Public scoping begins for Browns Canyon National Monument resource management plan, comments end June 13, 2019

Browns Canyon via

From Bureau of Land Management:

On May 14, 2019, the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) published in the Federal Register a notice of intent (NOI) to prepare a Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS) for Browns Canyon National Monument (BCNM).

The BLM and USFS are soliciting comments from the public about issues to be addressed in the BCNM RMP/EIS, such as wild and scenic river values (see Issues in the navigation list on the left) and those described in the Planning Criteria Report (see Documents & Reports in the navigation list).

Comments can be submitted online through the interactive mapping tool here:, through the Documents & Reports page, or by U.S. Mail to BCNM RMP/EIS, 5575 Cleora Road, Salida, CO 81201. Please do not email comments.

Written comments must be received by June 13, 2019, in order to receive a formal response in a scoping comment report, which will be released at a later date.

For a schedule of public scoping meetings, see “Meetings” under the How to get Involved link at left.


The most useful comments are specific comments about BCNM management issues, goals, and objectives. The BLM and USFS are especially interested in comments on the preliminary alternatives and basis for analysis found in the Planning Criteria Report (see Documents & Reports page) and comments on wild and scenic river values (see the Issues page).

Effective comments provide constructive solutions, specific examples, and supporting documentation; are clear, concise, and relevant; and avoid simply stating an opinion.

The BLM and USFS will review comments submitted during the scoping period and respond to them in a scoping comment report to be published at a later date. Comments submitted outside of this period will be considered but won’t be in the scoping report.

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

What Does the #ColoradoRiver #Drought Plan Mean for #California? — Public Policy Institute of California #DCP #COriver #aridification

From the Public Policy Institute of California (Gokce Sencan):

A much-anticipated plan to address chronic water shortages in the Colorado River Basin was recently signed into law by President Trump. This drought contingency plan (DCP) aims to slow the long-term decline in Lake Mead’s water levels caused by over-allocation of Colorado River water and 19 years of drought, as well as address future water shortages in the basin.

The DCP is the fruit of a decade of negotiations among the seven basin states to resolve the over-allocation problem through cuts and water storage. (Mexico receives water from the river but is not part of this plan.) California has the largest share of the Colorado, with senior rights to more than a quarter of the river’s average annual flow.

Graphic credit: The Public Policy Institute of California

Lake Mead is a water source for 600,000 acres of farmland and 19 million people in Southern California. California agencies can also store up to 250,000 acre-feet of water in Lake Mead.

Without the DCP, Lake Mead’s water level could drop too low to allow releases from Hoover Dam. As the lake nears this threshold, senior water right-holders in California might be tempted to withdraw their water before it becomes inaccessible. While such a move would be permissible, it would accelerate the drop in the lake level and affect future deliveries for junior water right-holders in the other lower-basin states.

The DCP eliminates this concern and delivers an orderly and mutually agreed upon method to manage shortages until 2026. It provides assurance against curtailments for water stored behind the dam. This is especially important for the Southern California water agencies, whose ability to store water in Lake Mead is crucial for managing seasonal demands.

Some significant challenges must still be addressed, however. The Imperial Irrigation District, the largest Colorado River water user, opted out of the plan due to a dispute over funding to restore the shrinking Salton Sea. The district also filed a lawsuit that calls for the DCP to be suspended until an environmental review of the plan is completed.

The lawsuit alleges that the Metropolitan Water District (MWD), which would contribute most of the water required to fulfill California’s obligations under the DCP in times of system-wide shortage, unlawfully approved the DCP. IID claims that MWD did not consider the “sources of water that would be necessary for [it] to fulfill its commitment and the environmental effects associated with obtaining water for those sources.” The outcome of this lawsuit is uncertain.

Currently, the Colorado supplies about a third of all water used in Southern California’s urban areas. The region’s water agencies are taking steps to develop more local supplies and increase water efficiency to help them meet water demand if DCP cuts are triggered during a future water shortage.

The plan won’t cause immediate water cuts. This year’s wet winter means that Lake Mead’s elevation, currently 1,090 feet above sea level, may remain above the 1,045-foot threshold at which the mandate is triggered for California. But the basin states now have a plan in place to address the next dry spell.

Graphic credit: Public Policy Institute of California

#Snowpack news: Snowmelt Processes Infographic via @NOAA

With the monster snowpack across Colorado it’s time to review snowmelt processes. Here’s an infographic from NOAA.

The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District honored 19 metro area organizations for perfect compliance with their industrial wastewater discharge permits on May 8, 2019

Here’s the release from the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District (Kelly Merritt):

The Metro Wastewater Reclamation District (Metro District) honored 19 metro area organizations for perfect compliance with their industrial wastewater discharge permits on May 8, 2019. Water Remediation Technology, LLC, received a Platinum Award for perfect compliance for five consecutive years (2014 through 2018).

The following were recognized with Gold Awards for perfect compliance from January through December 2018:

 Acme Manufacturing Company, Inc.
 Advanced Circuits, Inc.
 Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp.
 CoorsTek, Inc.
 CW Elaborations, Inc.
 Denver Metal Finishing
 G & K Services, A Division of Cintas
 Industrialex Manufacturing Corp.
 Majestic Metals, LLC
 Packaging Corporation of America
 Pepsi Beverages Company
 RMO, Inc.
 Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, LLC
 Safeway, Inc., Denver Beverage Plant
 Swire Coca-Cola, USA
 United States Mint
 Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC
 Wanco, Inc.

The federal Pretreatment Regulations under the Clean Water Act require the Metro District to have an Industrial Pretreatment Program to control the discharge of industrial wastes to the sanitary sewer system. One of the ways that the Metro District controls these discharges is through issuance of industrial wastewater discharge permits.

Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation District Hite plant outfall via South Platte Coalition for Urban River Evaluation

@USGS explainer, “Base Flow in Rivers”

Click here to go to the USGS website. Here’s an excerpt:

When a drought hits and little or no rain has fallen in a long time, you might expect small streams and even larger rivers to just dry up, right? In many cases, they don’t. Streamflow might lessen to a trickle or so, but water continues to flow. How is that possible? Read on to find out how “base flow”, which is water seeping into the stream from groundwater, helps keep water in streams during droughts.

Groundwater movement via the USGS

@ColoradoClimate: Weekly Climate, Water and #Drought Assessment of the Intermountain West

Click here to read the current assessment. Click here to go to the NIDIS website hosted by the Colorado Climate Center.

2019 #COleg: Kerry Donovan recaps the session

From The Ark Valley Voice (Kerry Donovan):

Climate Data Bill (SB19-096)

With the growing concerns about the impact of climate on our economy, I passed a bill to collect long term climate data for the state so that we can work to create solutions that are informed by Colorado-specific data.

Water Bills: (SB19-186, SB19-221, HB19-1113)

Water is a critical part of Colorado’s businesses and way of life, which is is why I carried SB19-186, SB19-221 and HB19-1113 to protect water from adverse mining impacts, to take a step towards funding the critical water projects the Western Slope has prioritized, and to broaden the scope of agriculture’s role in water quality.

Acid mine drainage Pennsylvania Mine via the Summit County Citizens Voice