Arkansas Valley Conduit public meeting - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-19-2010   #1
 
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Arkansas Valley Conduit public meeting

All,
Some of you might find this topic interesting. We've just kicked off scoping under NEPA for the proposed Arkansas Valley Conduit which would run out to Lamar, Colo. There will be several alternatives for the pipeline route, which could or could not include the Arkansas River through Pueblo. If you're interested in learning more, we have a public meeting tonight. I'm actually not the public contact for this particular process, but I can get you on the e-mail list, if you're interested. Just let me know. Here's the news release:

Eastern Colorado Area Office
Loveland, Colorado


Media Contact: Kara Lamb (970) 962-4326
For Immediate Release: August 10, 2010

Reclamation Invites Public Comment on AVC

LOVELAND, Colo. - The Bureau of Reclamation is holding a public comment process and series of public open houses on the proposed Arkansas Valley Conduit and Long-Term Excess Capacity Master Contract.

The public comment period will open July 30 and close September 13, 2010. During this time, Reclamation is accepting public comments and will host public scoping meetings:
  • Thursday, August 19: Lorraine Education and Community Center, 301 E. Iowa Ave, Fountain, Colo.
  • Thursday, August 19: Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, 31717 United Avenue, Pueblo Colo.
Each open house will consist of informational displays, a brief presentation and opportunities for providing comments. They will run from 6:30-8 p.m., with the exception of the Fountain meeting which will be held from 1-3 in the afternoon.

The Arkansas Valley Conduit is a feature of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project. It would provide treated water to communities in southeastern Colorado. The Excess Capacity Master Contract would be a long-term contract issued by Reclamation to the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District for storage of water in Pueblo Reservoir.

Reclamation is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Public comments help Reclamation identify: (1) issues relevant to the proposal; (2) elements of the environment that could be affected by the proposal; and (3) possible alternatives to the proposal.

Written comments on the scope of the project should be provided via regular mail, fax or e-mail. Please address comments to the attention of Ms. J. Signe Snortland, Environmental Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 1017, Bismarck, ND 58502-1017, fax: (701) 250-4326, e-mail: [email protected]. Additional information is also available at www.usbr.gov/avceis.

# # #
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at Bureau of Reclamation Homepage.

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Old 08-26-2010   #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I heard that this agreement was passed. What does this mean for water levels in Pueblo?
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Old 08-26-2010   #3
 
Loveland, Colorado
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Soylent,
It shouldn't impact reservoir water levels.

But, I should clarify, the agreement reached yesterday was for the proposed Southern Delivery System pipeline. The announcement I started this chain with was for something different--the proposed Arkansas Valley Pipeline.

If you or anyone else is interested in more information, please just let me know.

Best,
Kara
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Old 08-26-2010   #4
 
Park City, Utah
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Where is the water to be drawn from the river at for both proposals?

how much water?
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Old 08-26-2010   #5
 
Loveland, Colorado
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more on SDS, NOT AVC

Hi Canada,
I should have been more clear about what kind of water, specifically the kind of contract--and this may or may not change your question, let me know:

The contract negotiations we just concluded with Colorado Springs Utilities (representing the participants in the proposed SDS) are for, among other things, excess capacity storage in Pueblo Reservoir and were really over prices. The Pueblo Chieftain has a good explanation of it this morning at Reclamation, Springs reach SDS agreement - The Pueblo Chieftain: News Web Site

The Colorado Springs Gazette also has an explanatory article at Springs & feds reach water deal that is key to pipeline | springs - Public Affairs - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO.

In the Gazette article it explains: "The partners have been seeking contracts to store, convey and transport roughly 42,000 acre feet of water through Pueblo Reservoir. An acre foot is about 326,000 gallons, or enough water to cover an acre of land with a foot of water."

I'll clarify that this water through Pueblo Reservoir is water Colorado Springs and the SDS participants (Pueblo West, Security Water District, and Fountain) already have. They would be utilizing what is called "excess capacity." That means, if and when Pueblo Reservoir does not fill with Fryingpan-Arkansas project water, Springs and the others can move their water through and store in the available space.

That's why you won't see changes in water levels at Pueblo Reservoir. They'll be using space that is already there.

We have a lot of SDS information available on the Web via the National Environmental Policy Act process which we wrapped up about a year and a half ago. If you're interested in that information, please visit http://www.sdseis.com.

Best,
Kara
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Old 08-26-2010   #6
 
Loveland, Colorado
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Oh--and I missed your question in the title. Both projects propose to draw the water directly from Pueblo Dam. The AVC might possibly use an outlet on the south side of the dam; the proposed SDS will likely use what is being called the Northern Outlet Works (on the north side of the dam).

--Kara
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Old 08-26-2010   #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Kara,

Thanks as always for giving great info to the boating community. I have been reading up on this and I unfortunately missed the meetings, so I have a question or two.

Quote from the Gazzette
Three types of contracts are involved. One will allow the SDS partners to store nonproject water in the reservoir if and when space is available. A second will enable pipeline participants to convey water through the reservoir. A third will allow Utilities to move water, through paper transfers, to other reservoirs in the Fry-Ark system.

I would like to know how the paper transfers to other reservoirs (Twin Lakes etc?) will affect flows on the upper ark. And if there is storage of this water in the headwaters reservoirs is there any way to controll releases to benefit whitewater recreation up here in the sticks? I am not sure how the "paper transfers work" and perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree, but if we could move that water on say weekends in August it might be nice.

Thanks
tony
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Old 09-02-2010   #8
 
Loveland, Colorado
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Hi Tony,
Sorry I didn't catch up with this conversation the other day.

Your question about the contracts is specific to the SDS, for which we just recently concluded the public contract negotiations. I think the best description of how the water transfers would work is in the EIS for the SDS. You can find that at http://www.sdseis.com. Go to the appendices of the Final EIS. The discussion starts on page A-1, with a specific explanation of how these exchanges work (and have been working) on page A-12. As it mentions on this page "Most of these water rights are used currently by the existing customer base." So, I think there will not be much noticeable difference on the Upper Ark.

Also, once the SDS contract is finalized, there will be another opportunity for public comment and review of the contract. So, keep an eye out for that.

Best,
Kara
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