A parallel study, undertaken by the River District and environmental-and-recreation advocacy group American Rivers, is looking at nature-based solutions. The idea is that by keeping water on the landscape higher in the basin, it could recharge aquifers and boost river flows in late summer.
In an effort to unify the Roaring Fork watershed, a local agency has developed valley-wide outdoor watering standards that its board members hope will be adopted by municipal water providers.
The tour took participants by bus from Las Vegas though the green alfalfa fields of the Fort Mohave Indian Reservation, past the big diversions serving the Central Arizona Project and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and to the hot, below-sea-level agricultural expanse of the biggest water user on the river: the Imperial Irrigation District.
Getting some customers to change their behavior, especially when it comes to outdoor watering, is challenging.
In the Colorado water world, recreation usually is lumped together with the environment as a “non-consumptive” use since both seek to keep water in the stream. But signatories to the letter say that grouping overlooks the importance of recreation to the economy.
If project proponents were required to spend years in water court securing a water right and spend money on an expensive augmentation plan, in which water is released to replace depletions caused by the project, it could have a major chilling effect on projects that nearly everyone agrees are beneficial to the environment.
A Nationwide Permit 3 authorizes streambank restoration work covering up to 450 linear feet, but the current project “appears to extend significantly beyond what was previously authorized,” the letter reads.
Graves said in general, the environmental concerns associated with mines involve aquatic life like fish and the bugs they eat.
Each of Aspen Journalism’s reporters and editors, as well as two freelance journalists, took home first-place awards.
Some pointed out that the Wolf Creek project is sure to get lots of scrutiny and, perhaps, national attention, especially with the current spotlight on the declining reservoirs of the Colorado River system.