Catching Colorado’s Rainwater

March 29, 2015

Originally posted on Your Water Colorado Blog:

It’s one of the most common questions and concerns we hear from Coloradans interested in water “Why can’t we capture rainwater? Aren’t rain barrels illegal in Colorado?” (the barrels themselves are legal, and widely sold, it’s the rainwater storage that isn’t in most cases)… But that could change.

On Monday, Colorado’s House of Representatives voted in favor of H.B. 1259, which, if successfully passed by the Colorado Senate, would allow people to collect and store up to 110 gallons of rainwater from residential rooftops. The bill passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 45-20 and was amended to allow rainwater storage in two 55-gallon rain barrels (upped from a proposed combined storage maximum of 100 gallons).

Under Colorado’s prior appropriation system of water law, the water that falls on your roof already belongs to other downstream users. Because someone else already owns the right to that water, rainwater capture is not…

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Colorado: Ambitious restoration project in Summit County aims to heal Swan River’s mining scars

March 29, 2015

Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:

'pji ‘pji

$975,00o state grant will help fund environmental work

Staff Report

FRISCO — An ambitious effort to restore the Swan River got a big boost this month with a $975,000 state grant.

The restoration area includes about 3,500 linear feet of the river along Tiger Road in the Swan River drainage, 11 miles northeast of Breckenridge, on land jointly owned by Summit County and the Town of Breckenridge.

“We’re extremely fortunate and grateful to have received this grant,” County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “Undoing the damage from Summit County’s mining past is an immense undertaking, but these infusions of funding are critical in accelerating our progress.”

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Money down the drain? Not if you invest in efficiency

March 24, 2015

Originally posted on Mile High Water Talk:

Denver Water employee Rick Alvarado installs a high-efficiency showerhead in a Denver area residence, one of 120  on this day! Rick Alvarado, Denver Water conservation technician, shows how easy it is to install a high-efficiency showerhead during a recent multi-family residential audit.

Money down the drain? Not if you invest in efficiency

5 ways you can reinvest your tax refund to save both water and cash

By Steve Snyder

If you already filed your tax return this year, chances are you’re looking at a nice refund. The IRS tells us that Colorado residents will receive an average federal tax refund of more than $2,700. Sure, you could spend that on a nice vacation or the latest electronic gadget. But if you want to promote water efficiency and reduce your water bill, here are a few products to consider. Many carry the WaterSense label, and rebates are available for some of them.

1. Ultra-high-efficiency toilets: Prices start at $149, and they use up to 50 percent less water…

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Global warming: in the realm of 400 ppm atmospheric CO2

March 24, 2015

Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:

Scientists: ‘Climate change is a threat to life on Earth and we can no longer afford to be spectators’

'oj ‘oj

Staff Report

FRISCO — When atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations hit 400 parts per million about a year ago, there was widespread media coverage, explaining how the mark wasn’t all that significant in and of itself, but that it represented a psychological threshold to measure human impact on the climate.

Well guess what? CO2 emissions continue unabated, although there are some hopeful signs (global energy production increased in 2014, but CO2 emissions leveled off), and once again this spring, the atmospheric observatory atop Mauna Loa is once again measuring CO2 above the 400 ppm level — 401.77, to be exact, as of March 22, and as high as 403.10 ppm back on March 15.

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Climate Voices project connects scientist with communities looking to learn more about global warming

March 24, 2015

Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:

bbb Real science, from real scientists.

Expert speakers available in all 50 states

Staff Report

FRISCO — Debates about global warming can quickly descend into murky territory, especially if they take place in a political context. But communities looking for straightforward and nonpartisan scientific information can find from a science speakers network that includes climate experts from all 50 states.

The Climate Voices Initiative was launched last year by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and the United Nations Foundation, aiming to bring  together scientists with members of local communities to discuss climate science and regional effects of climate change.

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Climate: Arctic sea ice extent peaks at record low level

March 19, 2015

Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:

sdfg The polar ice cap is smaller than ever. bberwyn photo.

Loopy jet stream keeps much of Arctic warm

Staff Report

FRISCO — Federal ice researchers say this year’s maximum Arctic sea ice extent, reached Feb. 25, is the lowest on record during the satellite era, about 50,000 square miles smaller than the previous record set in 2011. While a shift in wind patterns could result in some additional growth, it’s unlikely the sea ice will expand past the extent reached on that date.

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Scientists see ‘unprecedented changes’ in productivity as oceans temps off West Coast go off the charts

March 17, 2015

Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:

Many sea lion pups in California's Channel Islands are underweight and are washing up on beaches starving are dead. Biologists suspect unusually warm ocean conditions are reducing marine productivity, causing female sea lions to struggle to find sufficient food to nurse the pups. For further details http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/News/CA_sea_lions.htm Many sea lion pups in California’s Channel Islands are underweight and are washing up on beaches starving are dead. Biologists suspect unusually warm ocean conditions are reducing marine productivity, causing female sea lions to struggle to find sufficient food to nurse the pups. Photo courtesy NOAA.

‘We are seeing unprecedented changes in the environment …’

Staff Report

FRISCO — California’s extended drought is at least partially driven by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific, and that warming is also have a huge impact on the ocean itself.

“We’re seeing some major environmental shifts taking place that could affect the ecosystem for years to come,” said John Stein, director of NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. “We need to understand and consider their implications across the ecosystem, which includes communities and people.”

The shift in large-scale climate patterns is pushing the waters off the West Coast toward warmer and less…

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