Colorado

Goosing the West Slope

“The Western Slope needs to be goosed,” says Chris Treese, of CRWCD. “Frankly, the Front Range has led most of the water-conservation efforts in Colorado to date.” In an effort to rectify this, numerous mountains towns in Colorado are devoting more attention to water conservation and efficiency. Altogether, Colorado is talking more about efficiency and conservation and in Denver; three separate bills were introduced into the Colorado Legislature this winter.


Southwest Colorado Small-Scale Hydro

If you are interested in developing small-scale hydro projects in southwestern Colorado, particularly ditch drops and pressurized irrigation (including center pivots), visit the Colorado Small Hydropower Association website. At a workshop held in Durango on May 19th, it was clear there are many agricultural hydropower opportunities in southwestern Colorado, thanks in part to new federal and state incentives.


Colorado Water Plan

In June, each of the basin roundtables submitted their draft implementation plans to the CWCB. The CWCB will review basin plans in July. Then the huge challenge will be to incorporate each of the basin plans all into the larger Colorado Water Plan and provide a draft to Governor Hickenlooper by his imposed deadline of December 2014. In May of this year, the Governor signed legislation (SB115) that instructs the CWCB to have hearings in each basin and for the draft plan to be presented to the Legislature’s interim committee on water resources.


Recreation at Lake Nighthorse

While Lake Nighthorse filled in 2011, it is still not open to the public for recreation. To help address and alleviate growing public concerns and outcries about this, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) provided an update to the public on recreation at Lake Nighthorse on June 18th in Durango. There were approximately 100 in attendance.


Durango’s New Whitewater Park Opens

The Whitewater Park in-stream construction that began November 2, 2013, is finished and opened on April 18th.  Features of the $1 million project include eddies, flow deflectors, and four bank-to-bank drop features that create large rapids, said Scott Shipley, Olympic paddler and designer of Durango’s Whitewater Park.


The Value of McPhee Reservoir and the Dolores River, by Mike Preston

McPhee Reservoir is the centerpiece of the Dolores Project, which expanded irrigation to 28,500 acres of land from Yellow Jacket to Dove Creek and to 7,600 acres of Ute Mountain Ute Farm and Ranch operations. These irrigated lands produce some of the highest-quality dairy hay in the West, along with a variety of other crops, including 640 acres of native seed that is being used to restore BLM lands across the west. The project also provides water to a growing number of smaller vegetable producers.


Brennan Passes

Doris Brennan, a 12-year member of Animas-La Plata (A-LP) Water Conservancy District Board of Directors, passed away on May 20th. She was 94. Doris retired from the A-LP Board in 2009. Those who knew her commented on her “eye for detail and memory,” sense of humor, and perseverance.


Fitzgerald Award

Healthy forests directly contribute to healthy watersheds. Related to this, a local forester, Gretchen Fitzgerald, with the San Juan National Forest, recently received a distinguished Regional Forester’s Honor Award for her work to restore burned areas and help design for mitigations for potential stresses from climate change. Gretchen acquired two grants totaling $1.2 million through the National Forest Foundation. Funding came from Chevrolet and Disney corporations in exchange for carbon offsets.


Genualdi New CDWR Division 7 Engineer

The Colorado Division of Water Resources has appointed Robert Genualdi as the Division Engineer for the Dolores/San Juan Durango Office. The Division is responsible for administering water rights, groundwater well permitting, hydrography, and dam safety in the Basin.


Gunderson Steps Down

Steve Gunderson, Director of the Colorado Water Quality Control Division (WQCD), will retire after nearly a decade of service in which he helped to develop stronger regulations to protect the state’s rivers and streams. Steve has served with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment since 1989. He rose to prominence in the 1990s during his work with the state as a leader in the cleanup of the polluted nuclear weapons production site at Rocky Flats near Boulder.


Syndicate content