Archive - Apr 2012


April 30th

April 30, 2012--Low snowpack means a dry summer for the West (High Country News)

The winter of 2012 produced more apocalyptic records than hip-hop MCs on the eve of Y2K. March was the warmest on record for the Lower 48, averaging 8.6 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average. In the West, La Niña predictably soaked and chilled the Northwest while leaving the Southwest warm and dry.

April 28, 2012--Beetle invasion looms (Durango Herald)

Wolf Creek Pass--Kent Grant pointed to a steep hillside where grayish swaths of timber marked stands of beetle-killed Engelmann spruce. "This is what other areas could look like soon,” said Grant, the district forester in Durango for the Colorado State Forest Service. “The beetle kills started a few years back in the Weminuche (Wilderness) high country and spread rapidly.

April 28, 2012--Drought: Will there be a call on the Colorado River? (Summit Daily)

A compact call looms in the 10th year of sustained drought in the Colorado River Basin. The Upper Basin, which includes all of Colorado, would have to send water downstream, and would be faced with dramatic curtailment measures.

April 27, 2012--Dry winter delivers a drought (Durango Herald)

Alot of Western Colorado has been in drought mode since the beginning of the year, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Thursday. “It’s not as severe as in 2002, but drought is expanding and becoming more intense,” Jim Pringle said during a stop at The Durango Herald.

April 27, 2012--Las Vegas water grab challenged in court (Summit Voice)

Nowhere is water more precious than the desert, where a tiny oasis can be the only source of sustenance in thousands of acres. Most people intuitively understand the value of water in dry regions, but Las Vegas and Nevada state water officials just don’t get it.

April 27, 2012--Study indicates a greater threat of extreme weather (New York Times)

New research suggests that global warming is causing the cycle of evaporation and rainfall over the oceans to intensify more than scientists had expected, an ominous finding that may indicate a higher potential for extreme weather in coming decades.

April 26th

April 26, 2012--County supports water rights case with expert reports (Telluride Watch)

In a move deemed “somewhat unusual” by one water law veteran, Montrose County this week released the expert reports it commissioned to support its applications for water rights in western Montrose and San Miguel counties.

April 26, 2012--Irrigators put call on Colorado River (Grand Junction Sentinel)

The first call was placed on the Colorado River on Monday, from the Grand Valley Irrigation Co., which feared flow levels in the river would stay exceptionally low. Flows went back up shortly thereafter, and the call was back off, but water managers are likely to remain in a state of heightened vigilance this year, particularly in comparison to just one year ago.

April 26, 2012--House GOP votes to gut Clean Water Act (Summit Voice)

A long-running battle over Clean Water Act policies took another turn this week, as the U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted to block the Obama administration from implementing new policy guidance that would reinstate protections removed by the Bush administration.

April 26, 2012--Colorado rivers, streams may get boost from lease of water rights (Denver Post)

Looming drought has prompted a new push to prevent harm to streams and rivers: temporarily leasing water normally diverted to household taps, farms and ranchland and letting t