Law Makers Move forward Dam Project on Colorado - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-31-2018   #1
 
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Law Makers Move forward Dam Project on Colorado

Hadn't seen this yet:

Lawmakers Move Forward Dam Project On Colorado River System | Wyoming Public Media

Water Conservationists Cry Foul on Proposed Battle Creek Dam -

Interesting views expressed in the articles as always. With the Colorado already being maxed at its water rights I would not think this is possible. But I guess upstream always wins in water law.

“What you have going on in the upper basin, which is Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, is basically a water war, where the states are fighting against each other to get the last legally allowed drop of water out of the river,”

Ten more water storage facilities in WYO in the next ten years....?

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Old 01-31-2018   #2
 
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We are eventually in for difficult interstate fights about water. Adding more of this water projects is just going to continue to stress a system that is already dangerously over utilized. I know Washington County is still moving forward with the Lake Powell Pipeline and just recently passed one needed approval.

All of these projects are justified by arguments about growth. At some point the communities of the intermountain west are going to have to recognize there is an upper limit and we would actually best constrain ourselves to an even lower sustainable number.
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Old 01-31-2018   #3
 
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Originally Posted by restrac2000 View Post
All of these projects are justified by arguments about growth. At some point the communities of the intermountain west are going to have to recognize there is an upper limit and we would actually best constrain ourselves to an even lower sustainable number.
What no one's talking about is that in modern times with widespread water conservation, economic / population growth and water use are effectively being decoupled in all the major population centers. For example, Denver residents have managed to reduce water consumption by more than 20 percent in the last 15 years, even with a 15 percent increase in population, according to Denver Water CEO Jim Lochhead.

When there's less water, people use less water.
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Old 01-31-2018   #4
 
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So you're saying you trust the Denver Water CEO?
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Old 02-01-2018   #5
 
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It would provide more irrigation water to about 25 different ranches and only costs 80 million? What a bargain for the taxpayers to be able to subsidize these ranches for $3.2million each + annual operating and repair costs.

The government has tons of extra money, the taxpayers have no other needs, and Lake Powell and Mead are bursting with water so why not allocate the excess water and money to these poor ranches?


When viewed in that light you can easily see why it is worth whatever environmental damage may result.
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Old 02-01-2018   #6
 
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I personally think this is a stupid idea, but I believe this is Wyoming tax money and supported by Wyoming taxpayers

and Wyoming taxpayers don't pay much, since most state income is from oil & gas taxes

with Colorado doctrine established, water rights are kind of 'use it or loose it' - which is too bad since states have an incentive to do stupid things to keep their water rights. maybe this can change someday
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Old 02-01-2018   #7
 
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with Colorado doctrine established, water rights are kind of 'use it or loose it' - which is too bad since states have an incentive to do stupid things to keep their water rights. maybe this can change someday
The "Doctrine of Prior Appropriation" is what's used by most Western States and was established in Colorado, I believe. The system is based on mining law which stipulates that the first to stake their claim and develop it have the first right to the water. And the "use it or loose it" part is one of the real downfalls to the system. I had a water manager explain to me once when we were talking about waterlogging the soils, and also flushing toxic metals and salts from the aquifer down along the Arkansas River on the plains. "A farm gets a half inch of rain on Tuesday, and then the farmer's obligated to take his share of the ditch water on Wednesday when his crops absolutely don't need it."
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Old 02-01-2018   #8
 
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So you're saying you trust the Denver Water CEO?
Do you have any data on this topic to suggest that we shouldn't trust this statistic?
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Old 02-01-2018   #9
 
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Do you have any data on this topic to suggest that we shouldn't trust this statistic?
Do you have any data that says that we should? Andy H. linked to an article where the CEO of Denver Water said that Denver residents have managed to reduce water consumption by more than 20 percent in the last 15 years, even with a 15 percent increase in population... but it doesn't have any data backing that up. It's also a feel good article about expanding a front range reservoir, so yeah,

Here's some good information about the proposed Wyoming dam: Supporters of $80M dam beat back funding cut | WyoFile
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Old 02-01-2018   #10
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From the utility:



I run a water conservation program for a municipal utility. Denver Water has long been an example of success. A few things drive this. One is that fixtures are getting more efficient due to more stringent standards. You can't buy a five-gallon toilet anymore. Another driver is the cost of obtaining new water. Water rights are really expensive because of availability. Denver realized many years ago that conservation can be a source of new supply, and if getting new water rights is really expensive, you can get good results from targeted conservation for less. They can also regulate how much turf is installed, and they can reward customers financially for installing xeric landscapes and then watering them less.

I remember a presentation at a conference several years ago from what I think was Aurora Colorado. They tried developing individual water budgets for all their customers. They used GIS to determine landscape areas, and each customer was given an amount they could use. Any more and the price would go through the roof. Neat idea, and it took a lot of work, but after a short time (a couple years), customers got tired of it and insisted it go away. I likely have some of the details wrong; it's been several years.
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