In late August, shortly before reservoir levels in the Colorado River Basin fell to their lowest levels in 50 years, a call was placed on the Yampa River, a reflection of the warming weather of the Colorado River Basin.
Israelis have made their desert bloom. Colorado’s aridity may not be nearly as severe, but two Colorado governors said the state can learn much from the technology innovators of the Middle East.
Water Buffaloes in Colorado and the West once thought monolithic and linear, says Denver Water’s Jim Lochhhead, and then a new world that they didn’t understand arrived.
Maurice Strong made a fortune in oil, put together the first climate change conference—and tried to pipe water from the San Luis Valley to Denver.
Colorado’s updated climate acton plan has far more to brag about than the first iteration, issued in late 2007, but unlike some other states and local jurisdictions does not declare specific greenhouse reduction goals. Why is that?
At the headwaters of the Eagle River, above Vail and Minturn, nearly all of the water is spoken for. But exactly how the water will be stored, released and diverted is still an open debate as water providers plan for hotter, longer summers in the 21st century.
Groundwater is being pumped at unsustainable rates across the United States. But solutions are not universal — and, in fact, some make the argument more well-pumping needs to be done along Colorado’s South Platte River.
Breckenridge is among Colorado’s mountain towns looking to take measures to encourage more efficient use of water for outdoor lawn irrigation. “We have to walk the talk,” says Tim Gagen, the town manager. “We can’t just sit up here and say we have all the water, now we’ll use it.”
It’s hard to say what proportion of a typical residential lot is covered by water-intensive turf. One guess is 40 to 60 percent after the house, sidewalks, and so forth are subtracted. A much more Draconian limit of 15 percent was proposed in a bill introduced into the Colorado legislature this year. This summer, an interim committee will discuss whether the state should adopt measures to limit water use for urban development and leave it for agriculture use.
Denver Water, the primary proponent of the efficiency legislation, estimates that broad adoption of the water-efficient toilets, urinals, shower heads, and faucets will produce 40,000 acre-feet of savings across Colorado by 2050.