Western & Colorado Water Project Staff Notes

December 2007  

We are continuing to work with TU staff and others on trying to keep the Congressional effort to fix the Clean Water Act's jurisdictional scope moving forward. 

We helped think through a session for Environmental Grantmakers Association upcoming meeting on the State of the States, as a result of which they will be having a panel on how climate change affects a number of issues, including water allocation. 

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. 

TU and others from the conservation community are talking with a West Slope legislator about a bill that would that would more closely tie land use development (growth) to sustainable water supplies. 

At the request of the Evergreen Chapter, Water Project staff have been reviewing the decision by the State to remove Bear Creek from the state’s Monitoring and Evaluation list. We have completed a review of the existing fish, temperature, and macroinvertebrate data from Bear Creek. This analysis will be used to guide our next steps. 

We will be advocating for three bills to strengthen the instream flow program in the 2008 legislative session. In advance of the session, we are meeting with numerous parties to discuss the legislation and concerns. 

Water Project staff are working to develop instream flow recommendations for approval by the Colorado Water Conservation Board based on data collected with the BLM and with CDOW. 

The Water Project has been collaborating with The Nature Conservancy to develop robust flow management targets for the North Fork of the Poudre. This is being done in conjunction with the Shared Vision Process for the Halligan and Seaman Reservoir expansion projects. We are hopeful that the enlargement of these two buckets will enable managers to more consistently provide reasonable environmental flows.