Hydropower

Two West Slope Water Conservation Districts Jointly Adopt Principles for Addressing Colorado River Drought Conditions

The two Water Conservation Districts that comprise the entire Colorado River basin in Colorado adopted implementation principles concerning how the current, extended drought conditions are addressed on the Colorado River’s storage system.

September 10, 2014--How 'clean power' dams actually damage the environment (Public Radio International)

“Hydropower is really not a renewable resource in the most strict sense of the term,” explains Jason Rainey, the executive director of International Rivers.


August 13, 2014--Dire water predicament spurs cooperation, compromise (Grand Junction Free Press)

After a winter of happy news about the generous snowpack in Colorado’s mountains, summer brought reminders that our regional water situation is dire – or, at least, poised on the edge of direness. Just as the ink was drying on mid-July headlines announcing that Lake Mead had dropped t


August 11, 2014--Bone on bone in the Colorado River: Energy in times of drought (Denver Post)

Colorado water leaders used a curious approach last week in announcing a new water conservation program involving the Colorado River. They talked about electricity and the effect of spiking prices on corn farmers in eastern Colorado, ski area operators on the Western Slope, and cities along the Front Range. The scenario?


July 18, 2014--New report recommends effective water solutions in CO River Basin (Water World)

American Rivers and Western Resource Advocates -- two authorities on Western water issues -- issued a new report that identifies conservation, reuse and other innovative solutions that could eliminate Western water shortages stemming from the over-stressed Colorado River.


July 12, 2014--Lake Mead watch: At lowest levels since 1937 (High Country News)

For almost two decades, the white band of mineral deposits circling Arizona’s Lake Mead like a bathtub ring, has grown steadily taller, a sign that America’s largest manmade water source is in deep trouble. This week it fell to its lowest level since 1937, when Hoover Dam was completed and the reservoir filled.


July 3, 2014--Obama administration announces massive climate change funding (Huff Post)

President Obama's new climate change push was reaffirmed on Thursday when the Department of Energy announced that it will make $4 billion in loans available to clean energy projects. In a statement, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said:


Hydropower Production Threatened

According to a February memorandum from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), both Lake Powell (of the Upper Colorado Basin) and Lake Mead (of the Lower Colorado Basin) could soon become too low to operate their hydropower plants if conditions don't improve. At the May 14th Southwest Basin Roundtable (SBR) meeting in Cortez, John McClow, Commissioner on the Upper Colorado River Commission, provided an overview of this developing situation on the Colorado River. Water shortages from a persistent drought in the Southwest have left both lakes dangerously low, threatening electric supplies that are relied on by 5.8 million customers.


New DOE Hydropower Study

According to an April 29th Denver Business Journal article, Colorado and other western states are being positioned as ground zero in what appears to be a potential massive new push by the federal government to develop new hydroelectric power capacity in the U.S. That’s the underlying assumption in a new study by the U.S. Department of Energy. The report, New Stream-Reach Development Resource Assessment, by the Energy Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, estimates that 65 gigawatts of additional hydropower could be developed nationwide—3.8 gigawatts in Colorado. To put that into perspective, 65 gigawatts of power is roughly equivalent to all the existing hydropower in the U.S. today. In Colorado, 3.8 gigawatts of hydro nearly approaches all of the existing hydroelectric power being generated in the entire Colorado River basin, including Flaming Gorge, Glen Canyon Dam, and Hoover Dam, as well as the Aspinall Unit dams on the Gunnison River.


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