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Weekly water roundup: Western States Water Council 2009 Symposium


Photo: National Park Service

Short takes from the week in Colorado water:

Western States Water Council: 2009 Symposium

Planners and politicians from around the west spent last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday trying to better understand the issues around water and land use planning.

John Tubbs, deputy assistant secretary for water and science with the Department of Interior, told the conference that early territorial planners should have listened to John Wesley Powell when setting political boundaries. Powell argued that -- in the west with its water short landscape -- political subdivisions would be better drawn to encompass watersheds. No one at the time knew more about the geology and hydrology of the intermountain west than the civil war veteran who was the first to run the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Governor Ritter spoke to the conference on Tuesday. The symposium was a collaboration between the council, Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Western Governor's Association.

Oil shale development

The Garfield County Energy Advisory Board held a meeting last Thursday to hear about the environmental effects of oil shale development. Jeremy Boak, director of the industry-funded Center for Oil Shale Technology and Research at the Colorado School of Mines, told the board that, "you will for a time essentially have scraped off the surface if you're doing a process like Shell's," according to a report in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

Flaming Gorge pipeline

Aaron Million's proposed pipeline from the Green River Basin to the Front Range received some push back from Western Resources Advocates this week. WRA is calling Million and his partners out over the need for the project. So far Million Resources Conservation Group has not identified any deals with customers.

River Week

Last week was River Week at Cache La Poudre Middle School. Students were counting bugs and pulling water samples for quality testing. They're also building a yearly record for that reach of the river.

San Luis Valley first groundwater management sub-district trial

The trial over the rules for governing the valley's first sub-district kicked off last week. Objectors are seeking better protection for senior rights holders while the state engineer's office and the Rio Grande Water Conservation District have already approved the proposed rules.

For more info: I follow Colorado water issues at Coyote Gulch.