Frigid Polar Vortex Unlikely to Repeat This Winter — Scientific American

October 18, 2014


The latest Seasonal #Drought Outlook is hot off the presses from the Climate Prediction Center

October 17, 2014

seasondroughtprediction10162014thru01312015

Click here to go to the Climate Prediction Center website.


#Drought = “[The] great white sharks of climate” — Toby Ault #ColoradoRiver

October 17, 2014
Graphic via USA Today

Graphic via USA Today

From USA Today (Doyle Rice):

The dryness in California is only part of a longer-term, 15-year drought across most of the Western USA, one that bioclimatologist Park Williams said is notable because “more area in the West has persistently been in drought during the past 15 years than in any other 15-year period since the 1150s and 1160s” — that’s more than 850 years ago.

“When considering the West as a whole, we are currently in the midst of a historically relevant megadrought,” said Williams, a professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York.

Megadroughts are what Cornell University scientist Toby Ault calls the “great white sharks of climate: powerful, dangerous and hard to detect before it’s too late. They have happened in the past, and they are still out there, lurking in what is possible for the future, even without climate change.” Ault goes so far as to call megadroughts “a threat to civilization.”


October is the @EPAwatersense Shower Better Month

October 17, 2014


The Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies is offering their annual Snow Course for Water Professionals Feb. 11-13

October 17, 2014

It’s Time to Put Water First | Heather Himmelberger | TEDxABQ

October 17, 2014


San Juan River Basin: Dry Gulch Project update

October 17, 2014
San Juan River from Wolf Creek Pass

San Juan River from Wolf Creek Pass

from The Pagosa Springs Sun (Renita Freeman):

In the regularly scheduled meeting of the San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) on Oct.14, board chairman Rod Proffitt discussed the progress and tour of the Dry Gulch Water Storage Facility (Dry Gulch Project), concerns of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and the appraisal value of the Running Iron Ranch.

In a letter of intent dated Sept. 10 between SJWCD and the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD), each party agreed to work toward finalizing a satisfactory agreement that both relieves PAWSD of its financial obligations to the Dry Gulch Project and acknowledges efforts by SJWCD to develop the Dry Gulch Project on a more practicable basis with a broader group of interested partners.

The letter of intent stated that an exchange of PAWSD equity in the ranch to the CWCB for substantial debt relief is to both parties’ mutual advantage.

The letter of intent also states that if the principal outstanding on the loan cannot be reduced by the amount equal to the appraisal value of the ranch or $4.6 million, whichever is more, PAWSD may seek other means to reduce its debt to the CWCB. The letter of intent further states that the annual interest rate may be reduced to no more than 1.75 percent and a full term for payment of 30 years.

SJWCD agreed to provide an appraisal of the ranch to the CWCB, which would establish the fair market value of the 660-acre ranch, shared water rights directly and indirectly related to the Dry Gulch Project, and long-term debt obligations to the CWCB incurred in the purchase of the ranch…

Proffitt went on to explain that the problems with comparables done on similar ranches which sold for more was the fact they had more buildings and structures in place, as well as more riverfront on the properties than those of the ranch that was appraised.

Proffitt told the board he had completed a tour of the Dry Gulch Project with CWCB Commissioner James Eklund, Jeff Robbins, legal council for PAWSD, and Kent Holsinger, legal council for SJWCD.

Eklund was impressed with the site, Proffitt explained…

Proffitt told the SJWCD board Tuesday evening that steps should be taken in order to satisfy the CWCB concerns that the board stayed focused on the Dry Gulch Project and did not wane.

“Due diligence is needed to keep the Dry Gulch Project moving forward. Hopefully, the courts will see we are exercising due diligence,” he said.

In an email, CWCB Deputy Director of Resource Management Tim Feehan stated other items CWCB would like to see as part of an agreement going forward: “SJWCD would retain an equitable interest in the Dry Gulch Project and its fee interest in the property. SJWCD would be able to move forward with land exchanges to further the Project.”

Other items for consideration mentioned in the email were that SJWCD would be provided with adequate funding to move the project forward and would take the lead in discussions with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and other potential partners in the project.

The email went on to state that the CWCB would like to see SJWCD considered as manager/coordinator for the project once it is built and it also needs closure to be on the loan/grant agreement. The correspondence also pointed out a new operating agreement needs to include a forgiveness provision on the loan side of the existing agreement.

More Dry Gulch Reservoir coverage here.


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