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Water Environment Federation

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A look at the #Colorado-Big Thompson Project #ColoradoRiver #COriver

First water through the Adams Tunnel. Photo credit Northern Water.

From The Loveland Reporter-Herald (Kenneth Jessen):

The drought of the 1930s was the impetus for the Colorado-Big Thompson Project.

Work started in 1938 and would span nearly two decades to complete.

The first project was the Green Mountain Reservoir on the Blue River. The water stored ran north into the Colorado River and is used to compensate for water that would be diverted to the Eastern Slope.

A significant year for the project was 1944 when work ended on the Alva B. Adams Tunnel, just over 13 miles long. It carried water under the Continental Divide.

Lake Granby, the largest reservoir in the system, stores Colorado River water during the spring runoff. A second project was the nearby Shadow Mountain Reservoir connected to Grand Lake by a short canal. The two bodies of water are nearly 90 feet higher than Lake Granby.

The Alva B. Adams Tunnel’s west portal is on the east side of Grand Lake which, incidentally, is the largest natural water body in Colorado.

After the spring runoff and to keep Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Grand Lake filled, a pumping station brings Lake Granby water up to their level.

Added in 1951-52 and on the west side of the Continental Divide is the Willow Creek Reservoir. A pumping station elevates the water 175 feet to a canal flowing into Lake Granby.

The 9 ½ -foot in diameter Alva B. Adams Tunnel drops 109 feet in its 13 miles, ending at the East Portal.

From a small lake at the East Portal, the water is carried via a siphon under Aspen Brook to the Rams Horn Tunnel and via a penstock, down to the Marys Lake power plant. This is a drop of 205 feet.

Running directly under the summit of Prospect Mountain, yet another tunnel and penstock delivers water to the Lake Estes power plant, a drop of 482 feet.

From Lake Estes, water flows east first through the Olympus Tunnel to the 5 ½ -mile long Pole Hill Tunnel.

Water is delivered to the top of a canal then to a penstock. It drops 815 feet to the Pole Hill power plant. From there, the water enters the 1 ¾ -mile-long Rattlesnake Tunnel, ending on the west side of Pinewood Lake. An intake on the east end of Pinewood Reservoir takes water through the Bald Mountain Tunnel to the penstock visible from Loveland.

Water is delivered to the Flatiron power plant at Flatiron Reservoir over 1,000 feet below.

This is where things get complicated.

During times of excess water, it is pumped up to Carter Lake, 277 feet higher.

Water also flows through a short tunnel north to the Hansen Feeder Canal to Horsetooth Reservoir.

From the south end of Carter Lake, water is delivered into the South St. Vrain Supply Canal. This long canal takes water under part of Rabbit Mountain all the way the Boulder Reservoir.

In all, West Slope water drops nearly 3,000 feet during its journey to the East Slope.

The Colorado-Big Thompson Project has created a dozen reservoirs, uses 35 miles of tunnels and also generates a substantial amount of electric power. These are the power plants:

Marys Lake

Estes Park

Pole Hill

Flatiron

Green Mountain

Big Thompson

Trout

Acequia Pathways to Funding: Financial Compliance Workshop, December 7th 2017 — Taos Valley Acequia Association

An acequia along the Las Trampas in northern New Mexico is suspended on a trestle. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

From the Taos Valley Acequia Association:

Acequia Pathways to Funding: Financial Compliance

Workshop

December 7th 2017, 9:00am-12:00pm

Juan I Gonzales Agricultural Building
Taos, NM

@WaterEdCO: Applications Open for the 2018 Water Leaders Program!

Colorado River headwaters tributary in Rocky Mountain National Park photo via Greg Hobbs.

Click here for all the inside skinny:

The Water Leaders program is recognized as the premier professional development course for the water community in Colorado. Since 2006, the program has provided training to participants across Colorado, helping them become more effective leaders. Water Education Colorado staff has worked hard year after year to adapt and evolve the course to build the skills of water professionals that will prepare them to address current water issues by using the most advanced leadership development tools and trainings available, and we could not be more proud of the evolution of the program.

The goal of the Water Leaders program is to positively impact the Colorado.

CH2M grants $50,000 to @ColoradoStateU for sustainability research and STEM education

Clear Creek Canyon via Bob Berwyn

Here’s the release from CH2M:

The CH2M Foundation is proud to announce a new grant to CSU with a client-centric, sustainability and career-focused approach that is sure to make an impact for years to come.

Through a grant of $50,000 to the CSU National Western Center Sustainability Team and the CSU Water Fellows Program, the CH2M Foundation is investing in STEM education, while continuing the company’s long-time commitment to sustainability. CH2M is also reinforcing the work of many of its clients: the National Western Center, City and County of Denver, CSU and the Western Stock Show Association and Denver Water.

“The CH2M Foundation continues to partner with charitable initiatives that demonstrate our shared values with our key clients,” said Ellen Sandberg, executive director of the CH2M Foundation.

Investing in sustainability research and collaboration

The first part of the grant, $37,500, will go to CSU’s National Western Center Sustainability Team. This team is helping develop a campus that addresses innovations in water, energy, food systems, health and recreation, and improves the natural environment, while working toward goals like “net zero” energy. The work is occurring in two phases over three years.

During Phase I, the team focused on energy, waste and water system analysis and recommendations. Phase 2, beginning in fall 2017, will continue energy and water modeling, and will also integrate urban ecology, river restoration, air quality, community health, education and integrated design and organizational behavior. The Gates Family Foundation provided a matching grant of $75,000 for the second phase, so CH2M’s $37,500 grant will be matched.

Providing STEM opportunities for diverse and underrepresented students

The second part of the grant, $12,500, supports the CSU Water Fellows program. First-generation CSU students from diverse and often underrepresented backgrounds team with high school students from neighborhoods around the National Western Center to spend several months working on water issues. Gaining leadership and organization skills, the water fellows do outreach to the neighborhoods about water issues.

CSU’s presence at the National Western Center will be initiated at its Water Resources Center. As one of the first buildings to be constructed at the National Western Center, the Water Resources Center will host multidisciplinary, year-round programs such as these, which will draw tourists, K-12 students, water professionals and researchers, water conferences and community members. CSU and the National Western Center are working closely with Denver Water to create collaboration at the Water Resources Center around education, innovation, policy and research.

“Colorado State University is grateful for this generous grant from the CH2M Foundation, which will further CSU’s work in delivering cutting-edge research and outcomes in sustainability and water,” said Amy Parsons, executive vice chancellor of the CSU System. “Through its support of the CSU Water Fellows program, the grant also highlights the importance of sharing knowledge and empowering the next generation. Our university is appreciative of the support and looks forward to collaborating with our partners at the National Western Center to execute these initiatives.”

“This foundation grant leverages local funding, making the value of our charitable donation grow to $87,500 and thereby ensuring even greater success of the program,” according to Patrick O’Keefe, CH2M’s program manager for the National Western Center’s construction and buildout.

The National Western Center program is off to a fast start, with a kickoff event for physical work on November 1, 2017. This will begin a rapid period of removing old structures and replacing them with a multiuse community assets that will serve as focal points for agriculture, entertainment and educational programs.

Farmington: #GoldKingMine advisory group meeting Monday, November 27, 2017 #ColoradoRiver #COriver

This image was taken during the peak outflow from the Gold King Mine spill at 10:57 a.m. Aug. 5. The waste-rock dump can be seen eroding on the right. Federal investigators placed blame for the blowout squarely on engineering errors made by the Environmental Protection Agency’s-contracted company in a 132-page report released Thursday [October 22, 2015]

From The New Mexico Political Report (Laura Paskus):

The New Mexico Gold King Mine Spill Citizens’ Advisory Committee will meet Monday evening in Farmington.

According to the New Mexico Environment Department, the committee includes 11 citizen volunteers from northern New Mexico, including the Navajo Nation, and works with New Mexico’s Long-Term Impact Review Team to monitor and understand the long-term impacts of the 2015 Gold King Mine accident…

Monday’s meeting will include a presentation on the area’s hydrogeology and geochemistry and provide an opportunity for public comment.

In May, the team released a long-term monitoring plan for the Animas River.

In addition to monitoring the impacts of the Gold King Mine spill, the work scientists are doing will help people understand how waste runoff from other mines affects surface and groundwater resources in the area. The work will also help identify how any future releases from abandoned mines might affect the Animas watershed.

To read the plan click here. You can also find an associated, peer-reviewed study from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources here.

Monday’s meeting will begin at 5:30 and be held in the SUNS Room at San Juan Community College in Farmington. For more information: http://www.NMEDriverwatersafety.org or http://NMENV-Outreach@state.nm.us

The orange plume flows through the Animas across the Colorado/New Mexico state line the afternoon of Aug. 7, 2015. (Photo by Melissa May, San Juan Soil and Conservation District)