Day: July 16, 2017
@NOAA: National Climate Report – June 2017, hot and dry for #Colorado
Click here to go to the website. Click through for the links and the year to date summary. Here’s an excerpt:
Climate Highlights — June
Podcast featuring Katharine Hayhoe via cbcradio
Click here to listen. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The Trump presidency has made for a jittery scientific community, and an atmosphere of anxiety — even despair — among many who feel climate change is the greatest peril facing civilization.
Their worries are shared by Katharine Hayhoe, the director of the Climate Science Center and a professor of political science at Texas Tech University.
Hayhoe is one of the most prominent climate scientists working in the United States today. She is also a Canadian — and an evangelical Christian. Her speciality is talking about climate change with people who are not already convinced of its legitimacy and urgency.
Hayhoe was named one of world’s 50 greatest leaders by Fortune magazine earlier this year, and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2014. She’s also the host of a PBS online series called “Global Weirding”.
Five participants sign $6 million partnership agreement to bolster #LakeMead #ColoradoRiver #COriver
From the Prescott eNews (Stephanie Bracken):
The five participants in a historic effort to help stabilize Lake Mead water levels made their agreement formal at a signing ceremony hosted by the Arizona Department of Water Resources.
As part of the $6 million partnership agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation, the State of Arizona, the City of Phoenix and the Walton Family Foundation, Inc., The Gila River Indian Community will forego delivery of 40,000 acre-feet of its 2017 Colorado River allocation.
The tribe will leave that water in Lake Mead. It will be saved in the Colorado River system rather than be tied to any defined use…
“Today’s agreement and the Community’s ongoing effort to protect the Colorado River carry immense importance for our people and our neighbors across the Southwest. Being good stewards of this most sacred resource is a part of who we are as a people and what the Gila River Indian Community has stood for across time,” said Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Roe Lewis.
“The first positive is that this agreement allows the Community to generate income today from water we otherwise would have stored off-reservation to create long-term credits for future marketing. This revenue will help our economy right now, in the present, without sacrificing our future or our water.
“Second, this agreement helps conserve water in Lake Mead. That conservation effort benefits our people and every resident of Arizona by helping to protect the Colorado River and our water future.”
Added Governor Lewis: “Given the central role of water in our economy and our culture, today’s agreement is truly a cause for celebration.”
The five partners effectively view the agreement as a “down payment” on an Arizona-based plan for protecting the great Colorado River-system reservoir, where water levels have been dropping rapidly in recent years as a result of long-running drought and over-allocation.
The Arizona plan – known as the “Drought Contingency Plan Plus” – represents an effort on the part of leaders in the Arizona water community to keep Lake Mead above the first shortage trigger for as long as possible…
The State of Arizona contributed $2 million to the conservation effort – part of a three-year financial commitment totaling $6 million approved this year by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey.
The City of Phoenix, whose mayor and council approved this agreement on June 13, provided $2 million…
The Walton Family Foundation, which believes conservation solutions that make economic sense stand the test of time, contributed $1 million…
“Today’s agreement is about coming together to forge solutions for a sustainable Colorado River that benefit people and the environment,” said Barry Gold, director of the environment program at the Walton Family Foundation.
The federal Bureau of Reclamation also contributed $1 million to this Lake Mead stabilization effort. On January 17 of this year, Reclamation provided $6 million to the Gila River Community for system conservation that resulted in the Community’s first 40,000 acre-feet stored in Lake Mead.
“We are pleased to continue to help our partners in Arizona in their efforts to conserve water in Lake Mead and to implement a Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan with California and Nevada,” said Terry Fulp, Lower Colorado Regional Director.
Fraser River health should improve some with Moffat Collection System Project
Here’s a guest column from Kirk Klancke that’s running in the Boulder Daily Camera:
As a long-time resident of Grand County, I’ve been disappointed by recent articles in the Camera about the Moffat Firming Project permit and especially about the west slope implications of the project. Coverage has been misleading in highlighting potential negative environmental impacts while ignoring the stream habitat improvements and flow benefits in the permit that will actually improve the health of the Upper Colorado River system.
It’s important for readers to get the total picture in weighing the environmental impacts of the project.
Trout Unlimited is also a group “dedicated to protecting and restoring the Colorado River” — and we’ve spent more than a decade closely following the proposed Moffat project and working to protect the Upper Colorado. Then, a couple years ago, TU helped negotiate a settlement with Denver Water and local stakeholders in Grand County that included tough permit requirements that we believe will best protect the Upper Colorado and Fraser Rivers.
It’s true that the Moffat project will increase total diversions from the Colorado headwaters. But the project will also provide significant help to rivers and streams currently impacted by transmountain diversions, including streams diverted to meet Boulder’s water supply (through the Windy Gap project). Under terms of their permit, Denver Water must undertake mitigation and enhancement measures that will actually improve the health of streams.
For instance, as part of its commitments, Denver Water will manage diversions to help provide needed flushing flows on the Fraser and its tributaries, complete habitat and native trout restoration work in the Williams Fork basin, and contribute funds toward projects like the Fraser Flats restoration project that is already underway to improve stream and riparian habitat.
Most significantly, Denver Water will participate in an ongoing adaptive management program called “Learning by Doing” through which Denver, Grand County, Trout Unlimited and other local stakeholders are cooperating to apply mitigation and enhancement resources, monitor river and watershed conditions and make adjustments to achieve the best results over time. These efforts were launched even before Denver received their federal approvals.
While my efforts have focused on Grand County, I know that Denver Water has looked for partnerships on the east slope as well. For example, as part of the project, they will provide 5,000 acre-feet of storage in the enlarged reservoir for Boulder and Lafayette to use in providing in-stream flows at critical times, to keep downstream stretches of South Boulder Creek healthy and flowing.
Denver Water’s plans to enlarge Gross Reservoir certainly will have significant impacts on Boulder County, including disruption to lives and property around the reservoir area during construction — but these are mostly temporary impacts. It’s important to look at the project’s long-term benefits to our rivers and streams as well as to our water security.
For years I saw Denver Water as my community’s public enemy number one. But in recent times Denver Water has demonstrated a willingness to work as a partner to keep the Upper Colorado River healthy. This collaboration among stakeholders represents the best opportunity to protect and preserve the Upper Colorado River into the future.
Indeed, it’s already working.