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Since our last edition of The Roundup on Dec. 8, Aspen Journalism has published five in-depth feature stories from the water and environment and desks. This includes two stories — one datelined from the annual super bowl of water meetings in Las Vegas — breaking news on the reboot of an upper Colorado River basin conservation program that will pay water users to consume less. Our environment desk carried an update on the Coal Basin methane capture proposal process, as well as the view from communities that are trying to stop the construction of a new rail line that will facilitate quadrupled oil extraction in the Uinta Basin. And our Data Desk kept you informed with a half dozen new posts updating local COVID-19 trends and tracking environmental metrics. All because, you, our readers, support what we do.
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Upper basin moves closer to water conservation program
Colorado River District will play role in vetting projects
By Heather Sackett | December 18, 2022
LAS VEGAS — Upper Colorado River basin officials seemed to inch closer to implementing a demand management program, the heart of which involves paying agricultural water users to use less, at the Colorado River Water Users Association conference this week.
Dealing with methane escaping from Coal Basin’s shuttered mines sparks debate
A community meeting revealed tension over the project’s global climate benefits and local environmental impacts
By Sarah Tory | December 16, 2022
The biggest hurdle proponents of the Coal Basin methane project might face may not be the layers of bureaucracy they will have to navigate, but convincing Redstone residents that doing something is better than doing nothing.
Uinta Basin Railway opposition unites Colorado towns, Utah backcountry residents
Railroad through a roadless area subject to recent legal challenge, community protest
By Amy Hadden Marsh | December 13, 2022
“I think it’s communities like ours that are impacted by things like this because we’re just common people. We don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the government and the big oil companies, so they know they can just run it right over the top of us and there’s really nothing we can do.”
Upper Colorado River officials release details of water savings program
Rebooted System Conservation Pilot Program RFPs open Dec. 14
By Heather Sackett | December 10, 2022
The renewed SCPP is different from an upper basin demand management program, something the UCRC is studying and to which the state of Colorado devoted more than two years and nine workgroups as part of its feasibility investigation.
White River call ‘significant’ for water users
Livestock watering from ditches is shut off
By Heather Sackett | December 8, 2022
District General Manager Alden Vanden Brink said in an email that the district’s full water right was not being met several months out of the year and that the call will remain on until the full water right or capacity of the turbine is met.
Tracking the Curve
Garfield County has reported 72 new COVID-19 cases since last week. Eagle County has added 49 cases, while Pitkin County has recorded 11 cases since Dec. 14.
By Laurine Lassalle | December 22, 2022
Wastewater data shows a rise in viral load in late November-early December.
Data dashboard: December occupancy pacing behind last year
Lake Powell’s elevation is about one foot from critical level.
By Laurine Lassalle | December 21, 2022
• Overall winter reservations as of Nov. 30 are on par with last year in Aspen and Snowmass. • Snowpack at Indy Pass reached over 88% on Dec. 19. That’s up from around 81% last year. • High air temperatures dropped as low as 19°F on Dec. 13, or 12 degrees below normal.
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