#Snowpack news April 10, 2023

West snowpack basin-filled map April 9, 2023 via the NRCS.
Colorado snowpack basin-filled map April 9, 2023 via the NRCS.

The #Colorado #Drought Summit will be a 2-day event on May 31 & June 1, 2023 — Colorado Water Conservation Board

Click the link for all the inside skinny from the Colorado Water Conservation Board:

Register for the Colorado Drought Summit today!(External link)

The Colorado Drought Summit will be a 2-day event on May 31 & June 1, 2023. Space is limited – Register here(External link). The full draft agenda can be accessed in the sidebar to the right and a snapshot of the draft agenda is below.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) is hosting the Drought Summit to evaluate lessons-learned and adaptive solutions for addressing drought concerns. In January 2023, Governor Polis directed the CWCB to hold this event. The two-day summit will make good on that directive and demonstrate CWCB’s commitment to advancing the conversation around drought resilience in the 2023 Colorado Water Plan.

CWCB is grateful to Brown & Caldwell for being the lead sponsor and for helping to plan and staff the event.

#FortCollins OKs new oil and gas regulations, places near ban on new wells in city limits — The Fort Collins Coloradoan #ActOnClimate #KeepItInTheGround

Mammatus clouds, associated with strong convection, grace a sunset over Fort Collins, Colorado, home of the NOAA Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. Photo credit: Steve Miller/CIRA

Click the link to read the article on the Fort Collins Coloradoan website (Molly Bohannon). Here’s an excerpt:

In a 6-1 vote Tuesday [April 4, 2023] night, Fort Collins City Council approved the addition of new oil and gas regulations to the city’s land use code that effectively ban new oil facilities from being built in city limits. The code changes came as part of a state bill that allows municipalities to have stricter requirements than the state with regard to where oil and gas facilities can go. If a municipality doesn’t have its own restrictions, applicants for facilities follow the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission rules. 

The approved changes to the land use code include: 

  • Adding zone restrictions to oil and gas facilities.
  • Adding development plan review procedures.
  • Requiring a 2,000-foot setback from occupiable building, and an additional 1,000-foot buffer from Natural habitat features.
  • Adding a list of prohibited facilities to development standards, including injection wells.
  • Not allowing a modification of the setback standards.
  • Adding basic development review procedures for plugging and abandoning.


When discussing the decision, council members felt it was better to adopt the proposed changes and add operational standards at a later date so that at least in the meantime there were some tighter regulations in place than the state’s.  Operational standards would provide local enforcement and compliance criteria in addition to what the state has in place, which many have said is not sufficient or is poorly enforced. Previously, city staff told the Coloradoan they expected the creation of operational standards to take a couple of city employees working on that for an estimated six months, along with an additional council work session on the topic. 

‘Headed off the charts’: world’s ocean surface temperature hits record high — The Guardian #ActOnClimate #KeepItInTheGround

A global map using data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showing areas in orange and red where temperatures have been above the long-term average. Credi: University Of Maine

Click the link to read the article on The Guardian website (Graham Readfearn). Here’s an excerpt:

Climate scientists said preliminary data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) showed the average temperature at the ocean’s surface has been at 21.1C since the start of April – beating the previous high of 21C set in 2016.

“The current trajectory looks like it’s headed off the charts, smashing previous records,” said Prof Matthew England, a climate scientist at the University of New South Wales…

According to the Noaa data, the second-hottest globally averaged ocean temperatures coincided with El Niño that ran from 2014 to 2016.

Credit: NOAA

The data is driven mostly by satellite observations but also verified with measurements from ships and buoys. The data does not include the polar regions. More than 90% of the extra heat caused by adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels and deforestation has been taken up by the ocean. A study last year said the amount of heat accumulating in the ocean was accelerating and penetrating deeper, providing fuel for extreme weather.

England, a co-author of that study, said: “What we are seeing now [with the record sea surface temperatures] is the emergence of a warming signal that more clearly reveals the footprint of our increased interference with the climate system.”