2012 CWCB Statewide Drought Conference: It was a real Twitter fest yesterday and today

September 20, 2012

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I’m pretty sure there has never been as complete coverage of an event as there was for the 2012 CWCB Statewide Drought Conference. The past two days resulted in a Twitter thread or Trend of more than 400 Tweets. I created a .pdf of the whole trend and you can download a copy here.

It’s a little hard to read but scroll down near the bottom and read upward. (Twitter is presented in reverse chronological order). Concentrate on the black fonts for the content.

People tweeting about the conference included: @CoyoteGulch (of course), @bobbymagill, @beckylong, @KirkSiegler, @90by20, @ProtectFlows, @bberwyn, @CoEnviroCo, @highcountrynews, @jfleck, @denverpost, @KUNC, @DenverWater, @pmaloneco, @LauraPaskus, @COConnorDP, @joe_vacc, @paolobacigalupi and @OldNumberSix.

More CWCB coverage here.


‘We’ve got to put more focus on innovation in dealing with drought’ — Governor Hickenlooper

September 20, 2012

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The first day of the statewide drought conference had many highlights and anytime that Governor Hickenlooper shows up the energy level in the room goes up. He gave a short speech, emphasized “aligning self-interests” and listed some of the challenges that Colorado faces. The Guv even commented on the possible need to determine the “carrying capacity” of Colorado in terms of people and stress on the water supply.

I live-Tweeted the day at hashtag #CODrought. I was a bit mortified when I determined that I had also live-Tweeted some of the day, including most of the Hickenlooper speech at #CODrougnt. I blame cut and paste for repeating my typo over and over.

Here’s a report from Bobby Magill writing for the Fort Collins Coloradoan. Mr. Magill also live-Tweeted at #CODrought. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

In Colorado, [Climate Change] means business models will have to adjust to a time in which water is scarce, electricity is expensive and skiing is threatened. That was water rights investor Bill Brennan’s welcome message to the 2012 Colorado Statewide Drought Conference on Wednesday, where Gov. John Hickenlooper called for more places to store drinking water as Colorado’s weather becomes increasingly volatile…

A threatened ski industry will be one of Colorado’s largest climate change issues, while the state’s forests will be Colorado’s “single most threatened natural resource as foreign and native pests and diseases will thrive under a warmer climate,” he said…

Colorado should plan for another decade of generally dry conditions because of the current status of the weather-driving warm-cool cycles of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, said Klaus Wolter, researcher for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder…

Of members of the tourism and recreation industry in Colorado, only snow- and water-related businesses seem to be connecting the dots between drought, climate change and their bottom lines, said Deborah Thomas, associate geography and environmental science professor at the University of Colorado…

“I’m not out there to stir up the water around climate change,” Hickenlooper said, but everyone seems to agree that Colorado’s weather will become more volatile and unpredictable. To compensate, he called for more water storage in the state and better land-use planning tooled for better water conservation.

More coverage from Bruce Finley writing for The Denver Post. From the article:

…Hickenlooper told participants at a conference Wednesday that an analysis of “carrying capacity” must be done. “What is too many people? Eight million? Ten million? Twenty million?” Hickenlooper said in an interview after he made remarks at the conference. “You probably can have a lot more people if you have density.”

The analysis would determine: “Is there an ultimate capacity issue?” he said.

Colorado’s population of about 5.2 million is expected to reach 8.7 million to 10.3 million by 2050. State planners project a water supply gap of 200,000 acre-feet to 600,000 acre-feet at that time. For years, Hickenlooper has urged conservation as a solution to avert shortages, but this summer sent a letter to President Obama and federal engineers warning that Colorado faces a significant water supply gap and seeking swifter permitting decisions on proposed water projects to sustain urban growth…

Thursday, Obama Administration Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is expected to attend and announce that federal help will be made available to farmers in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, where overpumping of water from aquifers may force 80,000 irrigated acres out of production. State officials have pressed center-pivot farmers to take land out of production so that pumping can be reduced by about 30,000 acre-feet a year…

“As we go through a drought like this, there is no idea that is not worth listening to,” Hickenlooper said. “How do we rethink our legal system so we don’t end up putting communities in the position of drying up their water systems forever?

More coverage from Kurt Siegler writing for KUNC. From the article:

Governor Hickenlooper warned the audience of local and state water managers that climate change will likely bring more severe droughts in the years to come. He said this illustrates how vulnerable industries like farming and tourism are to a state with scarcer water, and a booming population…

With the state’s population approaching six million people, Hickenlooper added that droughts like this one illustrate the need for the construction of more water storage projects and better conservation. He also said he hoped it would lead to smarter decisions about where future home and other developments should occur.

More CWCB coverage here.


Colorado Water Quality Control Commission: Three Dolores River Watershed creeks get ‘outstanding water’ designation

September 20, 2012

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I believe cutthroats were seen doing backflips celebrating the news. Here’s a report from Caleb Soptelean writing for the Cortez Journal. From the article:

The Little Taylor, Rio Lado and Spring Creek drainages were selected for protection because they contain Colorado River cutthroat trout. The decision was made on Tuesday, Sept. 11 by the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission.

The Dolores River Anglers were the “movers and shakers” behind the effort…

The Dolores River Anglers notified Parks and Wildlife of the existence of the trout between Dolores and Rico north of Highway 145, said Burkett, who worked with Chuck Wanner on the application. The state agency is taking fry from the creeks and using them for brood stock since they are such a pure strain, [Chris Burkett] said…

The state has given 15 creeks and their tributaries the “outstanding water” designation since 2006, according to Anthony. The largest of these are Hermosa and Rapid creeks. These do not include wilderness areas or national parks.

More Dolores River Watershed coverage here and here.


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