A 1000 Year Rain – Commemorative Edition will be available here at the Trail for sale this coming Tuesday…. http://t.co/Bg2FCaVxxy
— Trail Gazette (@EPTrailGazette) December 6, 2013
From KRDO (Emily Allen):
The task force conducted it’s first ever official poll to help brainstorm solutions for the region’s stormwater problems.
“We wanted to have some good, solid data on what citizens are thinking,” said Rachel Beck with the Pikes Peak Regional Stormwater Task Force. “We wanted to have some good solid data and not just be guessing.”
It worked with an independent group to survey 400 people in the Pikes Peak region.
Ninety-five percent say flood control is important. Ninety-five percent say stormwater has had a serious impact on the community. Some 59 percent say the current stormwater system is in poor or not so good condition.
“This is much stronger support than we would have expected,” said Beck…
Beck said the poll is insightful, but there is still disagreement about how to solve the problem.
“As you drill down to who manages the program and how we pay for it and the real specific things, there is less agreement on that and that’s where we are going to have to have a lot more conversation,” said Beck.
Al Brody said he sat on a stormwater task force between 2005 and 2006. He is no longer on the task force, but he still wants the community’s stormwater issues resolved. He said tackling new projects is not the solution.
“Emergency management becomes the key factor and not building and building and building bigger infrastructure to get the water out because 99.9 percent of the time you don’t need it, you need it for that one flash flood and it’s devastating but it will be devastating to people and property no matter what,” said Brody.
The task force will use results from the poll to come up with solutions. Beck said any solution will be approved by voters before moving forward.
From The Colorado Springs Gazette (Matt Steiner):
Larry Small of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District announced plans Monday to sponsor a study to identify potential projects stemming from storms and floods that hit the Pikes Peak region in July, August and September. Much of the damage along Fountain Creek came during flash floods in early July and Aug. 9, while that near Cheyenne Creek happened during torrential rains that occurred in El Paso County north to the Wyoming border.
El Paso County’s John Chavez called the assessment a “fill in the gaps project” that will further point out post-Waldo Canyon fire weaknesses in the watersheds. The project is expected to run through the end of 2014, Small said at Monday’s monthly Waldo Canyon Fire Regional Recovery Group meeting. The fire ravaged the mountains west of Colorado Springs in June 2012, killing two people, burning more than 18,000 acres and destroying 347 homes.
The Upper Fountain Creek and Cheyenne Creek Flood Restoration Master Plan comes more than six months after two studies in the Waldo Canyon burn scar and area watersheds were completed.
Small said his organization was approved Friday for a $175,000 grant from Colorado Water Conservation Board. The entire assessment will cost $437,500, with the remainder of the money coming from the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado Springs Utilities and other area municipalities and organizations.
Officials with CDOT, who also were at Monday’s meeting, highlighted two more projects along Highway 24 that they hope will keep debris flow off the roadway and alert responders before large floods strand motorists.
CDOT plans video cameras, flow gauges, online monitoring and road closure gates.
One set of monitoring equipment was installed the week of Nov. 12 about 1.5 miles up Waldo Canyon. That project cost $100,000, and CDOT said Monday that it has $200,000 more to spend on two more sites. Dave Watt of CDOT said they are looking at Williams Canyon and areas above Cascade as potential candidates. The United States Geologic Survey is working with CDOT on the project.
Temps run above average, especially nighttime lows
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — After going gangbusters in October, snowfall tapered off to near average in November, with about 20.1 inches if the white stuff piling up in downtown Breckenridge, where observer Rick Bly tracks daily totals for the National Weather Service. For the weather year to-date (starting Oct. 1), Bly has measured 40.6 inches of snow, about 19 percent above average.
Colorado Basin Roundtable advises the Front Range to look elsewhere for new supplies #ColoradoRiver #COWaterPlanDecember 9, 2013
From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):
Colorado can’t have less water running west down the Colorado River, a coalition of water agencies and organizations said in a missive that urged state officials contemplating a state water plan to look elsewhere.
“The West Slope of Colorado, indeed no part of Colorado, can be sacrificed for Front Range growth,” the Colorado River Basin Roundtable said.
It would be “unrealistic to look for significant new supplies of water for the East Slope from the Colorado River as a primary source,” the roundtable said, noting that any new depletions of water from the Colorado River boost the risk that downstream states will demand water under the 1922 Colorado River Compact.
The roundtable’s position paper was presented to the Interbasin Compact Committee last week in Golden. The committee will play a role in the drafting of a state water plan. There, said Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River Water Conservation District, the Colorado River Basin position was largely understood.
Most of the state’s transmountain diversions siphon water away from the Colorado and into Front Range waterworks.
“Somebody has already given at the office,” Kuhn said. “They’ve given and given.”
Kuhn is a governor’s appointee to the Interbasin Compact Committee.
Gov. John Hickenlooper charged the Colorado River Water Conservation Board with delivering a draft plan by December 2014 and a final plan by December 2015. One element of the plan is finding a new supply of water and the roundtable said the term “new supply” amounts to a euphemism for another transmountain diversion from the Colorado River system. Any new transmountain diversion must be a last option “after all means of significant conservation, reuse, land use and agricultural transfers based on substantial improvements in efficient water use are exhausted,” the roundtable said.
Several Colorado River water agencies and Denver Water have signed onto a cooperative agreement that includes additional development of Colorado River water for the Front Range.
Those projects should be completed before any new diversions are contemplated, Kuhn said.
The Colorado River basin already supplies between 450,000 and 600,000 acre feet of water to the East Slope for growing cities, farms and industries. Under the compact, the Upper Colorado River Basin is required to deliver 7.5 million acre feet of water to the lower basin. That amount is figured on a 10-year rolling average.
State officials, including Colorado Water Conservation Board director James Eklund, have urged statewide participation in drafting the plan. A plan emanating from Denver would be “anathema” to the rest of the state, Eklund said at the Upper Colorado River Basin Water Conference at Colorado Mesa University last month.
Whatever comes out of the state plan, it should “protect and not threaten the economic, environmental and social well-being of the West Slope,” the roundtable said.
More Colorado Water Plan coverage here.