Fall 2010

People & Organizations

Genualdi New Assistant Division Engineer

The Colorado Division of Water Resources has hired Robert Genualdi as the new Assistant Division Engineer for the Dolores/San Juan River Basin, Durango Office.

Kraft Leaving Area

Local water engineer, Amy Kraft, with Harris Water Engineering, will be leaving the area this Fall. Kraft has lived in Durango for 15 years and has been with Harris since 2001.

Key PAWSD Personnel Resign

Carrie Weiss, Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) Manager, resigned in August after 28 years with the District.

BOR Helps New Mexico with AIS Program at Navajo Reservoir

Due to the State of New Mexico’s budget constraints, the Bureau of Reclamation (Western Colorado Area Office) is currently working with New Mexico State Parks to provide financial assistance to implement an Aquatic and Invasive Species (AIS) Program for boat inspections, decontamination, and public education at the Pine River and Sims Mesa boat ramps at Navajo Lake State Park.

La Plata Archuleta Water District

La Plata ArchuletaWater District has proposed a plan to build a joint water-treatment plant with the Town of Bayfield. Dick Lunceford, president of the water district, told the town board that a joint venture could benefit both entities. Both the Town and the District will be getting their water from Vallecito Reservoir via the Pine River.

Lower Dolores Working Group

U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service officials at the Dolores Public Lands Office are reviewing a series of recommendations regarding updated management plan for the Lower Dolores River. The recommendations were solidified over the past 18 months through a series of discussions held by the Lower Dolores Plan Working Group.

Southwest Basin Roundtable

There were two roundtable meetings conducted since the last WIP newsletter in June. One was July 7th in Durango and more recently September 8th in Cortez. The July meeting provided a summary of Southwest Basin Roundtable projects. From 2007 through June, 2010 there have been a total of 23 Southwest Basin Roundtable Projects funded.

Current Events

Recreation at Lake Nighthorse

Recreation planning continues at Lake Nighthorse, with many organizations actively involved in securing funds to aid with recreation efforts. In addition, according to a Durango Herald article, the National Park Service planner organizing a recreation plan wants to ensure everyone interested is heard.

Mead Plummets

Water levels in Lake Mead fell sharply again this summer and are nearing an elevation that would set off the first-ever official water shortage on the river. The reservoir, which supplies roughly 30 million users in the West, dropped to 1,087 feet above sea level, or about 40 percent of capacity.

Warming to Have Major Impacts on Western Water

There was a plethora of climate change related articles that appeared in the July to August timeframe.

Four-Corners in a Black Hole

In a study sponsored by the Southwestern Water Conservation District, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Colorado Water Conservation Board, and Colorado Division of Emergency Management a sophisticated mobile radar system is proving what researchers have suspected for years. The Four Corners region, especially southern Archuleta and La Plata counties is in a black hole.

Water Quality / Conservation

A Fight Over Luxury Showers

Regulators are going after some of the luxury shower fixtures that took off in the housing boom. Many have multiple nozzles, cost thousands of dollars and emit as many as 12 gallons of water a minute.

Water Pollution at La Plata County Jail

La Plata County is headed to trial in October in a lawsuit against a rifle manufacturer over groundwater pollution at the jail. La Plata County wants Brown Group Retail, Inc., to pay the costs of cleaning up groundwater that is polluted with toxic, chlorine-based solvents.

Water Law

Amendments 60 & 61 and Proposition 101

Quite the controversy is brewing over upcoming November Amendments 60 and 61, as well as proposition 101. According to the Bell Policy Institute and the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute website (www.

Drinking Water Regulations

Tougher rules to protect water users from contamination in wells are being considered by the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. The Commission is seeking to tighten conditions, which include no new waivers for public drinking water systems and withdrawing waivers for schools and day care centers.

New Mining Rules

Colorado mining regulators set new rules in August aimed at protecting groundwater against damage from uranium mining. The rules, approved by the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board, require companies to test groundwater at mining sites before prospecting. Regulators can use test data to ensure companies don't leave groundwater degraded.

WIP News

Water 101 Seminar

The Water Information Program and the San Juan Citizens Alliance sponsored the Fifth Annual “Water 101” Seminar on Friday, October 8th from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at the new Bayfield Town Hall.

Water History

Historic Mayflower Mill Fueled by Hydropower

The San Juan County Historical Society has spearheaded the restoration of the historic Mayflower Mill on the Animas River in Silverton. Sunnyside Gold Corporation donated the mill to the society in 1998 as part of a $20 million restoration project. It currently operates as a self-guided tour for visitors interested in the area's mining history.