Western & Colorado Water Project Staff Notes

November 2007

This was a month of submitting reports & proposals, meetings w/ and letters to donors, and setting up more meetings w/ funders. This was also a month where we spent lots of time on year-end reviews and workplans. We did get a visit from TU's new lobbyist, and we talked about all the federal legislative issues that might come up out of work being done in Colorado and through the Western Water Project.

We presented on a Western Governors' Association meeting plenary panel on water and growth and participated in the rest of the meeting during which the group made recommendations for the WGA to adopt positions on sustainable water management. We also made a small presentation to the water group at CH2MHill, a big infrastructure contractor, about the possibility of their collaborating with TU on restoration and moving the CPR (conserve/protect/restore) agenda forward when they're working with western water suppliers.

We attended another IBCC meeting, where we worked to move the state forward on mapping and quantifying its non-consumptive (i.e., environmental and recreational river flow) water uses. We also worked on amendments to the guidelines and criteria for the state to pass out money for new water activities. We met, along with TNC staff, with the mediator of a large effort among Colorado River Basin water users and Front Range water diverters about future headwaters transbasin projects.

We obtained a favorable ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court in our appeal of the trial court decision in the Dry Gulch case. The ruling establishes a more stringent standard to be met by public utilities claiming water rights for future growth.

TU and the other parties to the Colorado water court proceedings to quantify the Black Canyon reserved water right are engaged in mediation. The court has stayed proceedings until middle of January to allow negotiations to continue.