Delivering water with Denver’s chess masters – News on TAP

How operators distribute a reliable and efficient supply to one-quarter of the state’s population.

Source: Delivering water with Denver’s chess masters – News on TAP


Your Water Colorado Blog

20031744_10154499665347583_6466757117516609711_nBy Brittney Jill

The feeling of awe overtook me while looking out from the 14,172 foot summit of Mt. Bross at the terrain I had just conquered. We set out from the Kite Lake trailhead and in just over six hours I had visited four peaks, all over 14,000 feet!  Being from Massachusetts, the term “fourteener” isn’t really in our vocabulary. So this hike, this accomplishment, really made me feel like I had assimilated into my new home state of Colorado.  The Colorado landscape and these challenging hikes bring in many tourists and adventure seekers looking to bag their next peak but I wondered as I peered out among my fellow trail stompers (an impressive mix of folks) what this hike meant to them.

The mountains are more important to the state of Colorado than just the tourist economy of Rocky Mountain National Park or a killer snowboarding season. These…

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Travel day to Grand Junction #CRDSeminar @ColoradoWater #ColoradoRiver #COriver

Grand Junction back in the day with the Grand Mesa in background

I’m heading over to Grand Junction for the Colorado River District’s Annual Seminar. I’ll try to catch up tonight from the hotel. With any luck I’ll get lost in the aspens on the way back to Denver.

The hash tag for seminar is #CRDSeminar. You can follow the goings on at @CoyoteGulch.

Crystal River via Aspen Journalism

#Drought news: D0 (Abnormally Dry) shows up from #Denver to #FortCollins, precipitation on the way?

Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:


While Hurricane Irma pummeled Florida and (to a lesser extent) other parts of the Southeast, most other parts of the contiguous 48 states caught little if any precipitation, save for scattered moderate to isolated heavy precipitation in parts of the Northeast. Irma brought intense rains (approaching 1.5 feet in some spots) and powerful wind gusts (measured at 140 mph at one place on the West Coast of the Florida Peninsula) that removed any suggestion of dryness from the Southeast. Enough precipitation fell on part of eastern Maine to shave down areas of D0 and D1 from the west, but most of the country — from the Ohio and lower Mississippi Rivers westward to the Pacific Coast – recorded little precipitation, if any. Only isolated patches in the eastern Great Lakes Region and the lower Colorado River Valley recorded more than an inch of rain…

High Plains

The dry week in the central Plains led to a significant expansion of D0 and (to a lesser extent) D1 in northern Oklahoma, Kansas, and southern Nebraska. Farther north, the most notable change was the broad development of D1 in most of eastern North Dakota and adjacent northwestern Minnesota, with scattered small areas in the Dakotas declining into severe or extreme drought. Farther west in the High Plains, light precipitation at best has fallen over the last 30 days, keeping dryness and drought essentially intact, with D0 developing in central and eastern sections of the Denver to Ft. Collins, CO…


The last 30 days have been quite dry from the Rockies westward to the Pacific Coast. [ed. emphasis mine] Totals exceeding 0.5 inch were limited to parts of the southeastern Rockies, the Colorado River Valley, the higher elevations of central Arizona, and a swath along the Montana/Wyoming border. For the last 3 months, precipitation totals were among the lowest 2 percent on record in a broad areas from most of Montana westward across central and northern Idaho, Washington, and the northern half of Oregon. The most marked change introduced this week was the expansion of D1 conditions across the northern tier of Oregon, part of central Idaho, and some of interior Washington, though an area in central and south-central parts of that state (where year-to-date precipitation totals are higher than in surrounding areas) remained at D0. In addition, D2 and D3 were expanded in parts of northern Montana, and several other small areas of deterioration were introduced in Idaho and southern Montana.

Dry conditions have abetted the development and rapid spread of wildfires across the northern Rockies and adjacent areas, and (more seasonably) in portions of the Great Basin and California. So far, over 8.2 million acres have been scorched by wildfires nationally [ed. emphasis mine], approaching 150 percent of the 10-year average for the year-to-date. Of the 8.2 million acre total, almost 40 percent (3.2 million acres) have been in the northern Rockies and Great Basin…

Looking Ahead

Beneficial precipitation is expected during September 14 – 18, 2017 across much of the drought-afflicted areas in the northern Plains and Rockies. Between 1.5 and 3.5 inches are expected across all but the western and northern tiers of Montana, and central and southwestern sections of North Dakota. Moderate rains (0.5 to locally 1.5 inches) is expected in the Upper Midwest and the central Plains, as well as the far Pacific Northwest west of the Cascades. Light precipitation at best is anticipated in other areas of dryness and drought.

The ensuing 5 days (September 19 – 23, 2017) look to bring a reversal in the temperature pattern recently observed across the 48 states, with odds favoring cooler than normal weather from the northern High Plains and southern Rockies to the Pacific Coast, and warmer than normal conditions expected in the central and eastern parts of the county. There are enhanced chances for above-normal precipitation from central and northern sections of the High Plains westward to the Pacific Coast, most of the Great Plains north of Texas, and the middle and upper Mississippi Valley. Odds also favor above-normal precipitation in the Copper Basin of Alaska. Meanwhile, subnormal precipitation is favored in the East, Southeast, most of Texas, and the southern Rockies.

7-Day Quantitative Precipitation Forecast September 14 through September 21, 2017 via NOAA.

#ColoradoRiver: IID board votes yes on #Minute323 agreements #COriver

The Colorado River is about 1,400 miles long and flows through seven U.S. states and into Mexico. The Upper Colorado River Basin supplies approximately 90 percent of the water for the entire basin. It originates as rain and snow in the Rocky and Wasatch mountains. Credit USGS.

From The Imperial Valley News:

During yesterday’s regularly scheduled meeting, the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors approved a series of agreements to Minute No. 323, a potential amendment to the 1944 treaty with Mexico, which would be key to continuing cooperative efforts on both sides of the border in support of the Colorado River system through 2026.

Directors approved seven domestic agreements that serve to implement Minute No. 323, an international agreement that is expected to be executed before the end of the year by the United States and Mexican governments. The district is one of a number of water agencies in the Southwest to have signed the agreements.

Current interim binational cooperative measures and shortage sharing provisions on the river under Minute No. 319, which was executed in 2012, are set to expire on December 31, 2017. These would continue with the execution of Minute No. 323…

The agreements build on the coordinated operations and water management concepts implemented by the 2007 Interim Guidelines. They also extend or replace binational cooperative measures from Minute No. 318 that address the April 2010 earthquake in the Mexicali valley, and Minute No. 319, the five-year interim shortage and surplus agreement that defines additional operational coordination when Lake Mead drops below 1,075 feet.

In conjunction with the execution of Minute No. 323, the agreements continue to allow Mexico to store water in Lake Mead and provide for Mexico’s continued sharing of shortages and surpluses through 2026. The agreements also provide for a potentially larger drought response partnership with U.S. water users through the development of the Basin States drought contingency plan and Mexico’s binational water scarcity contingency plan.

Additional components include binational cooperative conservation projects, environmental programs, salinity management efforts and the opportunity for additional conservation and desalination projects in Mexico.

The agreements also authorize $31.5 million in U.S. funding for pilot water conservation programs in Mexico that would generate 229,100 acre-feet of conservation. Approximately 70,000 acre-feet of this conservation is designated for Mexican environmental purposes, 50,000 acre-feet will benefit the Colorado River system and 27,275 acre-feet will be assigned to each partnering U.S. water agency (IID, Southern Nevada Water Authority, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Central Arizona Water Conservation District). The four agencies would fund $15 million ($3.75 million each over 10 years) and the Bureau of Reclamation would provide $16.5 million. The potential would then exist for a second round of binational conservation projects upon completion of these projects.

The U.S. and Mexico sections of the International Boundary and Water Commission are developing Minute No. 323.

@EPA delays coal plant wastewater rule #KeepItInTheGround #ActOnClimate

Diagram of a typical steam-cycle coal power plant (proceeding from left to right). Graphic credit: Wikipedia.

From the Associated Press via The Colorado Springs Gazette:

The rule requires steam electric power plants to control the amount of coal ash-contaminated wastewater flushed from their plants.

The water contains toxic heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and mercury, and while it’s pumped to holding ponds it often ends up in rivers and lakes. The rule sets the first specific limits on those toxins.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says postponing the rule for two years would give utilities relief from deadlines to upgrade pollution-control equipment while the agency revisits the requirements.

Environmental groups sued over an earlier effort to postpone the rule. They say they’ll challenge this move as well.