A coalition is pushing land managers to deal with the methane leaks by authorizing a project to capture the methane and either use it somehow or destroy it. To do that, they’ll have to surmount a host of bureaucratic challenges.
Colorado State University researchers led by Dr. Perry Cabot, a water-resources specialist, will use remote sensing to determine how much water plants consume on the ranchers’ pastures and how much they save by not irrigating on select fields.
The utilities, working together as Homestake Partners, are looking at building the reservoir in the Homestake Creek valley, south of Minturn, in an area that probably contains fens, which could hinder the project.
More demands, and less water, leave water managers searching for solutions.
A pilot program that pays ranchers to fallow fields and let their water run downstream toward Lake Powell proves popular, but raises some tricky issues yet to be resolved.