- About WIP
- Participating Entities
- Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District
- City of Durango Utility Commission
- Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority
- Empire Electric Association
- Florida Water Conservancy District
- Harris Water Engineering
- High Desert Conservation District
- Dolores Water Conservancy District
- La Plata Archuleta Water District
- La Plata Electric Association
- La Plata Water Conservancy District
- La Plata West Water Authority
- Mancos Conservation District
- Mancos Water Conservancy District
- Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company
- Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD)
- Pine River Irrigation District
- San Juan Water Conservancy District
- Southwestern Water Conservation District
- Town of Silverton
- Town of Telluride
- Regional Water Projects
- Animas-La Plata Project (Lake Nighthorse)
- Animas River Stakeholders
- Cloud Seeding Program
- Dolores Project (McPhee Reservoir)
- Dry Gulch Reservoir (Pending)
- Florida Project (Lemon Reservoir)
- Mancos Project (Jackson Gulch Reservoir)
- Long Hollow Reservoir
- Pine River Project (Vallecito Reservoir)
- Rio Blanco Restoration Project
- River Protection Work Group
- Water Information
- Contact WIP
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.
Hydroelectric power is a well-established and low-cost form of renewable energy that doesn’t produce greenhouse gases.
Just how much more water can be drawn from the rivers that originate near Winter Park, Breckenridge, and Aspen, as well as Crested Butte, Telluride, and Durango, before the electrical supply powering the ski lifts gets wobbly? That sounds a bit like a zen koan, but in fact, it’s at the heart of a discussion now underway in Colorado.
The South Canal was sculpted through hardscrabble hills to deliver water imported from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The water irrigates 66,000 acres of farms and orchards in the Delta-Montrose area.
Much of the west coast’s water comes from the Colorado river, which, as its name suggests, originates high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The current drought is most severe at the end of the line in Nevada and California, but Colorado is also drying out. Restrictions on residential water use are helping, but can only do so much.
In 2014, as the single largest source of renewable power in the US, hydropower accounted for more than 50% of all renewable generation - 6.5% of the country's total electric production. However, in sharp contrast to these rousing figures, is the growing realisation that for the past 15 years US hydropower generation has almost flat lined with less than a 2% total increase.
The water-energy nexus spans the world of electricity generation and water movement, particularly in Western states. It takes water to produce steam for coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants, and they usually need water to cool them down.
As investments in wind and solar power climb, backing major hydropower projects may be seen as a risky bet in a warming world. Studies indicate that climate change could make rain and snowfall less certain in some regions. An indicator of where renewables investors are focusing their attention, large hydropower was left out of a recent and major United Nations and Bloomberg report showing that global investments in renewables spiked 17 percent in 2014.
According to a mid-May Los Angeles Times article, Shasta Dam, looming more than 600 feet tall and gatekeeper of the largest man-made lake in California, was designed to perform two crucial functions: Store water and generate power. And for decades, the massive concrete structure has channeled water to cities and farms while generating up to 710 megawatts of hydropower, enough to provide electricity for more than 532,000 homes. But amid four years of drought, the reservoir is drained to 50% of capacity, cutting the dam's power production by about a third, according to federal reclamation officials.
Shasta Dam, looming more than 600 feet tall and gatekeeper of the largest man-made lake in California, was designed to perform two crucial functions: Store water and generate power. And for decades, the massive concrete structure has channeled water to cities and farms while generating up to 710 megawatts of hydropower, enough to provide electricity for more than 532,000 homes.