Upper Colorado Region News Releases http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom News Releases from Reclamation's Upper Colorado Region http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49280 Flaming Gorge Dam to Increase Water Releases Monday
SALT LAKE CITY - The recent record warm and dry winter and spring has consistently eroded previously forecast water inflows into the Colorado River. As a result, spring runoff began one month earlier than expected and spawning and emergence of endangered razorback sucker fish populations have arrived in the river early this year. Larval emergence was observed on May 7, 2015. The last time the observed larval emergence happened this early in the year was on May 15, 2007. Therefore, Flaming Gorge Dam will increase water releases from the dam beginning Monday, May 11, 2015, increasing from a release rate of 1,000 cubic feet per second to a total peak release rate of 8,600 cubic feet per second by Thursday, May 14, 2015. Operations, during the peak release will require powerplant capacity releases of approximately 4,600 cubic feet of water per second concurrently with bypass tube releases of approximately 4,000 cubic feet per second. <P> Current Yampa River forecasts indicate decreasing flows May 11 and 12. Based on the current daily forecast, flows at the Green River at Jensen, Utah, are anticipated to increase from 14,000 cubic feet per second to 16,500 cubic feet per second by May 16. <P> Scientists monitor critical habitat to detect the first emergence of razorback sucker larvae as a “trigger” for an experiment being implemented by Reclamation in cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. A major purpose of the experiment is to transport as many larval fish as possible into critical nursery habitats located in the floodplains along the Green River, downstream of the confluence of the Green and Yampa rivers. During dry years, this nursery habitat connects to the river at flow rates at or above 8,300 cubic feet per second. The increased releases from the dam, combined with the Yampa River flows, will provide the maximum possible flow of water to transport the larval fish. <P> The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has been consulted concerning the impacts of the releases to the rainbow trout fishery below the dam. While releases during this period will make fishing the river more difficult, no adverse impacts to the fishery are expected. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49254 Reclamation Continues Animas-La Plata Project Contract Negotiations with Southern Ute Indian Tribe
DURANGO, Colo. - Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office announced today that it will continue negotiations with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on a proposed contract for the Tribe’s statutory water allocation of the Animas-La Plata Project. The third negotiation meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 7, 2015, at 8 a.m. at the Western Colorado Area Office, 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, Durango, Colo. <P> The contract being negotiated will provide for storage and delivery of project water as well as outline terms and conditions of operation and maintenance payments for the project. <P> All negotiations are open to the public as observers, and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the contract during a thirty minute comment period following the negotiation session. <P> The proposed contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting, or on our website at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/index.html, under Current Focus, or by contacting Ryan Christianson of the Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, Colorado, 81501, via telephone by calling (970) 248-0652 or via e-mail at rchristianson@usbr.gov. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49235 Faler Named Reclamation Albuquerque Area Manager
<div class="floatRight"><img src="http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/images/2015/faler.jpg" width="250px" align="right" alt="Jennifer Faler"><br /><span class="caption">Jennifer Faler</span></div>ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Bureau of Reclamation has selected Jennifer Faler as Area Manager of the Albuquerque Area Office. <P> Faler has more than 20 years of experience working on water resource and environmental issues both in the federal government and private sector. <P> "Jennifer's strong background in natural resources and project management, as well as her demonstrated leadership skills and abilities were some of the major reasons she was selected for this position," said Upper Colorado Regional Director Brent Rhees. "She is well qualified to meet the challenges of this new opportunity." <P> Faler has served as Deputy Area Manager for the Albuquerque Area Office for the last three years. During that time, she led a reorganization of the office to better align with goals laid out in a strategic plan and to transition to project management. The Albuquerque Area Office has six field divisions to manage with nine major dams on the Rio Grande, Pecos and Canadian rivers and covers New Mexico, Southern Colorado and west Texas. <P> "I'm proud of what we've accomplished together at the Albuquerque Area Office during challenging times," Faler said. "I look forward to continuing to build our team and serving our stakeholders." <P> Faler came to Albuquerque from the Trinity River Division Central Valley Project in California where she served as the Engineering and Construction Branch Chief and Acting Executive Director for the Trinity River Restoration Program. <P> After completing her Master's Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis, Faler worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as an environmental engineer and project manager, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Program as a state engineer, environmental coordinator and GIS coordinator, the Natural Resource Conservation Service as a wetland team engineer, and as the president of Integrated Technical Services Corp. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49232 Reclamation Releases 2015 Annual Forecast and Operating Plan for the Pecos
Who: Bureau of Reclamation <P> What: Release of Water Forecast and Annual Operating Plan for the Pecos <P> When: April 29, 2015, at 10 a.m. <P> Where: Bureau of Land Management Office, Roswell Field Office, 2909 W. Second Street Roswell, NM. <P> Why: To learn more about the process used for determining this year's operating plan, water forecast, water storage, potential for water storage and release. <P> How: Contact Mary Carlson at (505) 462-3576 with any questions. <P> Background: The Bureau of Reclamation would like to invite the public to a meeting to explain plans for water operations along the Pecos River for the 2015 irrigation season. The presentation will cover the process for determining the plan for water operations. The presenters will explain the 2015 water forecast and potential for storage and release. Representatives of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission will also be on hand to discuss their work on the Pecos. The Powerpoint presentation will be posted on the Bureau of Reclamation's website following the meeting. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49154 East Portal Road Opens
MONTROSE, Colo. - Reclamation’s Curecanti Field Office announced today that the East Portal Road located east of Montrose will open on Thursday, April 9 at 7:30 a.m., after being closed for the winter months. The road, beginning at the junction with State Highway 347, provides access to the Gunnison River within the Curecanti National Recreation Area, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Crystal Dam. <P> The East Portal Road will remain open throughout the summer and fall until snow, ice, or rockslides make it unsafe for travel. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49132 Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Release 2015 Annual Operating Plan for Middle Rio Grande
Who: Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers <P> What: Release of Annual Operating Plan for the Middle Rio Grande <P> When: Thursday, April 09, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. <P> Where: Bureau of Reclamation Albuquerque Area Office, 555 Broadway Boulevard Northeast, Suite 100, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Rio Grande Room Why: To learn more about the process used for determining this year’s operating plan, water forecast, water storage, potential for water storage and release. <P> How: Contact Mary Carlson at (505) 462-3576 with any questions. For remote participation via web ex/conference call, contact Adrienne Putnam (aputnam@usbr.gov) at (505) 462-3651. <P> Background: Reclamation and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to invite the public to our annual meeting to explain plans for water operations along the Middle Rio Grande in 2015. There is a below average snowpack in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, but it looks better than it has in recent years. The presentation will cover the process for determining the plan for water operations. It will include a review of the 2014 water predictions, as compared to what actually happened, related to storage and release. The presenters will then explain the 2015 water forecast, potential for storage and release, and impacts to water-related recreation. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49130 Media Advisory: Finalists Compete for the Desal Prize
ALAMOGORDO N.M - In an effort to combat the global challenge of water scarcity, five finalist teams will demonstrate cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable innovations in a head-to-head competition for the Desal (Desalination) Prize, the second call for Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development. Sixty eight teams from 29 countries answered the call, which aims to harness innovative technologies to create small-scale brackish water desalination systems that can provide potable water for humans, as well as water appropriate for crops in developing countries. For more information visit www.thedesalprize.org. <P> Who: Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Agency for International Development <P> What: Five Desal Prize finalists will compete for $200,000 in prize funds in head-to-head demonstrations of their innovations’ abilities to address and help alleviate severe water stress. <P> When: Media and Invited Guests: Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 9 a.m. or 2 p.m. Public and Media: Saturday, April 11, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. <P> Where: Bureau of Reclamation Brackish Groundwater National Desalination and Research Facility, 500 Lavelle Road, Alamogordo, NM <P> How: Contact Mary Carlson at (505) 462-3576 with any questions. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=49007 Reclamation Continues Animas-La Plata Project Contract Negotiations with Southern Ute Indian Tribe
DURANGO, Colo. - Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office announced today that it will continue negotiations with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on a proposed contract for the Tribe’s statutory water allocation of the Animas-La Plata Project. The second negotiation meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. at the Durango Public Library, 1900 East 3rd Avenue, Durango, Colo. <P> The contract being negotiated will provide for storage and delivery of project water as well as outline terms and conditions of operation and maintenance payments for the project. <P> All negotiations are open to the public as observers, and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the contract during a thirty minute comment period following the negotiation session. <P> The proposed contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting, or on our website at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/index.html, under Current Focus, or by contacting Ryan Christianson of the Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, Colorado, 81501, via telephone by calling (970) 248-0652 or via e-mail at rchristianson@usbr.gov. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48987 Bureau of Reclamation Announces Daniel C. Picard as Deputy Regional Director for the Upper Colorado Region
Salt Lake City, Utah – Today the Bureau of Reclamation announced the arrival of Daniel C. Picard as the new Deputy Regional Director for the Upper Colorado Region. As Deputy Regional Director, Picard will oversee a variety of water and hydropower programs throughout Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wyoming. <P> “I am excited for the opportunity to return to matters and issues with which I started my federal career, water resources, water rights, and the management of those resources for the benefit of the American public,” said Deputy Regional Director Picard. “There is no more critical resource in the western United States than water, and I am looking forward to the opportunities ahead.” <P> Picard most recently served as District Manager in Spokane, Washington, for the Bureau of Land Management. In that role, he was actively involved in several years of discussions and processes that culminated with President Obama’s declaration in March, 2013 of the San Juan Islands National Monument located within Washington State’s majestic Puget Sound. <P> “Daniel brings a wealth of experience in management of complex natural resource issues from multiple Department of the Interior agencies,” said Acting Regional Director Reed Murray. “He is a proven leader with a strong background that I am confident will be beneficial to the region.” <P> Picard has a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho. He comes to Reclamation with an extensive background in natural resources, policy development and management arenas within the Department of the Interior. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48767 Reclamation Awards $1.5 Million Contract for the Glen Canyon Guided Tour Program
Page, Ariz. - The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that it has awarded a contract valued at $1,545,175 to the Glen Canyon Natural History Association, a non-profit entity. The contract continues the tradition of providing guided tours through Glen Canyon Dam and Powerplant, one of Reclamation’s largest and most-visited facilities, as well as providing visitor services within the Carl Hayden Visitors Center to the visiting public. <P> “Lake Powell provides access to some of the most stunning scenery in the American Southwest,” said Acting Regional Director, Reed Murray. “You can view the man-made wonder of Glen Canyon Dam, alluring sandy beaches, magnificent rock formations, and towering red cliffs, all of which can be seen on the tours that this contract will continue to provide our guests.” <P> Glen Canyon Dam was completed in 1964, taming the waters of the upper Colorado River and creating massive Lake Powell, a popular recreation area overlapping the Utah and Arizona border. Lake Powell is about 186 miles long and attracts millions of visitors a year. <P> The dam and tours are located at Page, Arizona, and just a few miles south of the Utah boarder. The Carl Hayden Visitor center is located at the dam, where the tours of the dam will be available. <P> The number of daily tours offered to visitors varies with the seasons, from four per day during winter months to a high of 13 per day during summer months. This service is established primarily to present to the visiting public a positive understanding of Glen Canyon Dam and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. <P> The contract base year begins on March 1, 2015, and runs through February 28, 2016. The contract also outlines the potential for four additional years under the terms. <P> For more information about Glen Canyon Dam and Powerplant please visit: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/crsp/gc/index.html <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48586 Uintah Water Conservancy District Obtains Additional Acre-Feet of Central Utah Project Water from Bureau of Reclamation
Salt Lake City, Utah - On Thursday, January 22, 2015, the Uintah Water Conservancy District completed an advance payment for 3,000 acre-feet of water developed by the Bureau of Reclamation through the Central Utah Project. The acquisition will allow the District to deliver additional water to the communities of Vernal, Maeser, Naples and Jensen for municipal and industrial purposes. In celebration of the event, an advance ceremony took place in conjunction with the 2015 Uintah Basin Water Summit held in Vernal, Utah. <P> At the ceremony, the District presented a check to Reclamation as advance payment for an additional 3,000 acre-feet of Jensen Unit M&I water in the amount of $14,117,250. <P> "Providing this additional block of water to Ashley Valley is the most recent step in fulfilling the vision of the future that began with the construction of Steinaker and Red Fleet Dams," said Wayne Pullan, Reclamation's Provo Area Manager. "The Bureau of Reclamation applauds this step by our partners in behalf of the growing population of this area." <P> With the recent acquisition, the District more than doubled its M&I supply to a total volume of 5,000 acre-feet. This increase in water supply is in anticipation of future demand. <P> "I am pleased that the community leaders recognized the need for future water supply for the area, and have worked together to provide for that need," said Gawain Snow, General Manager of the Uintah Water Conservancy District. "Support from the Permanent Community Impact Board Fund was essential in funding the advance payment for the 3,000 acre-feet of M&I water. Present and future residents will forever benefit from the great foresight and planning of these community leaders. They are to be commended." <P> In the 1970s, a significant increase in population was anticipated in northeast Utah. The Jensen Unit of the Central Utah Project was designed to supply 18,000 acre-feet of M&I water to meet the anticipated increase in demand from Vernal and surrounding communities. Red Fleet Reservoir is the primary storage facility of the Jensen Unit. The reservoir was constructed to provide 4,600 acre-feet of irrigation water and 6,000 acre-feet of M&I water annually. <P> Each year, the Uintah Water Conservancy District currently receives 4,600 acre-feet of irrigation water, as well as 2,000 acre-feet of M&I water. The water is pumped from Red Fleet Reservoir by the Tyzack Pumping Plant and is treated at the Ashley Creek Water Treatment Plant before being delivered to the towns of Vernal, Maeser, Naples and Jensen for M&I purposes. In 2013, the District requested the ability to acquire an additional 3,000 acre-feet of M&I water. This additional water will allow the District to support future growth of the community and to take advantage of financial benefits associated with making an advance payment on the water. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48566 Uintah Water Conservancy District to Obtain Additional Acre-Feet of Central Utah Project Water from Reclamation
Salt Lake City, Utah – In conjunction with the 2015 Uintah Basin Water Summit, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Uintah Water Conservancy District will participate in an advance payment ceremony on Thursday, January 22, 2015, at 12 p.m. The event will celebrate the District’s acquisition of an additional 3,000 acre-feet of water developed by Reclamation through the Central Utah Project. <P> WHO: The ceremony will begin with opening remarks from Mr. Gawain Snow, General Manager of the Uintah Water Conservancy District. He will be followed by Mr. David Palumbo, acting Regional Director of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Region. The ceremony will conclude with the presentation of the District’s advance payment check. <P> WHAT: Jensen Unit Block Notice Advance Ceremony <P> WHEN: Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:00 p.m. <P> WHERE: Western Park Convention Center, 302 East 200 South, Vernal, UT 84078 <P> Light refreshments will be served. <P> Directions: Take US-40 to Vernal, Utah, where US-40 becomes East Main Street. Turn South onto 200 East Street. Continue two blocks (0.2 miles), and turn left (east) onto 200 South Street. Continue for 0.1 miles. The Western Park Convention Center will be on the right. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48526 Juvenile Quagga Mussels Discovered at Deer Creek Reservoir
Heber City, Utah - Routine water quality sampling has led to the detection of juvenile quagga mussels at Deer Creek Reservoir, located in north-central Utah. Quagga mussels are an invasive species which can be destructive to native habitat and to water related infrastructure. In response to this discovery, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has issued an order requiring all boaters to decontaminate their boats before they leave the reservoir. <P> "This find does not mean Deer Creek Reservoir is infested with quagga mussels," said Jordan Nielson, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "Fortunately the mussel populations found in the past at other waters in Utah never established themselves. We're hoping that will be the case at Deer Creek." <P> Although this discovery is concerning to the agencies, there is currently little risk of the population expanding. Quagga mussels typically do not reproduce in water that is colder than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The primary concern is mussels being transported to other bodies of water in or on boats, thus further spreading the invasive species to other areas. Even boats which may only be in a water body for a short period of time can carry quagga mussels, which is the primary means of infestation at other water bodies. <P> The order issued by the Division of Wildlife Resources, requires boats to be decontaminated before leaving Deer Creek State Park. To accomplish this, the order stipulates that boaters will either clean, drain and dry their boats for a specific length of time or have their boat professionally decontaminated (a free service) before leaving the State Park. <P> "Reclamation values its partnerships with the Division of Wildlife Resources, State of Utah, and other local water agencies in addressing this difficult invasive species problem," said Provo Area Office Manager, Wayne Pullan. "We will continue to work together to address this problem and reduce the risk." <P> Quagga mussels are a small freshwater bivalve mollusk that grow to around four centimeters in adulthood. They were introduced into the Great Lakes region of the U.S. roughly 30 years ago. Since that time they have steadily spread. Quagga mussels have the ability to rapidly colonize many surfaces within and on the waters they inhabit. This can lead to issues with clogged or encrusted water intake structures, pipes, and screens. The clogging or encrusting of these structures can lead to substantial increases in operation and maintenance costs. Their shells can litter shorelines and ruin sandy beaches. They compete directly with fish and other aquatic organisms for food. <P> Beginning this spring, Reclamation, Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks will take action to learn whether adult quagga mussels are in the reservoir, and whether they have spread downstream of Deer Creek Reservoir. The middle Provo River, between Jordanelle and Deer Creek reservoirs, is less at risk because quagga mussels cannot move upstream on their own and would require on some other method to be transported upstream. <P> For more information on quagga mussels, and on boat decontamination, visit Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website at www.stdofthesea.com. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48267 Reclamation Transfers Ownership of the Strawberry Valley Project Power Distribution System
Salt Lake City, Utah - The Bureau of Reclamation today transferred ownership of the Strawberry Valley Project Power Distribution System to the South Utah Valley Electric Service District. The transfer was made under provisions of the South Utah Valley Electric Conveyance Act. The Strawberry Valley Project Power Distribution System consists of 12.5 kilovolt power lines that convey electricity from system substations to end users in south Utah County. <P> The Department of the Interior supports the transfer of facilities in cases where such projects create benefits for the new owner, other stakeholders and the general public. In an effort to facilitate the project, the District proposed legislation that would allow for the transfer of the Distribution System. The South Utah Valley Electric Conveyance Act was signed into law on July 18, 2013. The law authorizes transfer of the Power Distribution System to the District, and provides the District with access to associated federal lands for operations and maintenance purposes. <P> The Strawberry Valley Project comprises about 45,000 irrigable acres in south Utah County. The project provided the first large-scale transmountain diversion from the Colorado River Basin to the Bonneville Basin. It also was one of the earliest Reclamation projects to develop hydroelectric energy. The Strawberry Valley Project Power System had three components; a generation system consisting of power plants; a transmission system consisting of 46.0 kilovolt lines connecting the power plants to substations; and a distribution system that consists of 12.5 kilovolt lines from substations to end users. The Strawberry Valley Project Power System supplies electricity to users in Payson, Salem, Spanish Fork, Springville, and adjacent Utah County areas. <P> For more information, please contact Provo Area Office Manager Wayne Pullan at 801-369-2778 or Provo Area Office Public Affairs Specialist Lee Traynham at 801-379-1196. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=48250 Reclamation Announces Animas-La Plata Project Contract Negotiations with Southern Ute Indian Tribe
DURANGO, Colo. - Reclamation's Western Colorado Area Office announced today that it will initiate negotiations with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on a proposed contract for the Tribe’s statutory water allocation of the Animas-La Plata Project. The first negotiation meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 8, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. at the Durango Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Avenue, Durango, Colorado. <P> The contract to be negotiated will provide for storage and delivery of project water, and outline the terms and conditions of operation and maintenance payments for the project. <P> All negotiations are open to the public as observers, and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the contract during a thirty minute comment period following the negotiation session. The proposed contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting, or can be obtained on our <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/index.html">website</a> under Current Focus or by contacting <a href="mailto:rchristianson@usbr.gov">Ryan Christianson</a> of the Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, Colorado, 81501, telephone (970) 248-0652. <P>