Here’s the release from Northern Water (Jeff Stahla):
Jennifer Gimbel of Loveland has been chosen to serve on the Northern Water Board of Directors and Municipal Subdistrict Board of Directors.
She will represent Larimer County and replaces Bill Fischer, who passed away May 7. By state law, directors are chosen by the chief judge of the district court.
Gimbel has an extensive background in state and federal water policy.
She currently is the senior water policy scholar for the Colorado Water Center, based at Colorado State University. In this position she teaches a graduate seminar on water issues and develops policy strategy papers on issues facing the Colorado River and the Upper Basin states, of which Colorado is one.
Before that, she served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for water and science in the Department of the Interior and was deputy commissioner for external and intergovernmental affairs for the Bureau of Reclamation.
From 2008 to 2013, Gimbel was the director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, a group within the Department of Natural Resources that works to protect and develop the state’s water resources.
“Water is such an important part of our lives and our future,” she said. “It is an honor to be appointed to the Northern board, which has been and continues to be important in water supply and policy not only in Northern Colorado but also in all of the state.”
Gimbel enjoys hiking and reading. She has two adult children and two grandchildren.
Here’s a guest column about water projects for the upper Eagle River Valley, from Jack Holmes, that’s running in theThe Vail Daily:
There are at least five water-related project proposals being considered for the Upper Eagle River Valley from Dowd Junction to the top of Tennessee Pass in the next 50 years. These include several tributaries of the Eagle River.
One combined project could take care of all major stakeholders and turn the area into a model for the future. The alternative will be five decades of litigation and a patchwork of projects that will be costly to all communities.
It is not about who will get the water. That is settled by Colorado Water Law and the 1989 Memorandum of Understanding. It is about whether the parties involved will work together, which happened during the drought of the early 2000s, or go in separate directions, which was the case during the middle 1950s.
The common project would be an Upper Eagle Pipeline and Storage Co. from Dowd Junction to Tennessee Pass. Storage, if needed, could be at Bolts Lake and Camp Hale. The 20-mile-long pipeline would follow the route of the Eagle River, the Railroad, the U.S. 24 highway or some combination thereof depending on what works and preserves the existing scenic corridor between Dowd Junction and Tennessee Pass.
That is the lowest continental divide pass in the Central Rockies. Those wanting to move or store water would need to pay accordingly. A trench and bury pipeline approach would seem to a good approach.
This proposal would give all major parties what they need at a reasonable cost. Memorandum of Understanding obligations could be met. To be sure, this would require some compromise. Camp Hale restoration might need to shift from some limited and expensive wetland restorations to a series of small reservoirs but probably would get more visitors to honor the 10th Mountain Division. Extensive wetlands are a few miles away on Homestake Creek in the original Camp Hale boundaries.
Building the one project pipeline and reservoirs would require funding, but it should cost less than tunnels, which are problematic to begin with because of potential seismic activity that would destroy the tunnels. In fact, the concept could be sold as a demonstration project worthy of grant funding.
While moving of water is not attractive to environmentalists, the concentration of project impacts in a well-established corridor makes sense. To be sure, the rail corridor would need to be preserved for possible future use, but an adjoining pipeline could be helpful in this regard.
If Front Range communities are more willing to pay for initial construction than Western Slope entities, the first phase of the project could start at the junction of Fall Creek and the Eagle River.
A major environmental question is how much effort should be spent to erase existing environmental impacts in the Eagle River and its Homestake Creek tributary basins above their lower Red Cliff junction. Such actions could merely shift impacts to the other basin at great public and environmental expense.
Anybody familiar with these issues knows that this proposal is a simplified summary. However, it also is known that 50 years in court and countless engineering and field hours can be curtailed by working together. The public has every right to insist that every attempt be made to arrive at a unified approach. While there are some good studies of limited areas, consideration of the larger area is missing at this point.
Jack Holmes is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Hope College in Holland, Mich., and vice-chair of the Holy Cross Wilderness Defense Fund. He has backpacked in the Holy Cross Wilderness since 1959 and is a summer resident on Homestake Creek above Red Cliff. For many years, he taught a summer course on wilderness politics.
From The Vail Daily (Edward Stoner):
Minturn turned down a proposal Wednesday that would have provided enough water for substantial growth within the town, including the Battle Mountain developer’s proposal to build up to 712 homes near Maloit Park and Tigiwon Road.
The Minturn Town Council voted 7-0 to deny the proposed deal between Minturn, the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District and the Battle Mountain developer.
Most residents who spoke at the meeting opposed the deal.
“We need to control our water,” said Minturn resident Woody Woodruff. “We can’t turn over that control to somebody else, because water is going to set the future of this town.”
The developer had asked for a decision to approve or deny the deal Wednesday.
Earle Bidez, mayor pro tem, cited continued concerns on the part of Minturn with the agreement — as well as an increasingly “negative” tone from the developer.
“We have not been able to reach a deal with the district,” he said. “We didn’t get far enough with Battle Mountain to know what we would have ended up with. But I don’t think we can get there from listening to (residents) for the last few months. The negotiation would have to change very much to get there.”
Minturn currently provides its own water from Cross Creek, separate from the rest of the valley’s supply. But the water from Cross Creek is limited — more water is needed if the town wants to grow significantly.
Under the proposal, the developer would have paid for a $5.6 million water pipe, or “interconnect,” that would have connected the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District’s water supply to Minturn’s, providing more water for growth and a redundant supply in case of emergency. The developer also offered more than $3 million in other infrastructure improvements for Minturn, whose aging water system is in need of significant repairs.
The deal also would have allowed the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District to build a $48 million reservoir at Bolts Lake, which is now dry.
It would have been contingent upon the developer receiving the approvals it needs to build the 712 homes.
Denver Water hires Kiewit Barnard to help finish design work on the $464 million project. The post Gross Reservoir Expansion Project hits new milestone appeared first on News on TAP.