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Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729
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Regional Water Issues and Solutions 110729

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  • From our electricity, to our clothes and paper, to the food we eat, water is involved in nearly everything we consume. Electricity generation accounts for about 40% of the country’s fresh water use, and the typical household uses 4-5 gallons of water to power their home. A pound of cotton uses over 100 gallons to produce, so we use about 10 gallons per day for the clothes we wear. It takes 65 gallons of water to produce a gallon of milk. A pound of beef takes over 1500 gallons, including the water used to clean and to grow the feed. The average American diet takes over 1000 gallons of water to produce each day.
  • The water cycle is all about the “ion” words. Precipitation, evaporation, condensation, transpiration, percolation, etc. Same amount of water today as when the earth was formed Drop in the Bucket – the freshwater is precious In 100 years, water molecule spends only 3 weeks as surface water Notice precipitation comes over mountains
  • The water cycle describes how water moves above, on, and through the Earth. Instead of moving quickly through the cycle, much of this water is "in storage" for long periods of time. The largest storage vessels on Earth are the oceans...storing about 97% of the water. Of the fresh water on Earth, over half is frozen, about 1/3 of it is underground, and a small percentage (0.3%) is on the surface as rivers, lakes, and swamps. As a part of the water cycle, Earth's surface-water bodies are generally thought of as renewable resources. The amount of water in our rivers and lakes is always changing due to inflows and outflows. Inflows are from rain and snow, runoff, groundwater seepage, and tributary flows. Outflows from lakes and rivers include evaporation and discharge to ground water. Humans get into the act too whenever they use the water.
  • Geology is also the basis for where towns and cities formed and how they get their water 150 million years ago, our area was a flat ocean Over time, layers of rock, minerals, mountains and canyons were built that are today the American West The Formation of the Rockies cause our weather and related precipitation January 2009
  • The geological timeline helps us understand why there are rich reserves of coal, gas, and oil which can be used for energy. It helps us understand where uranium or copper can be mined and why pollutants like selenium may exist in our soils and leach into our waterways. The geology of the region has formed rivers for rafting and kayaking and many different types of fish, insect, and avian habitats. It is the basis for where towns and cities formed and how they get their water whether from snowmelt or from underground aquifers. The richness of resources leads to many competing uses for the land, but across the American West, the limiting factor is water or rather lack of it. The shallow seas and swamps that once existed in the West are long gone and now the beneficial uses for water such as agriculture, municipal household use, energy, environmental, and recreation often exceed the amount of water that is available. While we won’t be discussing geology of the western United States in depth, it is important to understand how important the geology we have continues to shape policy and the natural world around us. January 2009
  • This map was produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA. NOAA is a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere. As you can see from this precipitation map, the American West is arid and is m arkedly different than in the eastern half of the country or in the coastal northwest regions. Precipitation in the arid west is, on average, is less than 15 inches per year--17.4 in Castle Rock--while places in the Eastern United States like Kentucky receive an average of 60 inches of rain per year. Our region is referred to as a Semi-Arid High Plains Grassland. As the home of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, our region also serves as the headwaters that feed the Western part of the United States. Many in this region depend on Colorado for water which means we can’t store and keep all of the water in Colorado and Water scarcity is a fact of life for many communities. January 2009
  • The Rocky Mountain’s towering peaks force clouds and air upwards. As air masses gain elevation, they lose the ability to hold moisture. The moisture is forced to fall as precipitation, often in the form of snow. Snowfall drives our winter economy… Notice that the ski areas are mostly on the west side of the Continental Divide. Ski areas on west side because precipitation comes in from the west and doesn’t always make it over Continental Divide Where is the water going to go when it melts and becomes run off? The western slope! Notice how two weather patterns sit on the western slope
  • The water goes to a Watershed. What is a watershed? An area of land that drains rain and snow into a stream, lake or wetland. Watersheds are also called River basins Since most of the water originates in Colorado, Colorado is considered a Headwater state Colorado supplies 19 other US states and Mexico West of Divide flows to the Pacific ocean and the Sea of Cortez. This is called the Colorado River Basin East of Divide flows to Gulf of Mexico and includes the South Platte River Basin, the Arkansas River Basin, and the Rio Grande River Basin January 2009
  • As you may have guessed, most of the water flows to the Western Slope…about 87% while only 13% flows to the eastern side of the Continental Divide where the majority of the population resides on the Front Range
  • Who can tell me where the highest population is in CO? According to 2006 US Census Bureau Denver had 566,974 Colorado Springs had 372,437, and Aurora has 303,582 According to the Denver Regional Council of Government (DRCOG) Metro Denver has a population of nearly 2.8 million people, and by 2030, Metro Denver's population is anticipated to increase to almost 3.8 million.  You may be wondering how only 13% of the water fulfills the needs of 81% of the population… We divert some of the water from the Western slope and bring it over using Transmountain Diversions We use Groundwater And we can Reuse water
  • Eastern Colorado is supplied with it ’ s surface water through an ingenious plumbing system of Of transmountain / transbasin diversions Take the water from one basin to another. There are over 24 Tunnels linking reservoirs, others are ditches, others are pipelines. Over 550,000 Acre Feet of water is transferred to the east slope annually Water moved primarily with gravity This Plumbing system has been in place since the “Grand Ditch” in the 1800 January 2009
  • Since the Eastern portion of Colorado has the population and is dry, we have developed ways to bring the water here. SURFACE WATER - a big part of what we use is actually from the Western Slope These transmountain / transbasin diversions are depicted on the map above Transmountain water diversions take water from one basin & moving it to another 370,000 acre feet of water is brought to the South Platte River Basin 1. Surface water storage reservoirs: (allows us to save surface water for us dry years) Lake Dillon Blue Mesa Lake Pueblo Frying Pan Reservoir (new water storage projects since President Kennedy dedicated the Frying Pan Reservoir Project) Rueter-Hess will be the first major storage project in more than 30 years to begin filling in 2011 70,000 acre feet (3 x as much as Chatfield) Holding Store storm water Groundwater Return flows SURFACE WATER - a big part of what we use is actually from the Western Slope – Can be Reused January 2009
  • So far, we’ve focused on discussion on surface water, the water that you can see. What about the water you can’t see? This map shows what kinds of water are used by each Colorado county and the percentage of groundwater used versus the percent of surface water used. Notice that the bigger the circle, the more water the area uses The blue portion of the circle means the amount of surface water used, while the Pink color shows the amount of ground water used You can see on the map that Weld County where Greeley is location has a very large amount of water usage as depicted by the very large circle. Greeley has a very large agricultural community that uses a large percentage of water. The Douglas County circle is relatively small in comparison with the rest of the state and they use about 60% surface water and 40% groundwater. Water storage projects allow us to play with those percentages. In wet years we can remove more surface water from the streams and store them in reservoirs to be used in dry years Some Federal Water Storage Projects that have been done over the years include: Colorado Big Thomson which diverted water from west slope for agricultural use Blue Mesa and other reservoirs were built in Western Colorado, and The Frying Pan Reservoir brought water to the southeastern portion of Colorado for agricultural use Despite having the largest proportion of the population, there have not been federal surface water storage projects for the South Metro area. There are water projects in the South Metro area that you will learn about later in the day. January 2009
  • This graphical depiction shows where groundwater comes from in the Denver Metro area. Groundwater was rain or snow deposited thousands of years ago that made its way into the earth’s surface. Because of its age, groundwater is referred to as fossil water. These underground lakes or aquifers were flat before geological activity caused a big pile up. Now they are bowl shaped. The only recharge area is at the top or edge of the bowl. The Denver Basin Aquifer system covers an area extending from Colorado Springs to Greeley and from the foothills to Limon. It covers 6,700 square miles There are four confined aquifers in the Denver Basin. They include from in increasing depth -the Dawson –Denver – Arapahoe -and Laramie-Fox Hills These sources are considered non-renewable…When every drop is used, they are gone. South Metro and Douglas County depend on these Aquifers. In our rural areas, most every house has a residential well that depends on these aquifers too. January 2009
  • Evidence of water storage in Colorado as shown by archaeological investigations started in about 750 AD. In Mesa Verde, the Puebloans dug a shallow pond in the canyon bottom. They cleared the timber and farming in the upper parts of the valley to increase runoff from the normally dry channel. That way they could catch any rains that came, especially the late summer monsoon rains.
  • By the 19 th century, rivers were the great highways that guided travelers to the most important places. Rivers meant food, shelter, energy, and, of course, water. They meant congregating, trading, and traveling. To control the rivers was to control the country. In the summer of 1806, Army General James Wilkinson ordered Zebulon Pike to follow the rivers west. He became lost many times and mapped the Colorado river system mostly incorrectly. In 1820, Major Stephen Long led another expedition to locate the Colorado headwaters. Long’s expedition suffered many hardships and also became lost. Not surprisingly, Pike and Long developed negative views of the land. Pike referred to the Colorado Plains as the “sandy deserts of Africa” and Long on his map labeled the region the “Great American Desert.” The map on the screen was constructed as part of an 1845 expedition and continues to show the prevailing misconceptions of the day regarding the geography of the West.
  • Once people started using the water for industry, they began with mining and moved towards agriculture and then drinking water. They had to develop ways of regulating the water use as well as the movement of water.
  • 1852—While Colorado was still a territory and using Mexican law, the People’s Ditch in San Luis obtains the first water rights in Colorado Colorado became a state in 1876. Using Mexican law to develop their administration of water rights. In 1876, Colorado developed the “first in time, first in right” water right law In 1883, Edwin Nettleton installed a gauging station on the Cache La Poudre with a continuous self-recording device…this revolutionized the way water rights were regulated. As I mentioned before, the mining industry was one of the first large water users in Colorado. In 1888, Meyer Gugenheim firmly established his reliance on the water resources of the Arkansas by building a $1.2 million smelting plant in Pueblo By the early 20 th century, water users organized to build conveyance structures. In what would become the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, water users proposed to build the Colorado-Big Thompson Project: a massive diversion project which would take water from the headwaters of the Colorado River through a maze of tunnels, reservoirs, and ditches to bring about 300,000 acre-feet of water annually to the Front Range. By 1973, the Colorado General Assembly adopted in-stream flow and lake level laws to protect the water supply. In 1977, the US Congress stepped in to protect water quality with the adoption of the Clean Water Act In 1981, the last significant water project for benefit of the Front Range was built. Like its sister-project, the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project or Fry-Ark brings available water from Colorado's West Slope to the more arid, and more heavily populated, East Slope. This water diversion, storage and delivery project serves southeastern Colorado including Colorado Springs, Pueblo, La Junta, and Lamar, but NOT the Denver-Metro area. The project was authorized in 1962 by President Kennedy, began construction that same year, and was completed in 1981. It includes five dams and reservoirs, one federal hydro-electric power plant, a handful of private plants, 8 tunnels, and 12 conduits. The Bureau of Reclamation built and manages the project. 1989—EPA vetoes construction of the proposed Two Forks Dam which would have supplied metro Denver areas 2002—Severe drought hits Colorado and next, I want to walk through the length of time needed for a large water project.
  • The Animas-La Plata Project is located in southwestern Colorado and in northwestern New Mexico and was authorized by the Colorado River Basin Project Act of September 30, 1968. The water project was designed project primarily for irrigation, municipal and industrial uses. Although scheduled for construction in the early 1980s, water rights needed to be settled between the Southern Utes and Ute Mountain Ute Tribes in southwest Colorado. The Colorado Ute Tribes and other parties subsequently signed the Final Settlement Agreement in 1986. The Settlement Act of 1988 protected existing water uses while allowing for future development of the region. In 1990, the Fish & Wildlife Service recognized the need to protect endangered species, which in this case was the Colorado pikeminnow. By 1991, a plan was made that would allow construction of several Animas-La Plata, but limited the water that could be withdrawn. After the Bureau of Reclamation was authorized to initiate construction, several objections to their 1980 Environmental Statement were made. The Bureau drafted a Supplement in 1992 and filed the final Environmental Impact Statement with EPA in April 1996. On August 11, 1998, the Bureau presented a down-sized version of the project. All irrigation uses of the water were eliminated. A Final Supplemental EIS was completed and filed with and accepted by the EPA in 2000. They were now allowed to construct a dam, reservoir, pumping plant, inlet, and pipeline to use 57,100 acre-feet of water. The design was approved in July of 2009 and the design firm chosen in March 2010. Design documents were 100% completed in July 2010 and ground was broken in October 2010. Construction activities will continue through September 2011/
  • In the United States there are two basic systems of water rights: the Riparian doctrine and the Doctrine of Prior Appropriation. The Riparian Doctrine is mostly a practice used in the Eastern portion of the US. Basically, if you own the land you own the water running through or adjacent to your land. Water use and ownership is attached to the land. In Colorado, we govern our surface water through the Doctrine of Prior Appropriation: “First in time, first in right” This was the law used before Colorado became a state. It disconnects the water from land ownership and can be sold or separated from the land, like real estate. It also allows for all of Colorado’s water to be owned by the people living in Colorado. A water right is a right to use the water. Water rights are governed by the concept of First in Time, First in Right which allows those who hold the most senior water right to use the water before those who have more junior (or recent) water rights. This means that w ater users with earlier water rights or “Senior rights” have better rights in times of short supply, and can fill their needs before others who hold “Junior rights.” When a public or private entity decides to use the water for a beneficial use i.e. mining, agricultural, drinking water supply, etc., they are appropriated a water right. Most water ways in Colorado have been “ Over appropriated ” which means i f everyone used their appropriated amount of water then we would have a shortage and someone wouldn’t get to use the water. The only exception is the Colorado river which is governed by the Colorado Compact
  • We share our surface water through treaties, compacts and agreements. Colorado water is managed and operated under numerous compacts, federal laws, court decisions and decrees, contracts, and regulatory guidelines collectively known as the "Law of the River.” The most significant compact is the 1922 Colorado River Compact The Colorado River Compact divides the river between two countries and seven US states. Can you Imagine? Being given the responsibility to divide a river that can flow up to 300,000 cubic feet per second during heavy run-off and dry up at other times between two countries and seven states. Provisions The compact divides the river basin into two areas, the Upper Basin (comprising Colorado , New Mexico , Utah and Wyoming ) and the Lower Basin ( Nevada , Arizona and California ). The compact requires the Upper Basin states to deliver water at a rate of 7.5 MAF per year to the Lower Basin states. Based on historical rainfall patterns, this amount was assumed to allow an equal division of water between the two regions. The states within each basin had to divide their allocated water among themselves. This compact allowed for widespread irrigation of the Southwest US and for large water projects like Hoover Dam and Lake Powell to be filled. Keep in mind that the Colorado Compact was written before all the dams were built to control the river. The Colorado River was desolate, raging, and wild with canyon Walls a mile deep. The area was prone to flooding and devastating droughts. In 2009, the Colorado River has 2 major dams, serves 29 million people with water and electricity, irrigates 4 million acres of land producing 15% of U.S. crops and 80% of winter vegetables in the U.S. and is the most legislated, debated and litigated river in the world
  • Water taken directly from it’s basin or origin can only be used one time and then sent down river. Water moved out of its “basin of origin” may be used to extinction … This water can be recycled until that water is no longer usable. In this way, REUSE “stretches” water supplies. Transmountain diversion water can be used to extinction – recycled until it’s no longer useable. This is because the water is returned to it’s basin or origin for the benefit of downstream senior water rights holders. Mitigation measures can be taken to lessen impacts on the basin of origin
  • Groundwater – Colorado Doctrine does not apply to Non-tributary groundwater If you own a piece of land, you can apply for a well permit to withdraw that water. By law, you are allowed to withdraw water at the rate of 1% of the aquifer resource under their property per year for a period of 100 years. This does not however mean that a well permit guarantees a 100 year supply of water. That is why many people refer to a well permit as “Paper Water” New development relied upon groundwater until surface water supplies could be developed January 2009
  • As mentioned earlier, major water projects are extremely costly and take decades to plan and develop. Reuter-Hess Reservoir near Parker in Douglas County took 20 years to plan and construct. The total cost was about $165 million. No tax increases were used to pay for reservoir construction. The bill will be paid through existing water rates, taps fees which are associated with new development, and community partners. Reuter-Hess will serve approx. 25,000 residents/customers of Parker Water and Sanitation and other Douglas County communities through partnership agreements. The partners include Castle Rock at 8,000 Ac. Ft. costing $44 million for 44,000 customers, Castle Pines North at 1,500 Ac. Ft. costing $8.25M for 3,200 customers and Stonegate 1,200 Ac. Ft. at $6.6M for 2,700 customers
  • The Poundstone amendment ended the expansion of the city and County of Denver. This means Denver Water who owns many of the senior rights on Colorado’s surface water can not provide water to Douglas County. The failure of Two Forks Dam meant Douglas County lost another opportunity to receive surface water. So Douglas County relied on groundwater for development. It’s cheap, clean, and abundant. Unfortunately this balkanized or broke up water service in the area as developers developed groundwater sources to only serve their development without collaboration with neighboring developers. And now, studies show the groundwater is being used faster than it is replenished.
  • DCWRA members serve 105K homes and 325K people 19 member organization South Metro as a whole - 40% of groundwater Some of our communities are 100% dependent on groundwater January 2009
  • The Cone of depression that’s created when a well begins to draw water impacts the aquifer and can impact neighboring wells. Ever since Denver residents drilled the first Arapahoe well in 1883, withdrawal has exceeded recharge. There are about 35,000 wells serving individual households, industry, and municipal drinking water utilities in Douglas County. Take a moment to think about the impact on these non renewable aquifers with this many wells? In some wells, water yield has dropped from 500 gallons per minute to 100 gallons per minute in individual wells. January 2009
  • The graph shows Groundwater Pumping Rates and Predictions . Studies indicate that Douglas County will experience an 85% reduction in water produced by well by 2050. In fact, Arapahoe aquifer wells in Douglas County have seen water level declines by up to 40 feet per year. Douglas County is the most water short area in the state and t his graphic depicts the dire need for Douglas County to reduce its dependence on groundwater. EDUCATION IS THE KEY – ALLOWS PEOPLE TO HELP WITH LONG RANGE PLANNING WE NEED Informed populace can participate in the necessary long range planning required to assure a sustainable water supply January 2009
  • The solution is to expand our surface water supplies. Since most surface water is being used in Colorado, we have to think of the impacts created when we move water from one area of the state to our area of the state. Will the stream dry up? Will farms turn into dust bowls? Will our economy suffer because we’ve lost tourism dollars from our skiing industry and fishing, and kayaking, etc. We also need to consider the impacts to Douglas County from an increase in surface water…will we need more storage and delivery facilities…will the treatment change as groundwater is easier to treat than surface water…will we see an increase in agriculture or any other potential benefits?
  • We have to consider our public policy now when we are looking for water. Do we limit growth until we can find a sustainable water supply? How do we handle the population we have that is using an aquifer with declining yeilds? Even as economic pressures promote development, is it really in the best interest of the County? We also need to look at research and alternative processes like aquifer storage as well as reuse project…one positive for Douglas County is that they can use the groundwater to extinction and do not need to return it to the stream after using it. This means we can use the water for drinking and the treated wastewater for irrigation or treat it again for drinking We need to put an economic value on our water resources to encourage the best and most efficient use of our limited resource.
  • So far, we’ve talked about: Surface water challenges Ground water supplies Need for long range planning and wise water management Growing population and increased water demands What Now? There are organizations in the South Metro focused on water sustainability and education: DCWRA - 19 member organizations working on water policy and education SMWSA - focuses on development of water infrastructure projects Created Regional Water Master Plan – you are a part of that plan January 2009
  • Plan assumes a 15% increase in water conservation and plans to obtain a dditional surface water in order to diversify the current water asset portfolio. These supplies will be obtained through collaboration with Douglas County water suppliers and users. Conservation – an important part of the solution, but no panacea. You can’t conserve what you don’t have. Reuse – will grow in importance as technology improves. January 2009
  • Consider the numbers on the screen…think about how much water you’d save if you didn’t use the water or you limited the water you used. This means the limited supply would be better used. And the treatment costs would go down.
  • Here’s a graphic showing water use…and the largest number…landscape watering is the easiest to reduce.
  • The majority of water used is for single family homes. Douglas County has many large homes with large yards. This provides a huge opportunity to reduce consumption. First, lawns typically use Kentucky bluegrass. We’re not in Kentucky where the rainfall can be 60” a year. We’re in a semi-arid desert. We should use plants native to Colorado. These plants are often xeric plants that use little to no water. They can reduce the amount of water used outside the home. Castle Rock has a successful program to reduce outside water. It has perhaps the most aggressive low water use landscape requirements in the State. We should develop more plans like Castle Rock and develop a consistent message for both dry and wet years. We want people to conserve all of the time because individual conservation efforts do make a difference! January 2009
  • Better choices for CO Xeric landscaping Warm weather grasses like Blue Grama or Buffalo grass still lush but not for as long requires far less water requires far less maintenance self-seeding so doesn’t require fertilizer January 2009
  • Now, let’s go inside the home. First…let’s fix leaks. Put food dye in your toilet tank…if your toilet bowl turns colors then find the leak and fix it. On a larger scale, let’s support water policy that uses the water multiple times. 46% of interior water goes down the drain from the laundry room, the kitchen sink and dishwasher, to the shower and toilet. Some of this water could be used for irrigation. The rest of the water can be cleaned, returned to the river, collected downstream, treated, and reused for a drinking water supply. January 2009
  • Other ideas about where it goes when we flush? Or wash the car in the driveway?
  • An interesting fact about the South Platte River downstream of Denver’s wastewater treatment plant, the river is mostly (>90%) treated sewage. So that’s what goes on to our downstream neighbors.
  • Regional water providers in the South Metro region currently practice highly innovative wastewater reuse programs that allow the reuse of wastewater, gallon for gallon, through augmentation programs, and wastewater irrigation policies. Reuse is accomplished by treating wastewater with advanced wastewater treatment (AWT) techniques to meet drinking water standards, discharging this treated wastewater into Cherry Creek or Plum Creekand then, after mixing and natural treatment in the alluvium, each gallon of wastewater discharged is withdrawn through alluvial wells for treatment and distribution into the potable water system Another way to reuse water is through Reverse Osmosis - a synthetic membrane process by which clean water passes through a permeable membrane, leaving a brine of dirty water on the other side, which can be reprocessed through a secondary membrane . Ultimately leaving a solid waste product and clean water. ACWWA and Cottonwood are in the process of constructing a reverse osmosis treatment system to capture and reuse their water supplies from Cherry Creek. Other utilities and districts utilize wastewater effluent to irrigate golf courses and parks, augment tributary water supply wells, or some combination thereof January 2009
  • Water pollution comes from either: Natural causes (landslide, fire-induced erosion, drought/flood) Human causes
  • What is stormwater? Precipitated runoff that collects debris and pollutants from yards, streets, parking lots and is carried by gravity flow to streams, creeks, rivers
  • Transcript

    • 1. Regional Water Issues and Solutions Hope Dalton TCHD Water Quality Specialist BS Chemistry, MPA Environmental Policy, Registered Environmental Manager (REM)
    • 2. Overview <ul><li>Geology </li></ul><ul><li>Climate </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><li>Legal </li></ul><ul><li>Politics </li></ul><ul><li>Regional Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Water Conservation </li></ul>
    • 3.  
    • 4. · Precipitation ·Evaporation ·Condensation ·Transpiration ·Percolation
    • 5. Source: Gleick, P. H., 1996: Water resources. In Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, ed. by S. H. Schneider, Oxford University Press, New York, vol. 2, pp.817-823.
    • 6. Geology
    • 7. Millions of years ago the Rocky Mountains were the shores of a shallow ocean
    • 8. Ocean sediment left us rich in minerals but not in WATER Coal Natural Gas Oil Pipeline
    • 9. Climate
    • 10. Precipitation in the United States from 1961-1990
    • 11.  
    • 12. Where Is the Water? <ul><li>Surface Water </li></ul><ul><li>Groundwater </li></ul>
    • 13. Where Does the Water Go?
    • 14.  
    • 15.  
    • 16. Colorado’s Plumbing System
    • 17.  
    • 18. Percent of groundwater to surface water withdrawals by county
    • 19. Denver Basin Aquifers
    • 20. A deep core sample from the aquifers in Douglas County Water is stuck in the sandstone and moves at geological time frames One drop would take months to move just inches through our aquifers
    • 21. Colorado Water History Citizen’s Guide to Colorado’s Water Heritage Found online at http://cfwe.org/CitGuides/CG-Heritage.pdf
    • 22. Ancient Puebloan Reservoirs of Mesa Verde
    • 23.  
    • 24.  
    • 25. Brief Water History of Colorado <ul><li>1852—People’s Ditch obtains water rights </li></ul><ul><li>1879—“First in time, first in right” </li></ul><ul><li>1883—First continuous self-recording gauging </li></ul><ul><li>1888—$1.2 million smelting plant built in Pueblo </li></ul><ul><li>1930s—Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District </li></ul><ul><li>1973—In-stream flow and lake level laws </li></ul><ul><li>1977—US Congress adopts Clean Water Act </li></ul><ul><li>1981—Last big water project to benefit Front Range </li></ul><ul><li>1989—EPA vetoes construction of Two Forks Dam </li></ul><ul><li>2002—Severe drought </li></ul>
    • 26. Animas-La Plata Project (ALP) <ul><li>1968—Colorado River Basin Project Act </li></ul><ul><li>1980—Final Environmental Statement completed Construction scheduled </li></ul><ul><li>1986—Final Settlement Agreement signed </li></ul><ul><li>1988—Implementation plan </li></ul><ul><li>1990 & 1991—Protection of the Colorado pikeminnow </li></ul><ul><li>1992—Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement </li></ul><ul><li>1996—EPA receives Final EIS </li></ul><ul><li>1998—Alternative project proposed </li></ul><ul><li>2010—Broke ground on project </li></ul>
    • 27. Legal <ul><li>Surface Water </li></ul><ul><li>Groundwater </li></ul>
    • 28. Doctrine of Prior Appropriation <ul><li>Unconnected to land ownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be sold separate from the land </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Water is owned by people of Colorado </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water right is a right to use that water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ First in time, first in right” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior water rights take precedence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must be used for a “beneficial use” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Over-Appropriated </li></ul>
    • 29. Law of the River <ul><li>Colorado River Compact </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Upper Basin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Colorado </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New Mexico </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Utah </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wyoming </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lower Basin </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nevada </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Arizona </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>California </li></ul></ul></ul>
    • 30.  
    • 31. We govern our groundwater through Well Permits “ Paper Water”
    • 32. Water Quality <ul><li>Clean Water Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protects Surface Waters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discharge Permits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Point Sources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-Point Sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stormwater Runoff </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Confined Animal Feeding Operations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Safe Drinking Water Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protects Community Water Supplies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Serves more than 25 people </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More than 6 months out of the year </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not protect residential wells </li></ul></ul>
    • 33. Scheduled Break DCWRA Out of This World Water Conservation Video & Discussion
    • 34. Politics
    • 35. How long does it take to plan and develop water projects? How much does it cost? <ul><li>Reuter-Hess took 20 years & provides storage for: </li></ul><ul><li>Castle Rock 8,000 AF $44M </li></ul><ul><li>Castle Pines North 1,500 AF $8.25M </li></ul><ul><li>Stonegate 1,200 AF $6.6M </li></ul>
    • 36. How Did We Get Here? <ul><li>Poundstone Amendment </li></ul><ul><li>Failure of Two Forks Dam and Reservoir </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Douglas County Temporarily Uses Groundwater </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cheap, Clean, and Abundant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water Service Balkanized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Studies Confirm Regional Decline in Water Well Levels </li></ul>
    • 37.  
    • 38. In 1985 South Metro had 12,000 wells pumping water from the Denver Basin Aquifers We now have more than 35,000!
    • 39. Groundwater Pumping Rates
    • 40. Expand Surface Water Supplies <ul><li>What are the effects on the </li></ul><ul><li>basin of origin ? </li></ul><ul><li>Stream Flows </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural Production </li></ul><ul><li>Economic </li></ul><ul><li>Recreation </li></ul><ul><li>Development </li></ul><ul><li>Future </li></ul><ul><li>Other? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the effects on the </li></ul><ul><li>basin receiving the water ? </li></ul><ul><li>Increased Water </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stream flows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drinking Water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Economic Development </li></ul><ul><li>Recreation </li></ul><ul><li>Public Health </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Other? </li></ul>
    • 41. Public Policy Considerations <ul><li>A sustainable water supply </li></ul><ul><li>Continued use of non-renewable groundwater </li></ul><ul><li>Location of future development </li></ul><ul><li>Aquifer storage and recovery projects (ASR) </li></ul><ul><li>Water conservation measures </li></ul><ul><li>Economic value placed on water resources </li></ul>
    • 42. Regional Solutions
    • 43. Douglas County Water Resource Authority South Metro Water Supply Authority
    • 44. South Metro Plan of Action Supply by Source (AFY)
    • 45. Water Conservation & Reuse
    • 46. How much do we use? <ul><li>Lawn/garden watering- 120 gallons per day </li></ul><ul><li>10-min shower– 80 gallons </li></ul><ul><li>Dishwasher– 20 gallons per load </li></ul><ul><li>Flush the toilet- <2 up to 7 gallons </li></ul><ul><li>Brush teeth- as much as 5 gallons </li></ul>It all adds up to an average of more than 50 gallons per person per day- or 200 gallons per day for a family of 4!
    • 47.  
    • 48. Did you know? We use 54% of water here 1 square foot of grass uses 16 gallons of water annually
    • 49. Xeric Landscaping
    • 50. Silent leaks waste 50 gallons a day
    • 51. So where does our water go when we’re done with it? <ul><li>Into the river? </li></ul><ul><li>To a wastewater treatment plant </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And then into the river? </li></ul></ul>
    • 52. You’re always downstream of someone, and someone is always downstream of you… Downstream of our wastewater treatment plant, Fort Morgan uses the South Platte for drinking water. Downstream of our stormwater outfalls, people kayak in Cherry Creek at Confluence Park
    • 53. The 3 R’s of Water Recapture Recycle Reapply
    • 54. Water Quality
    • 55. So how do we know if our water is in good shape? <ul><li>Water pollution comes from either: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural causes (landslide, fire-induced erosion, drought/flood) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human causes </li></ul></ul>
    • 56. Sources of urban pollution <ul><li>Point source discharges from wastewater treatment plants and factories </li></ul><ul><li>Stormwater pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Examples? </li></ul>
    • 57. So how do we tell if pollution is affecting our water quality? <ul><li>We monitor, or conduct tests of the water that give us information about— </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The chemistry of the water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Annual Water Quality Reports from Public Drinking Water Systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Watershed monitoring </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The animals and plants that live in the water and the streambed </li></ul></ul>
    • 58. What Can You Do? <ul><li>Now </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciate how precious water is </li></ul><ul><li>Use water more wisely </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove bluegrass lawns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Install ET irrigation controllers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replace sprinkler heads </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Share what you’ve learned </li></ul><ul><li>Future </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to appreciate our water resource </li></ul><ul><li>Get involved in water issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact your political leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate in public process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Support water solutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be a part of the solution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Continue to share what you’ve learned </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn more </li></ul></ul>
    • 59.  

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