyporheic zone
  • The conference will support the activities outlined in the Gold King Mine Water Spill Long Term Monitoring Plan, prepared by the New Mexico’s Long Term Impact Team (April 4, 2016).

    The orange plume flows through the Animas across the Colorado/New Mexico state line the afternoon of Aug. 7, 2015. (Photo by Melissa May, San Juan Soil and Conservation District)

    Glenwood Springs scores $200,000 from @EPA brownfield fund

    Glenwood Springs via Wikipedia

    From The Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Stroud):

    Glenwood was named as one of 19 recipients of an EPA Brownfield Area-Wide Planning Grant.

    The grant will be used to develop a plan to revitalize so-called “brownfields” located in the area where the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers come together, including the city’s 5-acre former sewer plant property that was decommissioned several years ago.

    Also included in the planning area is the Colorado Department of Transportation 5-acre facility across Devereux Road from Two Rivers Park, and the 27.4-acre Holly Quarry site below the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park that has been eyed by the Caverns owners for a hotel development.

    The grant is intended to help the city create a strategy to tie together the confluence redevelopment, Two Rivers Park, the Sixth Street corridor master plan and the Seventh Street beautification project following the completion of the new Grand Avenue bridge…

    Also participating in the planning process will be the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the Glenwood Chamber Resort Association, the nonprofit Community Builders, Colorado Brownfields Partnership, Colorado Mountain College, GlenX and Super School, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and other stakeholders…

    Finally, the EPA grant will also help the city carry out its plan to restore the Colorado River shoreline at Two Rivers Park. Plans include interpretive signs, gathering spaces and landscaping.

    The latest #ENSO discussion is hot off the presses from the Climate Prediction Center

    Click here to read the discussion:

    ENSO Alert System Status: Not Active

    Synopsis: ENSO-neutral conditions are favored to continue through at least the Northern Hemisphere spring 2017, with increasing chances for El Niño development by late summer and fall.

    ENSO-neutral conditions continued during March, with near-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across the central equatorial Pacific and above-average SSTs in the eastern Pacific. The latest weekly Niño index values were near zero in the Niño-4 and Niño-3.4 regions, and +0.8 and +0.9°C farther east in the Niño-3 and Niño-1+2 regions, respectively. The upper-ocean heat content anomaly, averaged across the central and eastern Pacific, decreased to near zero during March, a reflection of above-average temperatures at depth in the east offset by below-average temperatures in the central Pacific. Atmospheric convection remained suppressed over the central tropical Pacific and enhanced over the Maritime Continent. The low-leveleasterly winds were enhanced over the central and western tropical Pacific, and weaker than average over the eastern Pacific. Also, upper-level westerly winds were anomalously easterly over the western and far eastern Pacific, while the Southern Oscillation Index was near average. Overall, the ocean and atmosphere system is consistent with ENSO- neutral conditions.

    Most models predict the continuation of ENSO-neutral (3-month average Niño-3.4 index between -0.5°C and 0.5°C) through the late Northern Hemisphere spring. However, at least one-half of the dynamical model forecasts, including the NCEP CFSv2, anticipate an onset of El Niño as soon as the April-June season. Because of typically lower skill in forecasts made at this time of the year, and the lingering La Niña-like tropical convection and wind patterns over the western half of the Pacific basin, the forecaster consensus favors ENSO-neutral during April-June with a 60-65% chance. Thereafter, there are increasing odds for El Niño toward the second half of 2017 (~50% chance from approximately August-December). In summary, ENSO-neutral conditions are favored to continue through at least the late Northern Hemisphere spring 2017, with increasing chances for El Niño development by late summer and fall (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome for each 3-month period).

    Every State’s Temperature Trend for Every Season — Climate Central #ActOnCimate

    From Climate Central (Brian Kahn):

    A winter heat wave is spreading inland from the West Coast and could bring unseasonable warmth spanning from coast-to-coast by the weekend.

    Southern California is on track to continue setting hot temperature records, Phoenix will have its earliest first 90°F day of the year, and parts of the South could see temperatures 20°-30°F above normal.

    While the heat is unusual in its magnitude, warmer winters in the U.S. are becoming the rule, not the exception. It’s the fastest-warming season for 37 states that roughly 220 million people call home.

    Graphic via Climate Central. Click on the image to view an interactive version.

    Fort Collins breweries to hold panel on water issues, April 18, 2017 — BizWest

    New Belgium brewery. Photo credit Wisconsin Distributors.

    From BizWest (Jensen Werley):

    Northern Colorado breweries are gathering for Earth Day to discuss how breweries can help protect the local watershed.

    Fourteen area breweries, including Odell Brewing Co. and Horse and Dragon Brewing Co., are gathering at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, at New Belgium Brewing Co. for the BreWater panel discussion.

    “We’ve been gathering for the last couple of years to share water conservation practices and to learn about critical watershed issues from local experts,” Katie Wallace, assistant director of sustainability at New Belgium, said in a prepared statement. “This event will allow the greater community to hear about water issues that affect local brewers and to provide feedback on what matters to them.”

    BreWater has already had success in helping fund the removal of the defunct Josh Ames Division Dam. Members have also toured the local watershed and hosted water experts.

    “Brewers in Fort Collins are united on a lot of fronts,” said Carol Cochran, co-founder of Horse & Dragon Brewing Co., “but our common interest in great water is perhaps our strongest bond.”

    The 14 breweries that are part of BreWater are 1933 Brewing, Black Bottle Brewery, CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing, Equinox Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery & Tavern, Horse & Dragon Brewing Co., Intersect Brewing, Maxline Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Odell Brewing Co., Pateros Creek Brewing Co., Snowbank Brewing, Soul Squared Brewing Co. and Zwei Brewing.

    Guest who attend the panel will be able to get discounted beers and the chance to win local brewery gear.

    Fort Morgan should be able to avoid watering restrictions this season

    First water through the Adams Tunnel. Photo credit Northern Water.

    From The Fort Morgan Times (Jenni Grubbs):

    The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District Board of Directors on Thursday approved increasing the Colorado-Big Thompson Project water pipeline quota to 80 percent, according to a news release.

    Fort Morgan receives its water from that , with water availability subject to the quota set periodically by the Northern Water Board. It had been adjusted to 50 percent last November.

    Such quota changes do not affect city water rates, which are set by the Fort Morgan City Council. But it does affect the amount of water available to the city for use.

    This new quota is one that means good news for Fort Morgan water customers, according to Nation…

    Lots of data was taken into account by the Northern Water Board in setting this latest quota, according to the news release.

    “The Board considered snowpack totals, stream flow runoff projections and input from farmers and municipal and industrial water providers in setting the quota,” the release stated. “C-BT supplements other sources of water for 33 cities and towns, 120 agricultural irrigation companies, various industries and other water users within Northern Water’s 1.6 million-acre service area.”

    That includes Fort Morgan and Morgan County Quality Water District.

    For Fort Morgan, the increased quota likely even means having more C-BT water available than will be needed by city residents and businesses, according to Nation.

    “The higher quota also allows the city to lease out excess water above our projected needs for the year,” Nation said. “In most cases this water is leased by farmers to help complete their water supplies for the year.”

    …the precipitation that fell in March within the water district’s collection area was 27 percent below what would be considered normal for that month, according to Northern Water.