Newsletter Article

Natural Disasters on the Rise

According to a recent report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the world is nearly five times as disaster-prone as it was in the 1970s. The WMO researchers attributed this to increasing risks brought by climate change. The first decade of the 21st century saw 3,496 natural disasters from floods, storms, droughts, and heat waves.

Shuffield New PRID Manager

Brian Shuffield is the new Superintendent of the Pine River Irrigation District (PRID) at Vallecito Reservoir north of Bayfield. He began his work there earlier this year. Prior to working with PRID, Brian was employed with Western Energy Services of Durango.

PRID Installs New Bubbler System

The Pine River Irrigation District (PRID) recently installed a bubbler system at Lake Vallecito. The system prevents freezing around the rubber seals of the flood gates and the gates themselves.

Colorado River and Southwestern Water Conservation Districts

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.
 
The Colorado River and Southwestern Water Conservation Districts met in a special joint meeting on September 18th in Montrose, CO to address the ongoing drought conditions in the Colorado River basin and its effects on storage and operations of Lakes Powell and Mead. The two boards unanimously adopted a recommended priority for a contingency plan in response to extraordinarily low reservoir levels. The boards resolved that changes in federal reservoir operations and additional investment in river augmentation programs must be the first priority.
 

Dolores River Restoration Partnership

The Dolores River Restoration Partnership (DRRP) has been awarded $50,000 to continue its work eradicating tamarisk along the river. The group's Tamarisk Coalition, along with The Nature Conservancy, and BLM, have worked with the Southwest Conservation Corps, and Canyon Country Youth Corps to hire and train more than 200 youth to implement and monitor much of the restoration work. As a result of their efforts, the DRRP has been selected as the winner of the 2014 Colorado Collaboration Award. The $50,000 prize recognizes excellence and innovation in nonprofit partnerships.

La Plata Archuleta Water District

The La Plata Archuleta Water District (LPAWD) recently signed a contract with the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to purchase 2,500 acre-feet (AF) of water from the Animas-La Plata Project over a 40 year period.

Lake Nighthorse Organizations Encounter Numerous Recreation Discussion Delays

Recreation discussions between the: Animas-La Plata Operation, Maintenance, and Replacement (ALPOM&R) Association; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR); and City of Durango have encountered numerous delays. Lake Nighthorse will not be opened to the public in 2014 and may not be open next year either.


Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) wanted to once again remind customers that they now offer AquaHawk Alerting. It is a free service that will allow customers to efficiently manage their water use.

Trout Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy

Trout Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy are working to improve fish habitat and riparian health on the upper and lower Dolores River. Matt Clark, director for the Dolores River Chapter of Trout Unlimited, is organizing a project to install a fish passage and improved diversion dam at the Redburn Ranch north of Dolores. Currently, landowners have to build a cobble push-up dam across a wide section of river every year to get enough draw into a nearby diversion that irrigates the pastures. The make-shift dam blocks fish from moving up and down the river and washes out every year at high flows.

‘Big Boys’ Reach Landmark Water Conservation Agreement

In August, the Central Arizona Project, Denver Water, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and Southern Nevada Water Authority all signed on to what is being called a landmark water conservation agreement aimed at demonstrating “the viability of cooperative, voluntary compensated measures,” according to a press release from Denver Water. With Colorado River water supplies dwindling, these organizations--the biggest water users at the table--said they’ll invest $11 million to try and conserve significant amounts of water across all sectors, including agricultural, municipal, and industrial uses.

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