Water Ambassador booklet

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Overview of some water issues in Colorado.

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Water Ambassador booklet

  1. 1. Background Literature for Water Ambassadors Written and Compiled by: Jacob Bornstein for: Douglas County Water Resource Authority’s 2009 Water Ambassador Program Copyright © 2009 Douglas County Water Resource Authority All Rights Reserved Please visit out website at: www.dcwater.orgThe purpose of this document is to supplement the PowerPoint presentation WaterAmbassadors receive during training. Rather than repeat the information providedthere, this document provides further background information that will be useful inunderstanding the backdrop of water issues in the arid American West, Colorado,the South Platte River Basin, and Douglas County regions.
  2. 2. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 2 of 35Section I. Water in the Arid American West: A. Weather in the Arid WestWater in the Arid American West is markedly different than in the eastern half of the country orin the coastal northwest regions. Because rainfall is, on average, less than 15 inches per year,water scarcity is a fact of life for many communities across this region (see figure 1). There aresome areas that receive higher levels of precipitation, notably in the Rocky Mountains. TheRocky 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 theform of snow. This pattern casts a ―weather shadow‖ on the flatter areas of the region, leavinglittle moisture left in the air to fall elsewhere. On average, Castle Rock receives 17.34‖ ofprecipitation annually.White snow reflects the sun’s rays, reducing evaporation. In the spring and summer months, astemperatures increase, the snow melts and can be used for storage in mountain reservoirs, bymunicipalities, in industry, for hydropower plants, for agriculture, and also to support aquatic lifeand recreational activities. Temperature fluctuations affect the timing of the snow melt and theamount of precipitation lost to evaporation. Continental DivideFigure 1: Average annual precipitation in the United States of America.Precipitation in the United States in measured by ―water year.‖ This begins October 1st everyyear. One way to track snowpack, precipitation, and how full storage reservoirs are on a daily,monthly, and historical basis in the western United States is to visitwww.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/partnerships/links_wsfs.html. Another site that tracks temperature andprecipitation highs and lows in the form of an interactive map is www.wrcc.dri.edu/coopmap/ DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 3 of 35(see figure 2). These tools are helpful in understanding where our water resources are currentlyat and how we can compare them to historical levels.Figure 2: Example of precipitation and temperature stations, as represented on Western US COOP. B. Geology of the American WestIt took billions of years to lay the layers of rocks, minerals, mountains, and canyons that makeup the American West. This geological history has made the region rich in natural resources,from gold and silver to coal and natural gas. It also made the West one of the most beautifulregions in the world, sculpting the great Rocky Mountains and the Grand Canyon. Much ofhuman history and current natural resource management in the region can be seen through thelight of how humans interact with the effects of geology. Examples include the laws that shapehow the west manages water, our weather, mining, or growing energy development.One way to study geology is to imagine crosssections of rock layered on top of each other.Each of these layers was deposited duringdifferent periods of the earth’s history.Geologists date those rocks to understand thehistory of the landscape. In some cases,canyons or cliffs can expose these layers ofrock (see figure 3). In other cases such historyneeds to be discovered by drilling deep into theground and taking core samples. Below is across section of one area of the Grand Canyon Figure 3: The Colorado River has cut its channel(see figure 4). From the rocks, geologists can through layers of limestone, shale, granite andtell when oceans covered much of North schist to form the Grand Canyon.America, when there was volcanic activity, and Credit: Ian, Kelly & Kaitlyn Tullbergthrough fossils found in the rocks, whatorganisms populated the region at that time. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 4 of 35Figure 4. Cross section of the Grand Canyon. Copyright © Bob Ribokas.The geological timeline (see figure 5) 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 canbe mined, or 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 typesof fish, insect, and avian habitats. It is the basis for where towns and cities formed, and howthey get their water, whether from snowmelt or utilizing ―fossil‖ water trapped in undergroundaquifers. The richness of resources leads to many competing uses for the land, but across thearid American West, the limiting factor is water, or rather a lack of it. The shallow seas andswamps that once existed in the West are long gone, and now the beneficial uses for water,such as agriculture, municipal (e.g. water for households), energy, environmental, andrecreational, often exceed the amount of water that is available. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 5 of 35 Period Era Ma* TrilobiteFigure 5: Timeline of the earth’s history, with relevant life and how many million years ago (Ma*) theyexisted. Source: Ancient Denver.While this is not the place to discuss geology of the Western United States in depth, it isimportant to understand how important the geology we find ourselves in continues to shapepolicy and the natural world around us. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009 Page 6 of 35Energy Resources HighlightMany millions of years ago, the plant and animal life inthe west lay down major energy reserves in the UnitedStates. The Department of Energy indicates that ―Onequarter of the world’s coal reserves are found withinthe United States, and the energy content of thenation’s coal resources exceeds that of all the world’sknown recoverable oil…. Coal [supplies] more thanhalf the electricity consumed by Americans.‖ Westerncoal is the largest producing area in the U.S., and theonly one in 2007 to increase production, while otherregional production declined (see figure 6).According to the Wyoming Geological Survey,―Western coals were formed between 100 and 45million years ago in two completely different types ofswamps. The earlier coal swamps (100 to 65 ma) Figure 6. Coal Production by Coal-Producingwere marginal to the Cretaceous Epeiric Sea much Region, 2007 (Million Short Tons and Percentlike the eastern swamps were some 200 million years Change from 2006). Regional totals do not includeearlier. These are the coals of Utah, Colorado, and refuse recovery.western Wyoming. The younger western coals (65 to Source: Energy Information Administration,45 ma) originated in intermontane valley swamps in Quarterly Coal Report, October-December 2007,eastern Wyoming and SE Montana far removed from DOE/EIA-0121(2007/Q4) (Washington, DC, Marchany marine influence.‖ 2008).This rich reserve of coal also produces natural gas in the form of methane. For instance, the PiceanceBasin in Colorado holds vast quantities of methane in the seams of its coal formations, representing one ndof the largest natural gas reserves in the United States. (Colorado is 2 , after New Mexico, in U.S.coalbed methane production.) Extraction of coalbed methane involves removal of groundwater to releasethe gas.A much more water intensive energy extraction process is oil shale. Combined, these resources arealready causing an energy boom in Western Colorado. For instance there are now 4,100 operatingnatural gas wells in Garfield County, and 2,600 permits for additional wells were issued in 2007. Therewere very few wells there until 1999. It is expected that by 2035, there will be approximately 40,000 wellsin the region.Energy takes water. While only 0.2 acre-feet of water produces enough natural gas to run an entire homefor a year and less than 50 gallons on average to produce a ton of coal, it takes about 5 barrels of water(including indirect demand) to produce just one barrel of oil from oil shale. An active energy economybased on oil shale could produce about 1.55 million barrels of oil per day, which would require 378,310acre-feet of water per year, or enough for about 1.6 million people.Help offset these impacts. Save water, save energy. It is estimated that 19% of all electricity is used tomove water.Energy Facts from ColoradoProspects.com:  Oil - Colorado produced 20 million barrels of crude oil in 2005, ranking the state 11th in the country in the production of crude oil. As of 2004, Colorado had the 11th highest proved reserves in the nation with 225 million barrels. (U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, 2006)  Coal - Colorado produced nearly 40 million short tons of coal in 2004. Colorado has the seventh highest coal production of any state. (U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, 2006)  Natural Gas - Colorado is home to over 465 million barrels of natural gas liquids in reserve. Colorado has the fourth highest reserves in the nation. (U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, 2006)  Colorado is one of 18 states with a renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS). As of 2004, only 2.68% of Colorados total energy was generated  dcwater.org@gmail.com DCWRA  www.dcwater.org from renewable sources. Amendment 37, passed in November 2004, requires that Colorado reproduced10% by 2015. the express written consent of DCWRA. NOTE: This document is not to be achieve or shared without  Solar Energy - Colorado and the southwest portion of the country offer solar quality of betweenreserved. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights 5000 and 7000 watt hours per square meter per day. (U.S. Department of Energy, 2006)  Wind – Colorado is 11th in the U.S. for wind energy potential in 2004. (American Wind Energy Association, 2006)  Biomass - Colorado could likely produce 5.2 billion Kwh from biomass. (U.S. Department of Energy, 2006)
  7. 7. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 7 of 35 C. History and western water lawWhen settlers came to the east coast, they found that theeasiest way to manage their water resources was by tyingwater rights and land ownership together. Water is owned bythe landowner that has water flowing through or adjacent to hisor her property. This type of law is called the ―RiparianDoctrine.‖If that law were to be applied to the Arid American West, therewould be vast tracts of land that could not be used. ThePuebloans in 750 A.D. were the first in Colorado to overcomethese arid limitations by building reservoirs in areas with richsoils but fleeting water resources. They used the reservoirs towater their maize crops. In the 1800’s, Hispanic settlers beganusing community ditches, known as Acequias, in New Mexicoand the Rio Grande valley in Colorado. The very first waterright in Colorado, the people’s ditch, dates back to 1852.From 1850-1875 seven western states and territories, eitherthrough laws or high court rulings, adopted the―appropriation doctrine,‖ which was founded on common law Figure 7: Collier #167. Hydraulic miningestablished in mining camps. During the gold rush, miners uses hoses carrying high pressure waterestablished rules of discovery, giving ownership of the mine to spray gravel deposits, which washesto the first person that discovered it and began mining it. all but the largest rocks into sluice boxes where gold is recovered. Water cameBecause of the aridity of the west, water did not always exist from two ditches that carried water fromwhere it was needed to mine, and the same rule of the Fall River to Russell Gulch, aappropriation was applied: ―first in time, first in right.‖ Such distance of twelve miles. The Russellcommon law practices were first upheld in 1857 by brothers built the Consolidated DitchCalifornia’s Supreme Court. One of the best explanations of Company at a cost of $100,000.00 inthat period was written in 1879 by Supreme Court Justice 1860. Source: Keller Colorado MiningField who was formerly the California Chief Supreme Court Photographic CollectionJustice: In every district which [miners] occupied they framed certain rules for their government, by which the extent of ground they could severally hold for mining was designated, their possessory right to such ground secured and enforced, and contests between them either avoided or determined. These rules bore a marked similarity, varying in the several districts only according to the extent and character of the mines; distinct provisions being made for different kinds of mining, such as placer mining, quartz mining, and mining in drifts or tunnels. They all recognized discovery, followed by appropriation, as the foundation of the possessor’s title, and development by working as the condition of its retention. And they were so framed as to secure to all comers within practicable limits absolute equality of right and privilege in working the mines. Nothing but such equality would have been tolerated by the miners, who were emphatically the law-makers, as respects to mining, upon the public lands in the state. The first appropriator was everywhere held to have, within certain well-defined limits, a better right than others to the claims taken up; and in all controversies, except as against the government, he was regarded as the original owner, from whom title was to be traced. But the mines could not be worked without water. Without water the gold would remain forever buried in the earth or rock. To carry water to mining localities, when they were not on the banks of a stream or lake, became, therefore, an important and necessary business in carrying on mining. Here, also, the first appropriator of water to be conveyed to such localities for mining or other beneficial purposes, was recognized as having, to the extent of actual use, the better right. The doctrines of the common law respecting the rights of riparian owners were not considered as applicable, or only in a very limited degree, to the condition of miners in the mountains. The waters of rivers and lakes were consequently carried great distances in ditches and flumes, constructed with vast labor and enormous expenditures DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 8 of 35 of money, along the sides of mountains and through the canyons and ravines, to supply communities engaged in mining, as well as for agriculturists and ordinary consumption. Numerous regulations were adopted, or assumed to exist, from their obvious justness, for the security of these ditches and flumes, and the protection of rights to water, not only between different appropriators, but between them and the holders of mining claims. These regulations and customs were appealed to in controversies in the State courts, and received their sanction; and properties to the values of many millions rested upon them. [U.S. Supreme Court, Jennison v. Kirk, 98 U.S. 453, 457-458 (1879)]The Colorado gold rush began in 1858, several years after California’s. Colorado gold was firstdiscovered in 1849 by seven Georgians taking thoroughbred horses to California. TheGeorgians spent the winter camped where Denver would spring up in the coming decades,though the gold was not thoroughly explored for fear of Indians in the mountains. (For a moredetailed early history of mining, including the hardships of the minors, visitwww.miningbureau.com.) The Colorado Gold Rush truly began in 1959, as described by JimCappa, Chief of Minerals, Colorado Geological Survey: In 1859 prospectors from Georgia found gold in gravel deposits in Cherry Creek just south of Denver. Later prospectors discovered gold in vein deposits around present-day Blackhawk and Central City. The rush to Colorado was on. Gold production from the central Front Range through 1990 was 7.3 million ounces. Since 1859 Colorado’s mines have produced about 45 million ounces of gold. Colorado’s largest gold discovery was the Cripple Creek district in 1893. This one district alone produced over 22 million ounces of gold. The Cripple Creek district contains the sole remaining gold mine in Colorado with an estimated annual production of 240,000 ounces in 2000. [Colorado Geological Survey, History of Mining in Colorado, http://geosurvey.state.co.us/Default.aspx?tabid=237]It wasn’t until 1872 that the Colorado Territory’s high court upheld the doctrine of appropriation.Chief Justice Moses Hallett wrote, ―in a dry and thirsty land it is necessary to divert the waters ofthe streams from their natural channels, in order to obtain the fruits of the soil, and thisnecessity is so universal and imperious that it claims recognition of the law.‖ The appropriationdoctrine later became part of Colorado’s constitution in 1879, serving the uses that wereperceived as beneficial at that time, including mining, agriculture, and uses for Colorado’sgrowing towns and cities. D. Heavy population growth City (pop. State Population Percent over 500,000) growthToday, the West is the fastest growing region ofthe country (see Ft. Worth TX 653,320 4.8%table 1 and figure 8). Cities like Phoenix (2.9%), Phoenix AZ 1,512,986 2.9%Albuquerque (2.1%), Denver (1.5%), and Las Austin TX 709,893 2.7%Vegas (1.4%) continue to have rapid annual San Antonio TX 1,296,682 2.6%growth. Charlotte NC 630,478 2.3%Increased populations require more water, and Albuquerque NM 504,949 2.1%cities must ensure that adequate planning takes El Paso TX 609,415 1.9%place to meet that need. Such measures San Jose CA 929,936 1.6%include conservation, reuse, and traditional and Denver CO 566,974 1.5%novel approaches to obtaining additional Jacksonville FL 794,555 1.5%surface water rights from rivers, streams, lakes Table 1: Ten fastest growing large cities (U.S.and reservoirs. In some cases, such measures Census Bureau, 2007)negatively impact water quality, aquatic life,agriculture, recreational opportunities and rural communities. Many cities help reduce impacts ofincreased water consumption. They do this not only by conserving and reusing as much wateras possible, but also by working with the affected parties. They may do this by providing DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 9 of 35additional storage to local communities, timing reservoir releases to assist with aquatic life andrecreational needs, using measures such as rotational crop fallowing to minimize the impact toagriculture, treating wastewater, or taking water during high flow periods. There are increasinglyinnovative ways that communities partner to initiate mutually beneficial arrangements.Figure 8: Average population percent change from 1993-2020Source: Population Profile of the United States, U.S. Census Bureau, 2008. E. Vagaries of climate change complicate water useThe West’s need for water is further underscored by the effects of climate change. While not allclimate change prediction models fully agree with how the West’s temperature and precipitationwill be affected, there are some general themes which predict significant disruption to the waywater is currently managed. Even if precipitation increases, more of it is predicted to fall in theform of rain rather than snow. Liquid water evaporates more quickly than reflective snow, andtherefore the total amount of available water is likely to decrease. While it is not yet clear whatis ―weather variability‖ and what is ―climate change‖, either way water management tasks arebecoming more complex. Similarly, snowmelt, which so many communities ultimately dependupon, is likely to continue happening earlier in the season and more rapidly (see figure 9). Manyreservoirs are currently not designed to store so much water at one time and some have alreadybeen forced to make flood-control releases, storing less for summertime needs. More waterstorage projects are therefore needed for the American West. These projects can take fifteen totwenty years to design and build, so work on such incremental storage needs should beginimmediately. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 10 of 35Figure 9. South Platte River Basin Time Series Snowpack Summary. Notice that the meltout date from2005-2008 is 13 to 32 days earlier than the average (1971-2000). Definition: WY- Water YearSource: Provisional Natural Resources Conservation Service SNOTEL data as of Sept. 30, 2008,available at ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Snow/snow/watershed/daily/basinplotsp08.gifIn summary, the American West is dry compared to the rest of the country, making water, uponwhich so many human activities and ecosystems depend, limited. Increased demand for energy,rapidly growing cities, and the vagaries of climate change combine with the needs of threatenedor endangered species, rural communities, and agriculture to underscore the scarcity of water inthe region. Innovative solutions will have to be used, and states and communities will have toprioritize, making tough choices. Nonetheless, there are many solutions which either reducenegative impacts or are mutually beneficial. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009 Page 11 of 35Figure 10: Colorado water history timeline.Source: Citizen’s Guide to Colorado’s Water Heritage. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  12. 12. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 12 of 35Section II. Colorado’s Water: A. The landscapeColorado straddles the continental divide, and many major rivers originate in the RockyMountains. Because of this it is one of only two headwaters states in the United States. Waterflows to the north, south, east and west to 19 other U.S. states and Mexico, finally arriving toeither the Pacific or Atlantic oceans. There are only a few small exceptions where water flowsinto the state. Colorado can be divided into eight major basins (see figure 11). West of theContinental Divide all of the rivers eventually flow into the Colorado River which then makes itsway to Mexico and into the Sea of Cortez (a.k.a. Gulf of California). These basins include theNorthwest Basin (Yampa, White, and Green rivers), the Gunnison River Basin, the SouthwestBasin (San Juan, San Miguel, and Dolores rivers), and the Colorado River Basin itself. East ofthe Continental Divide, the Arkansas Basin, South Platte Basin (which includes the RepublicanRiver), and North Platte Basin eventually flow into the Missouri River Basin, which combineswith the Mississippi River flowing through New Orleans and into the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf ofMexico. The Rio Grande flows south through New Mexico and then along the Texas/Mexicanborder until it too reaches the Gulf of Mexico. Different basins in Colorado receive differentamounts of precipitation and rely on different economies. Areas west of the Continental Dividereceive approximately 80% of the water, but currently only has 11 percent of the population.Nonetheless, many communities on the west slope are expected to nearly double by the year2030 (see table 3). Agriculture and recreational driven tourism are economic bases for thesecommunities. Recreational activities highly dependent on water resources range from skiing andgolfing to fishing, kayaking, and rafting. In contrast, the I-25 corridor from Fort Collins toColorado Springs is much more dependent upon service economies common to cities. TheEastern Plains are reliant upon agriculture.Figure 11: Colorado’s eight major basins.Approximately 90% of the amount of water taken out of Colorado’s rivers, streams, andgroundwater is used for agriculture. The remainder is used for municipal, industrial, and DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  13. 13. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009 Page 13 of 35 thermoelectric power plants’ needs (See figure 12). However, this does not reflect how much water is actually used in the state. Much of this water goes back into the water table and is used by others downstream. When managing water rights and negotiations between states, it is the remaining water that must be considered compared to the amount Colorado actually uses up, which is known as ―consumptive use.‖ Thermoelectric Power 156,373 AF 1% Industrial 135,814 AF 1% Municipal 1 acre-foot of water floods 1,093,289 AF 8% one acre of land to a depth of one foot. It’s equivalent to 325,851 gallons. A family of four uses ½ ac-ft of water per Agriculture 12,922,069 AF 90% year. Total Withdrawals 14,307,546 AF Figure 12: Colorado water withdrawals in 2000. AF=Acre feet, or one acre of water one foot deep. Source: Calculated from ―Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2000,‖ U.S. Geological Survey B. Interstate Compacts Because so many other states depend upon water that flows out of Colorado, there are numerous water agreements between Colorado and its neighboring states (see table 2). Such agreements either specify a certain amount of water Colorado must deliver to states downstream, a certain percentage of water Colorado is permitted to retain, or a combination of the two. In addition, there are additional Federal regulations concerning endangered species that affect how Colorado must manage its water (see figure 21).In a 100-year period, a molecule of water spendsonly three weeks as surface water. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 14 of 35 Flows Legally Available under Compact or Interstate Compact, Equitable Year of Decrees for Future Apportionment Decrees and Endangered Compact or River Basin Development Species Recover Programs DecreeArkansas Arkansas River Compact 1948 Kansas vs. Colorado 1995Colorado  Colorado River Compact 1922 Upper Colorado River Compact 1948 Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery - ProgramDolores/San  Colorado River Compact 1922Juan/San Miguel La Plata River Compact 1922 Upper Colorado River Compact 1948 Animas-La Plata Project Compact 1969 San Juan Endangered Fish Recovery - ProgramGunnison  Colorado River Compact 1922 Aspinall Unit Operations - Upper Colorado River Compact 1948 Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery - ProgramNorth Platte/Laramie  Nebraska vs. Wyoming 1945 Wyoming vs. Colorado 1957 Platt River Endangered Species Program -Rio Grande Rio Grande River Compact 1938 Costilla Creek Compact 1944South Platte  South Platt River Compact 1923 Republican River Compact 1942 Platt River Endangered Species Program -Yampa/White/Green  Colorado River Compact 1922 Upper Colorado River Compact and Yampa 1948 River Portion Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery - Program Table 2: Major Interstate Compacts, Decrees, and Endangered Species Programs by Basin. Source: Statewide Water Supply Initiative, Table 7-2.Much of the water leaving the state does not ―belong‖ to Colorado, despite originating here (seefigure 13). Downstream communities depend upon Colorado’s snowmelt, and these needswere realized fifty or more years ago by long-term planners who laid the legal framework thatcurrently dictates much of Colorado’s water management. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009 Page 15 of 35 Figure 13: Estimates of Current Flows, Population, and Irrigated Acreage, by Basin. All numbers are in thousands (1=1,000). AFY = Acre-feet per year Source: Statewide Water Supply Initiative (SWSI) from State of Environment (SOE) and Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), Demography Section.87% of the water leaving Colorado flows out of the Colorado RiverBasin toward the Pacific Ocean. The remaining 13 percent of thewater leaving Colorado flows mostly out of the South Platte,Arkansas and Rio Grande river basins toward the Atlantic Ocean. While there is not space to go over the specifics of each compact, program, or ruling two important interstate agreements are summarized below: South Platte River Compact (from Colorado State University’s Water Knowledge):  Division of the waters of the South Platte River is accomplished by this compact between Colorado and Nebraska, with consent of the Unites States Congress.  From the 15th day of October until April 1, Colorado has full use of the water of the South Platte River within the boundaries of the State except that Nebraska is entitled to divert surplus waters if the proposed Perkins County Canal is constructed. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  16. 16. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 16 of 35  From the first day of April to the 15th day of October, if the mean flow at the interstate station is less than 120 cubic feet per second, Colorado shall not permit diversions from the lower section of the river to supply appropriators with dates of priority subsequent to June 14, 1897.Upper Colorado River Compact (adapted from Colorado State University’s Water Knowledge):In 1948, the Upper Basin states (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico) entered into acompact which apportioned among themselves the waters of the Colorado River available to theUpper Basin by the 1922 Colorado River Compact. According to the 1922 compact, the lowerbasin states, Arizona, Nevada and California, receive a total of 7.5 million acre-feet. It wasagreed in a 1944 treaty that Mexico would receive 1.5 million acre feet.The 1948 Compact apportioned the Upper Basin states each a percentage of the remainingwater available as follows: Colorado 51.75% Utah 23.00% Wyoming 14.00% New Mexico 11.25%If 7.5 million acre-feet is available to the Upper Basin states annually, the above calculationsindicate Colorado can consume up to 3,855,375 acre-feet of water every year. During periods ofdrought available water for the Upper Basin states is likely closer to 6 million acre-feet or less,reducing the amount of water each state can consume. This variability in water supply supportsthe case for building incremental storage capacity.Today Colorado consumes 2.3 million acre-feet of Colorado River water annually. There areongoing highly political discussions concerning how much additional water supply is availablefor use by growing cities or energy development or other interests. The State of Colorado hasattempted to quantify these numbers by way of a two-part process called the Statewide WaterSupply Initiative (SWSI). C. Colorado’s rapid population growthLike much of the West, Colorado is experiencing rapid population growth, with a high degree ofurbanization (see table 4). The South Platte basin is projected to have the most new people,with nearly two million additional people expected to be in the region by 2030. That’s only 21years from now! The majority of these numbers will populate the urban areas. At the sametime some rural areas are growing at increasingly fast rates, with populations expected toincrease in the Gunnison, Southwest, and Colorado basins. Population growth will increase theamount of water needed in all of these communities. What is Colorado doing to meet theseneeds? DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 17 of 35Table 4: Population Projection by Basin. Notice that the greatest population growth is in Denver/S. Metro.Source: SWSI from Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), Demography Section Population growth in cities and towns are tied to jobs. Because of this, water supply is calculated as water uses of a typical municipal system, which includes residential, commercial, industrial, irrigation, and firefighting. This is called municipal and industrial water needs, or M&I for short (see figure 14 and table 5). The increased percent of M&I water needs closely follows the amount of population growth.Figure 14: Projected increase in gross M&I(AFY) and percent increase from 2000 to2030 by basin. Source: Statewide WaterSupply Initiative, Figure 5-7Table 5: Summary of Combined Gross Water Use for M&I in 2000 and 2030. Source: SWSI, table 5-6 DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009 Page 18 of 35 D. Conservation Municipalities and towns are slowing the rate of water needed through conservation efforts by 10-15%. Communities in Douglas County are already doing an exemplary job of water conservation. The first type of conservation is achieved by Level 1 Conservation. This involves households adhering to modern plumbing codes and fixture standards from the National Energy Policy Act over time as old toilets, showers, and pipes wear out and are replaced. Over 100,000 acre-feet of water (on average 14%) is expected to be saved statewide from Level 1 Conservation alone (see figure 15). Communities have varying abilities to conserve water. For instance, Denver’s infrastructure is far older than Douglas County’s, providing more opportunities to conserve. Nonetheless, many communities further slow down the need for additional sources of water by: Level 2 Conservation includes level 1 and:  Metering and  Detecting leaks Level 3 Conservation includes the above and:You will save 12,000 gallons (0.04 acre-feet) per year if you shower less than 5 minutes.  Education,  Rebates for toilets & washers,  Providing water & landscape audits, and  Increasing water rates Level 4 Conservation includes the above and:  Steep pricing rates & surcharges  Rebates for landscape changes,  Turf replacement & restriction  Rebates for irrigation sensors & controllers,  Fixture retrofits upon sale of property, and  Elimination of single-pass coolingSingle-pass cooling systems remove heat by transferring it to clean water andletting it go down the sewage system. Newer recalculating systems make single-pass an outdatedand inefficient use of water, leading to higher sewer and water bill costs. Outmoded equipmentthat may have single-pass cooling include air conditioners, refrigerators, coolers and ice machines. Level 5 Conservation includes the above and:  Replacement of all inefficient water fixtures & appliances,  Elimination of leaks by all customers,  Elimination of high-water using landscapes, and  Installation of non-water using urinals DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  19. 19. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 19 of 35Colorado towns and cities are in-creasinglyadopting the measures that work for them.Many of these conser-vation techniques arequite costly for citizens and municipalities toadopt. At the same time, developing newsup-plies are even more expensive, andhave impacts on other communities.Conservation alone is insufficient to meetthe needs of our growing population.Additional water supplies will have to begarnered to meet these needs. How willColorado address these responsibilities? E. Agriculture in ColoradoAccording to the Bureau of EconomicAnalysis, the state received $1.4 billion fromcrop and animal production in 2006. This Figure 15: Projected M&I Water Demand with Levelcompares with a total 2006 Gross Domestic 1 Conservation savings Source: SWSIProduct for Colorado of $226 billion withreal estate, government, and professional & technical services being the top three economicdrivers (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis). According to these GDP figures, agriculturemade up 0.62% of Colorado’s economy in 2006, and used 90% of the State’s waterresources. The table below indicates market value of agricultural products sold in 2002, with abreak down by category (see table 6). Item Quantity U.S. RankMARKET VALUE OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS SOLD ($1,000)Total value of agricultural products sold 4,525,196 16Value of crops including nursery and greenhouse 1,216,278 24Value of livestock, poultry, and their products 3,308,918 12VALUE OF SALES BY COMMODITY GROUP ($1,000)Grains, oilseeds, dry beans and dry peas 448,378 21TobaccoCotton and cottonseedVegetables, melons, potatoes and sweet potatoes 297,752 12Fruits, tree nuts, and berries 15,735 26Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and sod 261,426 16Cut Christmas trees and short rotation woody crops 398 41Other crops and hay 192,590 14Poultry and eggs 113,256 28Cattle and Calves 2,632,740 4Milk and other diary products from cows 247,095 21Hogs and pigs 179,415 14Sheep, goats, and their products 72,479 2Horses, ponies, mules, burros and donkeys 21,365 13Aquaculture 28,805 11Other animals and other animal products 13,763 21Table 6: Market value of Colorado agricultural products sold in 2002. Source: 2002 Census ofAgriculture State Profile, United States Department of Agriculture, Colorado Agricultural Statistics Service DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 20 of 35Because of global economic pressures and the need for municipalities to increase their watersupply, agricultural water use is decreasing across the state. Many agricultural water rights havebeen transferred to municipal use. In 2004, SWSI estimated that in most cases the numbers ofirrigated acres are likely to go down (see figure 16). This will impact some rural communitiesand landscapes, as may the push for increased renewable energy sources. Already, thedemand (and price) of corn for ethanol has increased, and the number of planted corn acreshas followed. Growing and processing corn for energy is not an economic renewable energysolution. Other, less water thirsty practices such as dry land farming of switch grass, growingalgae using hydroponics, wind turbines, and solar panels may increase their presence in ruralcommunities.Figure 16: Potential changes in irrigated acreage by 2030Source: SWSI, figure 5-5, from Colorado’s Decision Support Systems and Basin roundtable/ BasinAdvisor input.There have been several recent laws that have been adopted by Colorado to help municipalitiesprovide for their water needs, while reducing impacts to agricultural communities. Theseinclude: a. Water ―loans‖ by agricultural interests during times of drought, which provide instream flows for environmental or municipal use. b. Rotational Crop Management, which can now be managed by the same approval criteria applied to changes in water rights. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  21. 21. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 21 of 35 F. Colorado’s water supply needsMuch of Colorado’s surface water supply needs were described in Section II.A. Colorado’sLandscape. Here we discuss groundwater and how much water is still needed in the state. InColorado, water is diverted from rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs or pumped from wellsdrilled into underground aquifers to meet a broad set of needs. Water from our waterways issimply called surface water, while water from aquifers is called groundwater (see figure 17).Groundwater is often linked to surface water via the water table. These waters are calledtributary groundwater, because like a tributary to a river, they are an attribute of it. Whengroundwater levels fall, so do the connected river levels, and vice versa.Error!Figure 17. Total water withdrawals by county with percent groundwater to surface waterSource: SWSI, from Colorado Geological Survey, 2003.There is another type of groundwater, which is water trapped eons ago that has little if anyconnection to surface water. This water can be considered ―fossil water,‖ and is legally referredto as non-tributary groundwater. Fossil water is a limited resource, whereas the other forms ofwater are renewable, meaning replenished by precipitation. Counties like Douglas, Elbert, andKit Carson are reliant upon these non-tributary, non-renewable groundwater sources.Through surface and groundwater diversions, conservation, reuse, storage management, andother techniques, Colorado can meet just 80% of the water supply it will need by 2030. 80%means that everyone can have water 5.6 days per week. Furthermore, this is only true if everyidentified project as of 2004 is built and all of the conservation and reuse measures identifiedare adopted. State and local officials do not currently know how they are going to make upabout 20% of their needed water. This left over amount is called the gap. The gap amounts by DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009 Page 22 of 35 basin are described in figure 18. The largest gap exists in the South Platte Basin in the S. Metro/Douglas County region. Figure 18: Effectiveness of identified projects and processes in meeting 2030 M&I demands. Source: SWSI, Figure 8-3.In 2004 interbasin water transfers conveyed 515,371 acre-feet of water from the UpperColorado River Basin to the South Platte and Arkansas River basins. These transfers suppliedenough water to supply the needs of one million Colorado families. Significant planning will be required to close the gap. The state recently formed a process featuring nine Roundtables. Each Roundtable is made up of public stakeholders concerned with water resources, such as municipal, industrial, agricultural, environmental, and recreational interests. The Roundtables are designed to work together to decide how to effectively manage water resources. It is unclear as to how effective this process will be in meeting the needs of future generations of Coloradoans. Roundtable meetings are open to the public. You may want to attend a meeting to ask participants how they see your future shaping up. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  23. 23. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 23 of 35Section III. South Platte River Basin Figure 19: S. Platte Basin Area Map A. The landscapeThe South Platte River basin is very diverse, with high mountain regions, Colorado’s mosturbanized areas, and a large amount of agriculture (see figure 20 for diverse water uses).Because of a large amount of transmountain diversions, South Platte Community’s water supplyis subject to the Colorado River Compact and other federal regulation associated with theWestern Slope. In addition, it has its own compacts: o South Platte River Compact of 1923 The South Platte River Compact establishes Colorado’s and Nebraska’s rights to use water in Lodgepole Creek and the South Platte River. Nebraska has the right to fully use water in Lodgepole Creek. Colorado has the right to fully use water in the South Platte River between October 15 and April 1. Between April 1 and October 15 if the mean flow DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  24. 24. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 24 of 35 of the South Platte River at Julesburg is below 120 cubic feet per second (cfs) and water is needed for beneficial use in Nebraska, water rights in Colorado between the western boundary of Washington County and the state line with priority dates junior to June 14, 1897 must be curtailed or augmented through an approved plan. o Republican River Compact of 1942 The Republican River Compact establishes the rights of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas to water in the Republican River Basin and makes specific allocations of the right to make beneficial consumptive use of water from identified streams. o Nebraska vs. Wyoming The Nebraska vs. Wyoming U S Supreme Court Decrees equitably apportions water in the North Platte River between Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming Those portions of the decree affecting Colorado limit total irrigation in Jackson County to 145,000 acres and 17,000 AF of storage for irrigation during any one irrigation season. It also limits total water exports from the North Platte River in Colorado to no more than 60,000 AF during any 10-year period. o Sand Creek Memorandum of Agreement This Memorandum of Agreement between Colorado and Wyoming allocates the waters of Sand Creek between the states in accordance with the priority water rights in each state and provides for certain minimum deliveries to the state line by Colorado if physically available and needed for irrigation in Wyoming. Surface Water Diversion in Acre-feet by Use Irrigation Storage Municipal C ommerical Domestic Stock Industrial Recreation Fishery Augmentation Recharge Figure 20: Diverse water uses in the South Platte Basin Water use in the South Platte is also affected by endangered species, specifically the Whooping Crane, Least Tern and Piping Plover, which are three bird species dependent upon riparian and aquatic habitats (see figure 21) The water plans contemplated for the South Metro/Douglas County region utilize ―consumptive use‖ water rights from agriculture, and therefore may see limited impacts from S. Platte River compacts and decrees. The Endangered Species Act was intended to ensure that species do not become extinct. This process rightly requires major projects to consider endangered and threatened species. As a result it has complicated water management practices, increased costs, and extended the time required to bring a project on line. Unfortunately there have been some instances where the law has been abused, further amplifying the length of time it takes for a project to get approved – sometimes extending to decades. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  25. 25. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 25 of 35Figure 21: Endangered Species affecting Colorado’s water use. Source: SWSI, Figure 6-1. B. South Platte Basin Water demand projectionsAs discussed above, the South Platte has the greatest future need for water (409,700 AF) andthe largest remaining gap (90,600 AF). The South Metro region has the majority of the shortfallin 2030 (see table 7). This is described in the South Platte Fact Sheet, ―Nearly two-thirds of theincrease in the state gross municipal and industrial demand by 2030—or approximately 409,700acre-feet— will be in the South Platte Basin.‖ Most of the water supply needs are in the DenverMetro Area. These water needs must be addressed in your lifetime. How would you like to seethese needs met?Section IV. Metro BasinMuch has been studied and written about the Metro, and especially South Metro areas, whichincludes Douglas County. This section explores the region’s use of groundwater, reuse &conservation, and its plans to overcome the obstacles that would otherwise lead to watershortage. Below is a brief summary from SWSI outlining the major themes in this section: The South Metro area has a projected future increased demand of 88,600 AF per year. Among the major water providers in this area Aurora is embarking on its long range plan to meet future needs as its key Identified Process. This plan will rely heavily on the recapture and reuse of its return flows and agricultural transfers from downstream of the Denver Metro area. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  26. 26. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 26 of 35Table 7. South Platte Basin Demand Projections.Source: South Platte Basin Fact Sheet, Colorado Water Conservation Board from SWSI The East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District is implementing a similar program and the Parker Water and Sanitation District has recently received a permit for the construction of Reuter Hess Reservoir. The South Metro Water Supply Study included many of the water providers in Arapahoe and Douglas Counties that currently rely primarily on non-tributary non-renewable groundwater. As noted in the South Metro Study, the costs of continued reliance on non-renewable Denver Basin aquifer water will increase dramatically as well yields decline and additional wells and infrastructure are needed to maintain current level of groundwater pumping. These costs will not resolve the issue of the long term reliability of the resource and the ultimate need to develop a renewable source of water. [As use continues and well yields decline] the amount needed to close the gap between supply and demand will become significantly larger in the northern portion of the basin. The South Metro Study identified potential solutions including the development of a CU [consumptive use] [project from agriculture in the lower South Platte whereby] surface water would be diverted stored and treated in wet years to reduce the reliance on groundwater pumping. The South Metro user’s needs of approximately 40,000 AF would increase by an additional 40,000 AFY if non- tributary wells fail or become technically or economically infeasible to continue current levels of groundwater pumping in the future. As noted in Section 7 [of SWSI] there are no reliable surface water supplies that can be developed from the South Platte using surface water diversions as the sole water supply source. The South Metro Water Providers have [therefore] indicated that [additional Western Slope transmountain diversion alternatives need to be developed for meeting South Metro, as well as Front Range and Colorado water needs. Potential transmountain diversion projects include the Yampa River, as well as pump back projects from Flaming Gorge, Green Mountain, Blue Mesa, and Reudi Reservoirs.] A. Nonrenewable GroundwaterMuch of the South Metro region is dependent upon ―fossil‖ groundwater. Wells reachunderground 500-2,000 feet to pump water from these aquifers. Primarily Douglas, Arapahoe,and northern El Paso counties are dependent upon these resources. These communities relyupon a water source called the ―Denver Basin.‖ This basin is made up of four groundwateraquifers that have little or no interaction with surface water or precipitation (see figure 22) DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  27. 27. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 27 of 35Figure 22: Denver geological cross section and associated Denver Basin Groundwater Description.Sources: Ancient Denvers for Figure, Citizen’s Guide to Denver Basin Groundwater for description.Unfortunately, groundwater resources are declining rapidly in some areas due to aquifer levelsfalling 20 feet or more per year and reduced pressure. This makes each well less able to drawas much water, jeopardizing the long-term sustainability of relying on these non-renewablesources (see figure 23). From 1990 to 2000 aquifer levels have dropped from 100 to nearly 300 DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  28. 28. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 28 of 35feet in some areas. Water levels have declined as much as 40 feet in a single year (see figure24). Water managing bodies, such as Douglas County Water Resource Authority, South MetroWater Supply Authority, Denver Water, and the Colorado River Water Conservation District andthe Colorado Water Conservation Board are all concerned with these trends. Some of theseentities partnered in the 2004 South Metro Water Supply Study, which assessed alternativesources to water supply. Additionally there is a master plan, which delineates several options(see below). The orange area has been defined by Douglas County commissioners as Margin A, where dried up wells and lowered pressure have forced limits on development. The yellow area is in less danger but still faces problems.Figure 23: Douglas County areas of Concern.Source: Colorado Foundation for Water Education (CFWE) Citizen’s Guide to Denver BasinGroundwater.Some communities in Douglas County, like those around Sedalia have already experienced welldry ups (see figure 23). In the highlighted areas of the map depicted above, developers mustprove that they have a renewable and sustainable supply of water to build, and landownerseither have to dig their wells deeper or truck water in. It is predicted that without adopting theSouth Metro Water Supply Authority plans for further conservation, reuse, and new sources ofwater such as water from agriculture in the lower South Platte and a transmountain diversionproject, these landowners may not be able to access any water within 15 years. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  29. 29. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 29 of 35 N S. Platte River Watkins Denver Aquifer Laramie- Fox Hills Aquifer Annual rates of water level change in wells in the aquifers of the Denver Basin. More than -48 feet Colorado Springs -48 to -40 feet -40 to -32 feet S -32 to -24 feet -24 to -16 feet -16 to -8 feet -8 to 0 feet Arapahoe Aquifer 0 to +8 feet +8 to +16 feetFigure 24: Aquifer level changes for each of the four Denver Basin aquifers and cross sections.Source: CFWE Citizen’s Guide to Denver Basin Groundwater. B. Reuse and ConservationBecause water resources are limited in the Douglas County region, reuse and conservation areespecially important. Reuse can only be applied to water diverted from another basin, ―fossil‖groundwater, water rights undergoing a change of use, and on a new water right. All fresh wateris reused through the natural water cycle, and hundreds of times as water travels downstream.Much of the water we use is not consumed, and eventually continues downstream to be takenup by another user. However, reuse can be a more active process, whereby a municipalitychooses to use water that has already gone through the municipal system on its parks or toreprocess it for consumption. There are many technologies that work well to process this water.Some municipalities store water underground and pump it back out after letting the soil and DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  30. 30. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 30 of 35gravel pre-treat the water. Others utilize a reverse osmosis plant, which pushes water through asynthetic membrane to purify it, leaving the concentrated waste water behind (see figure 27).R/O is extremely energy intensive. A current popular approach combines both methods. Futuretechnologies may enable reuse to become an ever more important piece of meeting watersupply needs.Reuse captures most all of the water used by a household, but only a small amount of the waterused outdoors. Over 50% of water use by households is for landscaping. Yards and gardensconsume the largest amount of water (see figure 25). Municipalities can save time, money, andespecially water through conservation practices. Reducing how much time you spend in theshower, ensuring there are no leaks in your plumbing, using high efficiency appliances, orsimply turning the water off while you brush your teeth are simple and effective ways to reduceresidential water use. However, the most effective way to help your community cope withincreasing water demands and costs is to use only as much water as is needed forirrigating your lawn and plants. Consider replacing some of these existing plants withalternatives that do not need as much water. In order to ensure an adequate supply of water,the communities in the South Metro area are going to need to invest in water infrastructure,which will likely cost nearly $1 billion dollars by 2020 and $2.7-$4 billion by 2050 (see table 8 fora list of proposed projects). Keep these costs down by only using what you need. Residential Water Use Denver Service Area Faucets Laundry 6% 11% Leaks/Misc 5% Toilets 13% Dishwashers 1%Showers/Baths 10% Landscaping 54%Figure 25. Residential Water Use in the Denver Service Area. C. South Metro Water Supply Authority Master PlanWater conservation and reuse are not enough. We cannot conserve our way out of this watersupply issue. Additional water resources will be needed to service the South Metro region. TheSouth Metro Water Supply Authority Regional Master Plan outlines the change from non-renewable groundwater to renewable sources both in the near and long term. The 12 waterproviders currently have 111,000 acre-feet of nonrenewable groundwater water rights, but hope DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  31. 31. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 31 of 35to only use about 15,000 acre-feet of these nonrenewable fossil water sources in the long term(see figure 26).Figure 26: Projected Sources of Supply, Aggregated for all 12 SMWSA Water Providers.Source: SMWSA Regional Master Plan, Figure ES-4.In addition to ensuring that water supply meets current demand in a sustainable fashion, thearea needs to acquire approximately 50,000 additional acre-feet of water for mid and long-termwater supply demand. In order to do this, the plan identifies several options (see table 8). Tomeet mid-term needs, the area will use additional agricultural rights and reuse water supplies forconsumption in the middle South Platte River. This water requires extensive treatment in orderto make it potable (see fig. 27).Figure 27: Conceptual Treatment Process: Lower South Platte/Arkansas Water Treatment Plant.Source: SMWSA Master Plan Presentation by CDM.Definitions: Reverse Osmosis- a synthetic membrane process by which clean water passes through apermeable membrane, leaving a brine of dirty water on the other side, which can be reprocessed througha secondary membrane. TDS- Total Dissolved Solids measures non H2O compounds found in water.mg/l- milligrams per liter. GAC- Granular Activated Charcoal is used for filtration of radon and organicchemicals. UV- Ultraviolet treatment is used to kill microbes.In addition, it will be necessary to partner with either the East Cherry Creek Valley (ECCV)Northern System or the Aurora Prairie Waters Project; both costly endeavors (see figure 28). DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  32. 32. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 32 of 35Figure 28: Various costs for capital infrastructure and operation & maintenance (O&M) presented in NetPresent Value (NPV, 2007 dollars). These are costs for the mid-term East Cherry Creek Valley NorthernSystem dedicated for South Metro Water Supply Authority (SMWSA) Treatment and TransmissionAlternatives. Source: SMWSA Master Plan.Beyond early to mid-2020’s, agricultural water rights and return flows are still expected to bewater supply sources, but it will likely be necessary to bring new water rights across thecontinental divide from Western Colorado. Major projects will require support at both the stateand federal levels, and may take as much as 20 years or more to get approved and developed.Therefore, it is important for the region to be thinking about these needs now. Some of the westslope options that have been investigated for their potential to provide long-term supplies to theregion are the Flaming Gorge Project, Green Mountain Pumpback, Blue Mesa Pumpback, andthe Yampa Pumpback. The costs for these projects will be significant (billions of dollars), andthe longer we wait the more they will cost.As described above, using additional supplies is likely to have a negative impact on othercommunities. This underscores the reasons for reuse and conservation measures, and alsoprovides an opportunity to assist in mitigating for the impacts on these communities andecological systems. Many people move to Colorado because of its recreational activities andnatural beauty. Everyone in Colorado should be aware of and responsible for his or her wateruse as Colorado continues to be a thriving state. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  33. 33. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 33 of 35Table 8. Major identified ongoing projects and processes in the Denver/ South Metro Counties.Source: SWSI, Table 8-3.Below is a summary of the individual issues in the South Platte Basin and Denver South MetroCounties as summarized in the SWSI Report: 1. The South Platte is Colorado’s most diverse and industrialized basin. Agriculture is still a dominant water use but rapid changes are occurring and the impacts to rural communities are a key concern 2. Competition for water is fierce and it is unclear how much competition there is for the same water supplies 3. The lack of any new major water storage in the last 20 years (and the failure of the Two Forms Dam and Reservoir project) led to reliance upon non renewable groundwater in Douglas County and part of Arapahoe County. 4. Explosive growth in these counties coupled with the lack of surface water supplies led to the creation of multiple small water districts and makes coordinated water development a challenge and less efficient especially in light of limited renewable surface water supplies 5. Water reuse and conservation are major components to meeting future water needs but this will put added pressure on agriculture as return flows diminish 6. The urban landscape is very important to the economy and an important component to quality of life 7. Transfers of agricultural water rights to M&I use will continue to be a significant option for meeting future needs PLEASE READ: 1) CDM. Regional Water Master Plan. Greenwood Village: South Metro Water Supply Authority (2007) at www.southmetrowater.org/resourcesdownloads.html 2) Citizen’s Guide to Denver Basin Groundwater. Colorado Foundation for Water Education (2007) at http://cfwe.org/CitGuides/CitGuides.asp and 3) check out the Douglas County Water Resource Authority website at www.dcwater.org for information on regional water conservation efforts. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  34. 34. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 34 of 35Section V. Additional Resources: ―Ancient Denvers.‖ Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Internet, December, 14, 2008. Available at www.dmns.org/main/minisites/ancientDenvers/index.html. Bastin, Edson S. ―History of Mining.‖ Mining Bureau. Internet, December 8, 2008. Available through Keller Colorado Mining Photographic Collection and www.miningbureau.com. Brown, Karla A., ed. Citizen’s Guide to Colorado Water Law, Revised Edition. Colorado Foundation for Water Education (2004). Available at http://cfwe.org/CitGuides/CitGuides.asp. Brown, Karla A., ed. Citizen’s Guide to Colorado Water Heritage. Colorado Foundation for Water Education (2004). Available at http://cfwe.org/CitGuides/CitGuides.asp. Bureau of Economic Analysis. ―Regional Economic Accounts.‖ U.S. Department of Commerce (2006). Internet, December 8, 2008. Available data download at www.bea.gov/regional/gsp/. Cappa, Jim. ―History of Mining in Colorado.‖ Colorado Geological Survey. Internet, December 8, 2008. Available at http://geosurvey.state.co.us/Default.aspx?tabid=237. Campbell, Paul R. ―Population Profile of the United States.‖ U.S. Census Bureau (2008). Internet, December 8, 2008. Available at www.census.gov/population/www/pop-profile/stproj.html. CDM (Camp, Dresser & McKee). Statewide Water Supply Initiative. Denver: CO Water Conservation Board, State of Colorado, 2004. Available at http://cwcb.state.co.us/IWMD/SWSITechnicalResources. Christensen, NS; Wood, AW; Voisin, N; Lettenmaier, DP and Palmer, RN. ―The Effects of Climate Change on the Hydrology and Water Resources of the Colorado River Basin.‖ Climactic Change 62. 1-3 (2004): 337-363. Available for free download at www.springerlink.com/content/t66120x0hw672395/. Colorado Agricultural Statistics Service. ―Market Value of Agricultural Products Sold Including Direct and Organic: 2002 and 1997.‖ U.S. Department of Agriculture. Internet, December 2008. Available data download at www.nass.usda.gov/Census/Create_Census_US_CNTY.jsp#top. CDM. ―South Platte Basin Fact Sheet.‖ Colorado Water Conservation Board (2006). Available at http://cwcb.state.co.us/Home/RiverBasinFacts/. Energy Information Administration. Quarterly Coal Report. (Oct.-Dec. 2007). Internet, December 8, 2008. Available though the Department of Energy at www.eia.doe.gov/fuelcoal.html. Hutchins, Wells A. Water Rights Laws in the Nineteen Western States. 3 volumes. New Jersey: The Lawbook Exchange, 2004. Hutson, SS; Barber, NL; Kenny, JF; Linsey, KS; Lumia, DS and Maupin, MA. ―Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 2000.‖ United States Geological Survey (2004). Internet, December 8, 2008. Available at http://water.usgs.gov/watuse/data/2000/index.html for data download and http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/2004/circ1268/ for full publication download. Inter Basin Compact Committee. ―Western Slope resource impacts of coalbed methane and natural gas drilling.‖ IBCC Minutes (February 2008). Available at http://ibcc.state.co.us/Basins/IBCC/. Loomis, John. ―The Economic Contribution of Instream Flows in Colorado: How Angling and Rafting Use Increase with Instream Flows.‖ Economic Development Report, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado Sate University (2008). Available at http://dare.colostate.edu/pubs. Pickton, Todd; Sikorowski, Linda. ―The Economic Impacts of hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching in Colorado.‖ Colorado Division of Wildlife & BBC Research & Consulting (2004). Saunders, Stephen and Maxwell, Maureen. ―Less Snow, Less Water: Climate Disruption in the West.‖ The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (2005). Available for free download at www.rockymountainclimate.org/website%20pictures/Less%20Snow%20Less%20Water.pdf. URS Corporation. ―Energy Development Water Needs Assessment (Phase I Report).‖ Yampa/White and Colorado River Basin Roundtables (2008). Available at http://ibcc.state.co.us/. DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.
  35. 35. Background Document Outline  DCWRA  January 3, 2009Page 35 of 35 DCWRA  www.dcwater.org  dcwater.org@gmail.com NOTE: This document is not to be reproduced or shared without the express written consent of DCWRA. Copyright© 2009 DCWRA All rights reserved.

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