Colorado Springs Utilities named “WaterSense Partner of Year” — Monica Mendoza

October 22, 2014

From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Monica Mendoza):

Colorado Springs Utilities is the winner of the 2014 “WaterSense Partner of the Year” award. The team celebrated Wednesday at the Colorado Springs Utilities Board meeting.

The award comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which publicly recognized Utilities was honored in Las Vegas at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference.

Utilities was presented the award for its “commitment to water efficiency and efforts to educate Americans about WaterSense during 2013.”

By producing and promoting WaterSense labeled products, new homes and programs, WaterSense partners helped Americans save 271 billion gallons of water in 2013 alone —enough water to supply all U.S. homes for 26 days, Utilities officials said. More than 1,500 utility, manufacturer, retail, builder and organizational partners participated.

Colorado Springs Utilities was honored as a 2014 WaterSense Partner of the Year for helping low-income and non-profit housing providers improve efficiency with WaterSense retrofits, supporting apartment owners and managers in property upgrades, helping builders incorporate WaterSense Home certification and educating customers through events, classes, and its WaterSense product demonstration at its Conservation and Environmental Center.

“WaterSense is a crucial venue to discuss conservation and performance,” said Ann Seymour, Utilities water conservation manager. “By leveraging the WaterSense program, we can reach our conservation goals, as well as help customers save water, energy, and money. It’s a true example of win-win.”


Conservation: Broken Tee Golf Course at Englewood saves 28% in 2014

October 22, 2014
Broken Tee Golf Course via Golf Digest

Broken Tee Golf Course via Golf Digest

From the Englewood Herald:

High-end irrigation control plus cool, moist conditions helped the Broken Tee Golf Course at Englewood reduce annual water use by 28 percent this year.

Through Sept. 30, the computer-controlled irrigation system had applied about 62.5 million gallons of water to the course. That usage was down almost 20 million gallons from the 2013 total of about 86.2 million.

No treated water was used on the golf course. The irrigation water came from the South Platte River, the lakes on the course and wells on the course property.

More conservation coverage here.


“We’re still crunching the numbers…There’s been a spike” in comments since Aug. 20 — James Eklund #COWaterPlan

October 19, 2014

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):

A poll aimed at influencing the drafting of the Colorado statewide water plan says residents oppose a new transmountain diversion and the plan should emphasize conservation. The poll was commissioned by WaterforColorado.org, which said the results were mirrored in more than 18,000 comments submitted for the drafting of a statewide water plan, the first draft of which is to be presented on Dec. 10.

The comment period on the plan ended a week ago and the Colorado Water Conservation Board is now factoring comments into its report.

“Our position is that any engagement is good engagement,” said James Eklund, director of the CWCB, who noted that the agency received 10,475 letters between Sept. 20, 2013, and Aug. 20, 2014.

“We’re still crunching the numbers,” Eklund said. “There’s been a spike” in comments since Aug. 20.

That total included 6,213 form letters marked “protect Colorado’s rivers,” as suggested by Water for Colorado, Eklund noted. Comments also included 730 unique emails and 92 unique submissions on web forms.

The poll, conducted by a bipartisan team, Keating Research and Public Opinion Strategies, found that 90 percent of respondents said the water plan should be to keep the state’s rivers healthy and flowing and that 78 percent of voters prefer using water conservation and recycling instead of diverting water from the Western Slope to the Front Range. It also found that 88 percent of respondents support a statewide goal of reducing water use in cities and towns by 10 percent by 2020.

WaterForColorado.org doesn’t identify its source of funding or staff members and notes on the website that it “shares insights and expertise from a variety of organizations that research and study water conservation and natural resource issues. WaterForColorado.org offers a solutions-based approach to Colorado’s water future, and opportunities for the general public to have a voice and take action.”

Other organizations have made similar findings.

“The interesting thing is that in this survey, the West Slope is at least being echoed in emphasizing conservation,” said Jim Pokrandt, spokesman for the Colorado River Water Conservation District.

The poll was conducted Sept. 5 to 8 of 500 voters across Colorado, including an oversample of 162 voters on the West Slope. Statewide, the margin of error is plus or minus 4.6 percent and plus or minus 7.7 percent on the West Slope.

More Colorado Water Plan coverage here.


October is the @EPAwatersense Shower Better Month

October 17, 2014


Greeley has drafted an updated Water Conservation Plan and would like your feedback

October 16, 2014


Check out this new bipartisan poll on #COwater

October 14, 2014


“We are trying to understand how much water is available in agriculture without jeopardizing agriculture” — Perry Cabot

October 13, 2014
Flood irrigation in the Arkansas Valley via Greg Hobbs

Flood irrigation in the Arkansas Valley via Greg Hobbs

From The Grand Junction Free Press (Brittany Markert):

…through his current research, he’s [Cabot] suggesting that farmers and Grand Valley residents adopt more efficient water use practices — from crop watering to shorter showers — for its long-term benefits.

To prove his theory, Cabot is studying water impacts on two Mesa County farms. One is dealing with irrigation conservation related to split-season watering. The other is irrigation efficiency, comparing the three watering systems — drip, irrigation, and furrow.

“We are trying to understand how much water is available in agriculture without jeopardizing agriculture,” Cabot said. “We look at both conservation and efficiency, to prepare them for future water issues.”

This is important to western Colorado because, according to Cabot, residential use of water takes precedence over agriculture use of water. He suggests that conservation and efficiency work hand in hand, and the future of agriculture water is up to how residents and farmers use the water available now.

Cabot said he hasn’t found the best solution for water conservation yet, but he continues to study ways for farms to be more efficient locally.

“Western Slope agriculture and Western Slope water cannot and will not be considered as a single, easy-to-go-to solution to the water-supply concerns of others,” said Mark Harris, the general manager of the Grand Valley Water Users Association.

There is no easy solution, Harris agreed, but there’s also no denying a large chunk of water is tied up. All communities along the Western Slope and downstream are dependent upon water available, including agriculture and municipal use.

“The future holds a lot of different opinions, though through the lens of farmers, they are resilient,” Cabot said. “If they want to keep farming, they will.”

FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE & WATER

According to Colorado Mesa University’s Water Center coordinator Hannah Holm, when water becomes scarce, farmers have a target on their backs as the first to lose it. And with Colorado currently putting together a water plan to accommodate population growth and reduction in resources, water availability is a hot topic in the agriculture industry these days.

Farmers are as concerned as the rest of the state about having enough water for the state’s future, Colorado Agriculture Water Alliance confirmed. And they’re working to understand the challenges and what the future will hold.

John Harold, an Olathe Sweet Corn farmer at Tuxedo Corn Company, said agriculture is just part of the water-shortage solution.

“We can get by with less and do just as good as job,” he said. “My son and I have 200 acres of drip irrigation and proved we can grow quality crops with less water. There’s tremendous investment to it.”

Farmers are also encouraged to invest in efficient water systems to promote less waste, while also keeping up with population growth.

“It’s a perfect example of doing more with less,” Cabot added.

For more information, visit http://www.crwcd.org.


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