Interview with Nolan Doesken, CSA Board Member & CoCoRaHS Director

Originally posted on Citizen Science Association:

Nolan-DoeskenThe recent White House Citizen Science Forum, “Open Science and Innovation: Of the People, By the People, For the People showcased the work of many amazing people whose work we consider part of the citizen science spectrum. We wanted to get to know some of these individuals better so we asked a few of them to tell us a little more about themselves and how they engage others in public participation in scientific research. We hope you may learn from their experiences and find new connections to the work you do.

Here we spoke with Nolan Doesken, Founder and Director of the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) and Colorado’s State Climatologist. Nolan is also a member of the inaugural Citizen Science Association Board of Directors.

CSA: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get to where you are today?

Nolan: Persistence. I…

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Imagine there’s no water

Originally posted on Mile High Water Talk:

I wonder if you can …

By Jimmy Luthye

The Value of Water Coalition calls for the public to Imagine A Day Without Water from Oct. 6 to 8. Naturally, that got us imagining.

What if there was no coffee? Zzzzzz. What if we had to use milk to brush our teeth? Gross! What if we had to bathe ourselves like cats?!

Wait a minute.

As our veteran staffers brainstormed ways we might tell this story, something started to sound a bit too familiar.

After some research, we realized we were actually more than a decade early to this party.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure, we present the spectacular (and spectacularly underrated) Denver Water television advertising campaign of 2001.

Ad 1: Shower

Ad 2: Hydration

Ad 3: Lawn


The Imagine A Day Without Water campaign includes all sorts of events, social media engagement and other creative ideas…

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Ask The Towers

Originally posted on Your Water Colorado Blog:

By Greg Hobbs

Why did the builders build you?

Because the bees led us to the water pockets
And raven played lookout over farmsteads,

See here!  See here! He cried out loud,
Climb down!  Climb down!

Taste the rain a cavern ceiling drips
with lightning from the sky

You can paint upon a water jar.

Every morning, every evening
Sleeping Man is with you,

In the slant the seasons make
and the Ancestors,

When it’s time to plant
and time to harvest.

(in Celebration of the Wright Paleohydrologic Survey Hovenweep National Monument 9/ 27-29/ 2015)

square towerSquare Tower. Credit: Greg Hobbs

Beeline to farmsteadsBeeline to farmsteads. Credit: Greg Hobbs

Water Pocket Rimrock above check damWater Pocket Rimrock above check dam. Credit: Greg Hobbs

Raven on Hovenweep CastleRaven on Hovenweep Castle. Credit: Kyle Wright

Seep line springSeep line spring. Credit: Greg Hobbs

Sleeping Ute Mountain to the east of Square Tower UnitSleeping Ute Mountain to the east of Square Tower Unit. Credit: Greg Hobbs

Blood Moon Harvest Moon Eclipse Moon over HovenweepBlood Moon Harvest Moon Eclipse Moon over Hovenweep. Credit: Kyle…

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#Drought news: Abnormal dryness (D0) increased over eastern #Colorado in areas where 60-day <=50% of normal

Click here to go to the US Drought Monitor website. Here’s an excerpt:


Although increasingly wet weather has been noted over parts of the East, any rain falling after Tuesday morning (8 a.m., EDT) will be incorporated into next week’s U.S. Drought Monitor. For this week’s analysis, above-normal temperatures prevailed across much of the country, though heavy rain and near-normal temperatures were observed over parts of the Gulf Coast and Southeast. In addition, moderate to heavy rain was noted in western portions of the Corn Belt. In contrast, protracted dryness prevailed over the Northeast, while seasonably dry weather continued over the western U.S…

Central Plains

Above-normal temperatures accompanied scattered showers, with little widespread change to this week’s drought depiction. Abnormal Dryness (D0) was increased over eastern portions of Colorado, coinciding with locales where 60-day rainfall has tallied 50 percent of normal or less. There were no changes to the Moderate Drought (D1) in Kansas, where this week’s light shower activity (generally 0.5 inch or less) was insufficient for drought reduction…

Northern Plains

Hot, dry conditions prevailed, with temperatures averaging more than 10°F above normal. Despite the 90-degree readings and a lack of rain during the period, changes to this week’s drought designation were generally minor. Abnormal Dryness (D0) was expanded over southeastern Wyoming into northwestern Nebraska, where pronounced short-term precipitation deficits (60-day rainfall totaling 30 to 50 percent of normal) has led to locally pronounced topsoil shortages…

Southern Plains and Texas

Despite areas of beneficial rain in the west and along the Gulf Coast, the overall trend toward intensifying “flash drought” continued. The intensity and coverage of Abnormal Dryness (D0) to Extreme Drought (D3) increased from southern Oklahoma southwestward across central Texas to the Big Bend. Daytime highs reaching into the upper 90s coupled with another dry week continued to accelerate soil moisture losses, with 90-day rainfall tallying a paltry 5 to 20 percent of normal over many of the Lone Star State’s central drought areas. Pronounced short-term dryness has also intensified over central and southern Oklahoma, where 60-day rainfall has totaled mostly less than 30 percent of normal. Meanwhile, widespread showers and thunderstorms (0.4 to 2 inches, locally more) boosted soil moisture for winter crops and pastures on the southern High Plains and eased D0 along the Texas-New Mexico border. Likewise, 1 to 4 inches of rain reduced D0 to D3 in southern and southeastern Texas, though the heaviest rain largely bypassed the core Texas drought areas…

Western U.S.

The overall trend toward drought persistence continued, though isolated showers were noted in the Pacific Northwest and lower Four Corners. After last week’s cool down, much-above-normal temperatures returned to California and the Great Basin. In the north, most of the region’s core Extreme Drought (D3) areas were dry. However, light to moderate showers on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula (mostly an inch or less) coupled with last week’s heavier rain continued to stave off D3 expansion. Across the California and the Great Basin, drought remained unchanged as the region continued through its climatologically dry summer season. However, heat exacerbated the impacts of the region’s historic drought, with daytime highs reaching or eclipsing 100°F from central California into the southern Great Basin. In the Four Corners States, additional assessment from the field in the wake of last week’s locally heavy rain resulted in further reductions of Abnormal Dryness (D0) and Moderate (D1) in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico…

Looking Ahead

The complex interaction between a blocking high over eastern Canada, a stationary upper-air low over the Southeast, and Hurricane Joaquin (or the remnants of) will bring the threat of heavy rain to the eastern third of the nation. Rainfall may total 3 to 4 inches (locally much more) across the Southeast, Mid Atlantic, and Northeast, pending the final track of Joaquin. Meanwhile, dry weather is expected from Texas into the upper Midwest. Farther west, a Pacific storm system will move ashore, bringing the potential for locally heavy showers from central and northern California into the northern Rockies. Dry weather is expected over the Southwest, though some late-season showers may arrive in the Four Corners at the end of the period. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for October 6 – 10 calls for above-normal precipitation and near- to above-normal temperatures nationwide, with drier-than-normal conditions confined to the lower Southeast.

Just for grins here’s a slideshow of late September early October US Drought Monitor maps for the past few years:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

#ColoradoRiver: Hoover (Boulder) Dam dedication anniversay


Click here to go to the Hoover Dam FAQ webpage from the US Bureau of Reclamation.

Click on a thumbnail to view a gallery of Hoover Dam photos from the Coyote Gulch archives.

Who had a worse water season, Denver or Vancouver?

Originally posted on Mile High Water Talk:

The answer just might surprise you.

stanley park pano Vancouver’s Stanley Park still captivates, even with dormant grasses.

By Kim Unger

One of the things I love about visiting the Pacific Northwest is the endless sea of green. The trees, plants, grasses, moss … everything is green.

Except this summer. On a trip to Vancouver, where I looked forward to cooler, rainy weather, what I learned instead was a new mantra. Brown is the new green.

I work for Denver Water, so I got curious. This year, it was as if Denver and Vancouver had traded places. While Denver’s spring and early summer saw extremely wet conditions, Vancouverites have been dealing with hot, dry weather.

To make matters worse, the spring rainfall in Vancouver was abnormally low. In May, the city typically receives about 2.43 inches of rainfall. This year? A mere 0.20 inches.

“We’ve had the perfect storm of conditions,”…

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Shell shuts down Arctic drilling program

Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:

Regulatory hurdles cited as part of the reason for decision

;oi Shell Oil is giving up on drilling for oil in the Chukchi Sea.

Shell Oil's Arctic drill rig, Kulluk, stranded near Kodiak Island, Alaska One of Shell’s Arctic mishaps came in 2012, when a drilling rig escaped its tow ships and ran aground. Photo via U.S. Coast Guard.

By Bob Berwyn

Shell Oil’s hotly contested Arctic oil-drilling operation will shut down for the foreseeable future, the multinational fossil fuel company announced today, drawing sighs of relief from environmental advocates who had described the exploration efforts in apocalyptic terms.

The company’s efforts have been stop-and-go for a long time. In 2013, for example, Shell announced a temporary pause in the program after a string of incidents, including failed tests of oil spill containment gear, runaway ships and notices for violations of environmental regulations.

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