New Report now available: Protecting Source Water in Colorado During Oil and Gas Development. This report is intended for water providers and community members interested in learning about methods to protect source water quality in areas of oil and gas development. The report focuses on methods that water providers and local governments can engage with the oil and gas industry to protect source waters, such as commenting on the location of oil and gas wells, negotiating the use of best management practices to maintain water quality, and enacting watershed protection ordinances. "Source water" includes both the surface waters (streams, rivers, and lakes) and the groundwater (aquifers) that serve as sources of public drinking water. The report is a collaborative effort of the Colorado Rural Water Association, Western Resource Advocates, University of Colorado Intermountain Oil and Gas Best Management Practices (through a CU Outreach grant to the Getches-Wilkinson Center), and AirWaterGas, a National Science Foundation funded research group of ten institutions including Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, and the University of Colorado. The full report can be downloaded HERE.
To help celebrate National Lakes Appreciation Month, passengers at Denver International Airport (DEN) can connect with Colorado’s water through a new temporary art exhibit, “Water Brings Life to Land.” The exhibit, which can be seen at the southeast end of the Jeppesen Terminal on Level 5 through October, is a collaboration among the Barr Lake & Milton Reservoir Watershed Association and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Display cases feature different educational topics about water, including: watersheds; how too many nutrients degrade water quality; why it’s important to keep Colorado’s water clean; things to do at nearby Barr Lake State Park and other state parks; and different ways to safely enjoy Colorado’s water. The exhibit seeks to inspire travelers to be aware about living within or traveling to other watersheds, and why it’s important to protect water quality everywhere. Additional information about Barr Lake & Milton Reservoir can be found at http://www.barr-milton.org/ and Colorado Parks and Wildlife at http://cpw.state.co.us/
Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) recently approved up to $500,000 (divided equally between GOCO’s Open Space and Local Government purposes) to be awarded to GOCO-eligible projects in conjunction with the Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA). The goal of these funds is to employ youth and young adults (ages 14-25) throughout the state on critical outdoor recreation and land conservation projects using the network of youth corps accredited by CYCA. CYCA, in partnership with GOCO, is managing a competitive RFP process for projects funded from GOCO’s Local Government and Open Space purposes. The GOCO Board will vote on the slate of projects in December 2016. They strongly encourage early submissions to avoid missing the September, 22nd 4:00 PM MDT deadline. Questions about applicant or project eligibility should be directed to Madison Brannigan, GOCO’s Local Government Program Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). Questions about the appropriateness of using a youth corps, how to prepare for hosting a youth corps, etc. should be directed to Scott Segerstrom, CYCA’s Executive Director (email@example.com) or the youth corps that serves your area (find youth corps region map at www.cyca.org).
The Colorado Rio Grande Restoration Foundation is soliciting bids for an Upper Rio Grande Watershed Assessment. The hired contractor, in collaboration with the Upper Rio Grande Watershed Assessment Technical Advisory Team, will assess the ecological condition of the Upper Rio Grande watershed by collecting, compiling, and analyzing data characterizing riparian habitat, geomorphology, recreation, adjacent uplands, and infrastructure. Simultaneously, Project partners will assess the condition of aquatic habitat, flow regimes, and water quality through the collection of new data and the analysis of existing data. The Project will result in synthesized data detailing current conditions, causes of degradation, and prioritized projects and recommendations to increase resiliency in the Upper Rio Grande watershed. Bid Proposals will be due on August 24, 2016 at 5:00pm. Questions regarding the bid packet can be directed to Emma Regier Colorado Rio Grande Restoration Foundation, Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project 623 Fourth Street Alamosa, CO 81101, (719) 589-2230,firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first joint project to help farmers use existing irrigation water to generate electricity has been completed in Colorado. And the Colorado Department of Agriculture is looking for more producers who want to try it. The installation, near Hotchkiss, Colorado, is the first for the multi-agency Pressurized Irrigation Small Hydropower Partnership Project, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). During the next few years, the program is expected to create 30 on-farm hydropower projects in Colorado. "This project helps farmers by putting their water to work, creating electricity that lowers their power bills," said Don Brown, Commissioner of Agriculture. "We are very proud of this project and how it gives producers a way to cut their costs and use their resources efficiently." Click HERE to read more.
SAVE THE DATE for the next Watershed Wildfire Protection Group meeting on Friday, November 18th, 2016 from 9:00 am -3:00 pm MST at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Administration Building; Bighorn Room @ 6060 Broadway in Denver. A tentative agenda for the meeting available by the end of October.
The Colorado Water Quality Control Division, Department of Public Health & Environment will be holding Nutrient Methods and Stakeholder Meetings. Because Regulation 85 allows for the use of analytical methods approved by the Water Quality Control Division, but not included in (or approved pursuant to) in 40 CFR Part 136, the division maintains a list of methods approved for Regulation 85 nutrient monitoring. The Colorado Water Quality Forum will host a series of stakeholder meetings starting to work through the proposed changes to the regulations. Details about the work group meetings will be available shortly on the forum website. For questions about analytical methods, please contact Kristy Richardson 303-692-6412 or Arne Sjodin 303-692-3522. For questions about the rulemaking hearing stakeholder process, or any other nutrient-related matter, please email CDPHE_nutrients@state.co.us.
The next Water Availability Task Force meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 from 1:00 pm -2:30 pm at the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Headquarters, 6060 Broadway, Denver in the Red Fox Room. An agenda has been posted at the CWCB website. In the event you are unable to attend the meeting in person, please email Ben Wade for call in & web conference information.
WATER QUALITY CONTROL COMMISSION - HEARING NOTICES
The following Notices of Rulemaking Hearings have been posted on the commission’s web site: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wqcc-rulemaking-proceedings.
· Temporary Modifications to water quality standards in the Classifications and Numeric Standards for:
o Arkansas River Basin, Regulation #32 (5 CCR 1002-32),
o Upper Colorado River Basin and North Platte River (Planning Region 12),
Regulation #33 (5 CCR 1002-33),
o San Juan River and Dolores River Basins, Regulation #34 (5 CCR 1002-34),
o Gunnison and Lower Dolores River Basins, Regulation #35 (5 CCR 1002-35),
o Rio Grande Basin, Regulation #36 (5 CCR 1002-36),
o Lower Colorado River Basin, Regulation #37 (5 CCR 1002-37), and
o South Platte River Basin, Laramie River Basin, Republican River Basin, Smoky Hill River Basin, Regulation #38 (5 CCR 1002-38).
· Pretreatment Regulations, Regulation #63 (5 CCR 1002-63).
The following Notice of Administrative Action Hearing has been posted on the commission’s web site: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wqcc-administrative-action-hearings.
· FY 2017 Intended Use Plans for the Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water Revolving Fund.
The following Notices of Informational Hearings have been posted on the commission’s web site: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/wqcc-public-informational-hearings.
· Classifications and Numeric Standards for Arkansas River and Rio Grande Basin, Regulations #32 and #36 (5 CCR 1002-32 and 5 CCR 1002-36) (Issues Scoping Hearing).
· Animal Feeding Operations Control Regulation, Regulation #81 (5 CCR 1002-81).
· Annual public comment informational hearing.