@CWCB_DNR: The latest “Confluence” newsletter is hot off the presses

Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

Leaders Across the 9 Colorado Basins Collaborate on Water Plan in Winter Park

On September 25 – 26, the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) hosted a statewide summit of Colorado’s nine basin roundtables (the C-9 Summit) at the Headwaters Center in Winter Park, which brought together over 200 water stakeholders to discuss the process for updating each basins’ implementation plans and, ultimately, the Colorado Water Plan.

CWCB recently released the Analysis and Technical Update to the Colorado Water Plan (Technical Update), which includes state of the art approaches to analyzing state water needs and includes impacts from climate change. The C-9 Summit provided a forum for sharing Technical Update findings and highlighting key goals for the upcoming Basin Implementation Plans.

Prior to the panel presentations and discussions, the CWCB organized three water project tours for attendees, which featured Fraser River enhancements, watershed health research in the Experimental Forest, and an innovative education and outreach exhibit called the Headwaters Center River Journey.

Additionally, the C-9 Summit served as a platform to present Basin Water Hero Awards to peer-nominated individuals who have shown continued commitment for water initiatives in their basins. Congratulations to the following winners:

Arkansas: Chelsey Nutter, Colorado: Paul Bruchez, Gunnison: Julie Nania, Metro: Emily Hunt, North Platte: Kent Crowder, Rio Grande: Emma Reesor, South Platte: Mike Shimmin, Southwest: Mike Preston, Yampa-White-Green: Jackie Brown

The world needs a massive #carbontax in just 10 years to limit #climatechange, IMF says — The Washington Post

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., argued in a recent op-ed that fossil fuels, like the coal processed at this Wyoming plant, will continue to power the world for decades, and that the solution to climate change is “investment, invention and innovation,” not regulation. Photo credit: BLM Wyoming

From The Washington Post (Chris Mooney and Andrew Freedman):

The international organization suggests a cost of $75 per ton by 2030.

The group found that a global tax of $75 per ton by the year 2030 could limit the planet’s warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), or roughly double what it is now. That would greatly increase the price of fossil-fuel-based energy — especially from the burning of coal — but the economic disruption could be offset by routing the money raised straight back to citizens…

The IMF report comes out as financial institutions increasingly grapple with the risks associated with climate change, including damage from sea-level rise, extreme weather events and billions in fossil fuel reserves that might be in excess of what can be burned while also limiting warming. The Federal Reserve, for example, is taking a closer look at how climate change may pose a risk to economic stability.

In the United States, a $75 tax would cut emissions by nearly 30 percent but would cause on average a 53 percent increase in electricity costs and a 20 percent rise for gasoline at projected 2030 prices, the analysis in the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor found.
But it would also generate revenue equivalent to 1 percent of gross domestic product, an enormous amount of money that could be redistributed and, if spread equally, would end up being a fiscally progressive policy, rather than one disproportionately targeting the poor.

The impact of a $75-per-ton tax would also hit countries differently depending on burning or exporting coal, which produces the most carbon emissions per unit of energy generated when it is burned.

In developing nations such as China, India and South Africa, a $75 carbon tax reduces emissions even more — by as much as 45 percent — and generates proportionately more revenue, as high as 3.5 percent of GDP in South Africa’s case, the IMF found.

The idea of making it expensive to produce greenhouse gas emissions is hardly new, and has been widely embraced by economists despite the immense political difficulties involved in imposing such taxes…

But several experts said that the IMF stance was important even as they noted that the carbon price may need to be a lot higher, rendering an already gigantic lift even more difficult.

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

Click here to read the current assessment from the Colorado Climate Center NIDIS webpage. Here’s the summary:

Summary: October 8, 2019

Last week for the Intermountain West region was dry with the exception of northern Wyoming and much of New Mexico. Northern Wyoming saw up to 1″ in most areas except for a dry spot in Big Horn and Park counties. New Mexico saw some widespread precipitation, with amounts ranging from 0.5″ up to 6″+, mainly in the southeastern part of the state. Because of varying topography, there is a lot of variation with precipitation amounts, but overall the precipitation was widespread. Northwest New Mexico missed out on the precipitation along with the rest of the region, with precipitation amounts less than 0.10″ through most of the region.

Despite the dryness, temperatures were near to below average for the northern and western part of the IMW region. Southern Colorado and all of New Mexico saw above average temperatures. This was a nice change from the past few months which saw much above normal temperatures with Colorado and New Mexico seeing the warmest September on record.

The warm dry weather has made an impact on ranching in much of southern Utah where water supplies are limited. Most of southwestern Colorado, having ample water supplies from a great runoff, haven’t see as bad of impacts thanks much of the area being irrigated. That said, SPIs in the area out to 4 months are showing D3 and D4 levels. Even with the west spring, this brings expansion of drought conditions.

Warm and dry weather has also impacted eastern Colorado, zapping the moisture in the soil making planting winter wheat difficult. Folks in southeast Colorado are hoping for a nice shot of precipitation before winter arrives. These impacts thanks to the dryness will bring some additional D0 expansion.

Streamflows in the UCRB are starting to show the dryness of late with an increasing number of streamgages showing below normal flows. The driest of the gages are showing up in the headwaters of the Colorado River. The Basin as a whole is still in good shape with the key gages seeing flows in the normal region.

Julesberg Water Festival recap

Water Footprint via Water Paths

Here’s a report from The Julesberg Advocate. Click through and read the whole thing and to view the photos. Here’s an excerpt:

Once again, the Town of Julesburg hosted the annual Water Festival. The event was held at the Sedgwick County Fairgrounds with approximately 300 students from area schools attending. Schools attending were Peetz, Fleming, Holyoke, Revere, and Julesburg. Presenting programs were CSU. Extension Golden Plains, Colorado Rural Water Association, Highline Electric Associates, and USDA-NRCS of Julesburg with educational presentations of “To the Last Drop,” “Incredible Journey,” “High Voltage Demonstration,” and “Soil Health.”

Presenter Jennifer Sharpe, Executive Director of the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture, challenged students to guess how much water it took to produce everyday foods. How many gallons does it take to produce one pound of lettuce? Answer: 28 gallons. How many gallons does it take to produce one pound of steak? Answer: 411 gallons. How many gallons does it take to produce one pound of peaches? Answer: 109 gallons.

Another mine spills into Animas — The Navajo Times

Location map for abandoned mine near Silverton. The Silver Wing is in the upper right corner of the aerial.

From The Navajo Times (Cindy Yurth):

Both the New Mexico Environment Department and the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management reported today that they were notified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of a wastewater spill from the Silver Wing Mine in the area of Eureka Gulch, north of Silverton, Colorado, which occurred Wednesday afternoon.

According to the San Juan OEM, the spill was the result of a “burp” from the mine and is unrelated to either the Gold King Mine or the Bonita Peak Superfund site.

The source is 10 miles from the Animas River and the spill was expected to dilute by the time it reached Silverton. The spill was moving slowly and was expected to reach the San Juan River.

So far, “Data do not currently indicate any evidence of water quality impacts that could affect human health and the environment,” stated NMED in a press release, adding that the department will continue to monitor the situation.

Although the EPA has not issued a notice to close municipal drinking water supplies, the cities of Farmington and Aztec, New Mexico and the Lower Valley Water Users Association have shut off water intakes to municipal drinking water supplies “out of an abundance of caution.”

Neither the volume of the spill nor the contents of the water were known as of 4 p.m. Thursday. EPA officials were conducting tests to learn more.

Yolanda Barney, program manager for the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency’s Public Water Supply Program, said Thursday NNEPA is aware of spill and is still gathering information.

Sources in Durango, Colorado, reported Thursday the river appears normal.

Colorado abandoned mines