Colorado

Ute Mountain Ute Tribe

In early January the Durango City Council signed a resolution supporting the delivery of water from Lake Nighthorse to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. “This water would really help our future,” Chairman Manuel Heart said. The resolution stemmed from a series of recent meetings between city officials and the tribe about the potential recreational use of Lake Nighthorse. The city will likely send the resolution to Colorado’s US senators and House members to help support the tribe as it seeks funding for infrastructure to deliver the water. The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe has water rights to about 31 percent of the water stored in the lake. The additional water would allow for greater economic development on the reservation.


Water and Land-Use Planning Legislation

Sponsored by State Senator Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) and State Representative Ed Vigil (D-Fort Garland), SB15-008 entitled Promote Water Conservation in Land Use Planning, is an attempt to tie water conservation with land-use planning through state water funding programs. The bill came out of the interim water resources committee with provisions and a proposed amendment by Roberts that would make conservation training mandatory for water officials and land use planners. It would apply to water providers that supply more than 2,000 acre-feet of water annually. The bill is getting pushback from municipal water providers, who are offering alternative language that allows for more time to develop conservation plans and gives them credit for quantifiable conservation programs in the past. The bill has passed and moved onto the Governor for signature.


April 5, 2015--California drought could impact Western Slope (Grand Junction Sentinel)

Even before California declared mandatory water restrictions last week, water purveyors in the Golden State were paying top dollar for water already in the state.


April 3, 2015--Preliminary plan to restore San Miguel River on Valley Floor (Telluride Daily Planet)

When Telluride purchased the Valley Floor in 2008 with the intention of preserving the open space in perpetuity, organizers immediately got to work figuring out how to restore any human tinkering that had degraded the wilderness.


April 2, 2015--Colorado mountain snowpack low at 69 percent, raising water concerns (Denver Post)

Colorado's mountain snowpack is running low — around 69 percent of average — raising concerns about low streamflow during summer and potential strain on water supplies. A relatively hot, dry March took a toll, melting away snowpack from 87 percent at the end of February.

April 2, 2015--Colorado House votes to allow rainwater collection (Bloomberg Business)

Colorado’s House of Representatives has approved a bill that would end the nation’s only ban on homeowners collecting rainwater. If signed into law, the measure would allow for the personal collection of as much as 110 gallons.


April 2, 2015--The potential impact of California's drought on Colo. (9 News)

New numbers out Thursday show Colorado's statewide snowpack has fallen. Preliminary estimates from the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service show the state's snowpack is at 69 percent of average. The state's climatologist said Colorado will need to have a strong finish to the spring snow season in order to even approach our average snowpack.


March 31, 2015--Colorado’s snow is dust-free for the first time in a decade (High Country News)

Last March, while kayaking the sandstone labyrinth of Utah’s San Juan River, I was punched in the face with a wall of wind. It howled up-canyon with a biting ferocity, carrying particles of red sand that scoured our faces and forced us into a cave for hours to seek shelter.


March 29, 2015--Tipton will re-introduce his water rights measure (Grand Junction Sentinel)

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., will tweak a previous measure of his to have the federal government recognize states’ water laws, Tipton said Saturday at the Club 20 spring meeting. A measure he plans to carry this Congress will take aim at a U.S. Forest Service directive he criticized as an overreach on control of groundwater.


March 28, 2015--Colorado's Water Plan close, but not there yet (Denver Post)

In December, Colorado will issue a comprehensive state water plan. The importance of this endeavor cannot be overstated: If done well, it can measurably improve our use of water and help to strengthen our quality of life and economy. This initiative is unprecedented, daring to go where previous efforts have failed.


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