Here are the notes for this week via the Colorado Climate Center .
From the Sterling Journal Advocate (Forrest Hershberger):
Jim Yahn, manager of the North Sterling and Prewitt Reservoir system, and members of other area water management boards, met with the Sterling City council last week regarding a proposed “water co-op,” as City Manager Joe Kiolbasa described it…
Yahn and his associates came to the council, explaining the plan they are taking to other ditch companies. “We`ve met with all these ditch companies, telling them what we`re thinking,” he said. Part of the discussion is developing an agreement where individuals and agencies can exchange, buy and share water credits. “If we don`t do something, agriculture will have a target,” Yahn said. “We have these pressures on our area for Front Range water.”[...]
Yahn said ultimately the idea is to plan for water need associated with population growth. He said some communities have narrowly missed running out of water; others have entered contracts with other water suppliers to keep their communities healthy. “We kind of feel an urgency to get this thing going,” he said. He said the plan of sharing water credits could be a financial asset to an owner or agency willing to sell or lease credits to others. It is an example of rural water users getting as much out of each gallon as possible.
More South Platte River basin coverage here.
From the Summit Daily News (Drew Anderson):
The program aims to engage students in the process of dealing with a socio-environmental issue from varying points of view. In this instance, students learned about mining and water quality issues surrounding the Pennsylvania Mine and the Snake River Watershed…
After learning about the issue, students were accompanied by Keystone Science School educators to local bodies of water such as French Creek, Miner’s Creek and Tiger Dredge to take water samples. Students tested the samples for heavy metals or abnormal pH levels and compared their results to samples tested by Colorado Mountain College. Field work proved to be the students’ favorite part of the program. “Going out and testing the water was the best part,” said SMS student Elle Dice. “It was kind of cold, but it was fun.”[...]
After reviewing the results, students played the parts of stakeholders to the Pennsylvania Mine situation. Roles included county commissioners, biologists, environmental protection agency representatives and Montezuma residents, among others. In a mock town hall meeting, the students recommended a solution based on the perceived motivation of their stakeholder role. The students widely agreed that bioremediation — the use of natural filtration systems to absorb heavy metals — was the best solution to the problem. Next spring some of the students will return to the creeks from which the samples were taken to plant willow seeds and enact other forms of bioremediation to the affected water flows…
For more information about the Keystone Science School and the Education in Action program, visit www.keystone.org/cfe/kss or e-mail Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More education coverage here.
Energy policy — nuclear: Black Hills gets the go ahead for expanded uranium exploration in Fremont CountyNovember 24, 2010
From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tracy Harmon):
[Fremont County Commissioners] voted 2-1 to allow Australia-based Black Range Minerals’ request to expand exploration on an additional 2,220 acres of property known as the Hansen Deposit, which is believed to be the largest uranium deposit in the district…
In passing the resolution, commissioners also put into place 34 conditions the company must abide by to continue exploration. Commissioner Mike Stiehl cast the one dissenting vote, saying the commission has, “Gone beyond the conditions crafted the first time around and I think done a better job of protecting our water.”
Black Range Explorations Manager Ben Vallerine asked the commission to consider changing one of the conditions from twice-a-year water well monitoring to once a year. “We would like some degree of flexibility in that,” Vallerine said.
“We didn’t agree with that and wanted twice-a-year monitoring because of the wet and dry times,” Stiehl said.
Vallerine also requested the proposed water sampling take place twice a year on wells within a half-mile of exploration areas and only once a year for wells outside of the half-mile range. Again, the commission denied that request. “The applicant continually is resistant to monitoring and I am not able to understand why they are resistant,” Stiehl said.