- About WIP
- Participating Entities
- Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy District
- City of Durango Water Commission
- Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority
- Dolores Water Conservancy District
- Florida Water Conservancy District
- La Plata Electric Association
- La Plata Water Conservancy District
- Mancos Conservation District
- Mancos Water Conservancy District
- Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD)
- Pine River Irrigation District
- San Juan Water Conservancy District
- Southwestern Water Conservation District
- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
- Regional Water Projects
- Animas River Stakeholders
- Animas-La Plata Project
- Cloud Seeding Program
- Dolores Project (McPhee Reservoir)
- Dry Gulch Reservoir (Pending)
- Florida Project (Lemon Reservoir)
- Jackson Gulch Reservoir
- Long Hollow Reservoir
- Pine River Project (Vallecito Reservoir)
- Rio Blanco Restoration Project
- River Protection Work Group
- UMETCO (Urivan) Water Rights
- Water Information
- Contact WIP
- Colorado, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Water Quality, Oil and Gas Development
An avalanche or two above the headgate at Bear Creek blocked two creeks and nearly choked off Silverton’s water supply, which in turn froze their water line in February. The town’s public works crew struggled for 12 days to keep water flowing to businesses and residences. At one point, the crew had to use the fire department’s water truck to transfer water to the plant to keep the town supplied. Kuddos and congratulation to the Silverton’s public works crew for putting in long hours under miserable conditions to keep the town’s water system flowing.
Oil and gas companies will be required to test the groundwater around new drilling operations in Colorado beginning May 1, 2013. In January, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) approved new rules requiring energy companies to test up to four domestic water wells within a half-mile radius of all new oil and gas wells both before and after drilling begins. The rule aims to ensure that drilling and fracking are not contaminating groundwater. In addition, in February the COGCC voted to raise the minimum distance between wells and homes as well as other buildings to at least 500 feet statewide. The reason for the increased setback, among other issues (e.g., increases in dust, noise, etc.), were water contamination and quality issues. Previously, the state’s minimum distance was 150 feet in rural areas and 350 feet in urban settings. But starting August 1st, new wells drilled in Colorado must be at least 500 feet from buildings.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, along with landowners and environmental groups, have appealed an Arizona Department of Water Resources decision to approve a Los Angeles real estate company’s request to pump roughly 3,000 acre feet of water a year from state land near the San Pedro River--the last big, free flowing river in the southwest. The real estate company plans to use the water for development, but opponents argue the company would be intercepting water that would have otherwise flowed to replenish the river and the surrounding San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, which contains nearly 57,000 acres of federal land.
According to a January New York Times article county sheriffs, farmers, and ranchers across the West are grappling with a new scourge: hay rustling. Months of drought and grass fires have pushed the price of grain, hay, and other animal feed to near records, making the hay bales an increasingly irresistible target for thieves. Some steal them for profit, while others are fellow farmers acting out of desperation. Sheriffs in rural counties in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma say the spike in hay thefts is part of a broader rise in agricultural crime. California’s farmers have grappled recently with growing thefts of grapes, beehives and avocados, and sheriffs say high prices of scrap metal have made agricultural machinery--whether it works or not--an appealing target. On the range, wire fences are being clipped to allow interloping herds to poach grazing land. In addition, dubious online merchants are selling feed to farmers but never delivering.
Water managers across the region are scrambling to meet demands as much needed precipitation is lacking, while groundwater, reservoir, and river levels continue to decline. As an example, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) recently had to stock rainbow trout from their hatchery in Durango to area reservoirs earlier than usual. This was necessary because of very low water conditions at the hatchery. According to Jim White, aquatic biologist with the CPW, the Durango hatchery requires about 1000-1200 gallons of water per minute from groundwater sources to supply their operations. "The groundwater table was so low this winter that flows dropped to less than 800 gallons per minute" said White, and therefore we had to release some of the fish planned for summer stocking early.
Planners and engineers in the seven-state Colorado River Basin have spent three years and $4 million to forecast water supply and demand scenarios from now through 2060. As part of this, a recently completed (December 2012) 1,500 page was funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the seven Colorado River Basin states: the upper basin states of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, and the lower basin states of Arizona, California, and Nevada.
According to the Colorado Division of Water Resources, Animas River flows in November were the lowest in 102 years of record keeping at just 9,209 acre-feet (af). Rege Leach, Division engineer in Durango, indicated the second-lowest flows occurred in 1934 with 9,374 af.
Biologists recently caught a razorback sucker in Grand Canyon National Park. It was the first one seen in 20 years and it is believed the fish swam upstream 50 miles from Lake Mead.
According to a recent Science Daily article, a group of scientists from around the world is warning that population growth, widespread destruction of natural ecosystems, and climate change may be driving Earth toward an irreversible change in the biosphere.
In another Science Daily article, new research indicates that a combination of drought and mountain pine beetle attacks are the primary forces that have killed more than 2.5 million acres of