Archive - 2012

December 13th

December 11, 2012--Water pollution and the farm economy (New York Times)

As many people know, the astounding increase in agricultural output that marked the latter half of the 20th century came at a high environmental price. Agriculture is a major contributor to global warming, and runoff from farm fields helps pollute rivers and streams.

December 10th

December 10, 2012--Producing more power means using more water (High Country News)

Locked up inside the 6 million years of sediment that makes up the Green River Formation, which extends across mostly public lands in Colorado and Utah, may be the equivalent of a few trillion barrels of oil. Even if only half of it is recoverable, the oil shale of the Mountain West could one day fuel the world, turning the phrase "U.S. energy independence" from slogan to reality.

December 9, 2012--Gila River works to regain agricultural tradition (Durango Herald)

At a time when many cities and states in the West are grappling over water, a south-central Arizona Native American community has found itself in the enviable position of having rights to more water than it can use. The Gila River Indian Community established along the Gila River faced severe water shortages after the river was dammed upstream in the 1920s.

December 9, 2012--Scientists see big changes in winter weather patterns (Summit Voice)

Winter finally arrived in the Colorado high country, but not until the second week of December, after a November that saw average temps run an eye-popping 7 degrees above average.While the timing is a little unusual, it’s not unprecedented, and after two years in a row of lackluster early season snowfall, many people want to know if global warming is a factor in the changes.

December 9, 2012--Doha outcome: Kyoto Protocol lives, global climate deal by 2015 (Environmental News Service)

At the UN’s annual climate change conference just concluded in Doha, 194 countries agreed to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol through 2020. But the second phase still omits the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters – China and the United States. Without agreement at Doha the protocol would have expired in just 23 days.

December 9, 2012--Drilling spills reaching Colorado groundwater; state mulls test rules (Denver Post)

Oil and gas have contaminated groundwater in 17 percent of the 2,078 spills and slow releases that companies reported to state regulators over the past five years, state data

December 7, 2012--West Slope water safe ... for now (Grand Junction Free Press)

Regular readers of this column are probably aware that Colorado is on course for a significant “gap” between municipal water demands and supplies by 2050, when the state's population is forecast to reach 10 million people — about double what it is now. Gov.

December 7, 2012--Nov.’s Animas flow lowest on record (Durango Herald)

It’s no wonder the Animas River looks like a trickle. The total flow in the Animas through Durango during November was 9,209 acre-feet, the lowest in 102 years of records, Rege Leach, the state Division of Water Resources engineer in Durango, said Thursday. The second-lowest flow in the Animas was in 1934, when 9,374 acre-feet flowed through Durango, Leach said.

December 7, 2012--New rules for Colorado’s cloud-seeding program (Summit Voice)

Colorado’s $1 million cloud-seeding program continues to expand, and under new rules adopted this past summer, the state and the water providers and ski areas who pay for the program hope to get a better idea if their efforts to boost snowfall are effective.

December 7, 2012--Unused pills raise issue of disposal and risks (New York Times)

Brand name drug makers and their generic counterparts rarely find themselves on the same side of an issue, but now they are making an exception.