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=46584 Road Repairs and Upgrades to Begin on Aspinall Unit Powerplant Access Roads
MONTROSE, Colo. - Reclamation's Curecanti Field Office announced today that repairs and upgrades to paved access roads at Blue Mesa, Morrow Point, and Crystal Powerplants will begin on or around April 21, 2014. Repairs to the roads include pothole repairs, crack sealing, overlay of chip and seal, guardrail repairs, and adding new guardrails on the East Portal access road to Crystal Powerplant. <P> Starting April 21, motorists traveling on the East Portal access road may experience delays of up to four hours. The contractor will need to periodically close one or both lanes. Access roads at Morrow Point and Blue Mesa will experience some intermittent lane restriction and closures, motorists should expect delays. Repairs and upgrades are scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2014. <P> For more information contact Reclamation. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46427 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 Tuesday, April 1 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=46147 Reclamation Names New Area Manager for Utah and Southwest Wyoming
The Bureau of Reclamation has named Wayne Pullan as the new manager for the Provo Area Office which has oversight responsibility for 17 Reclamation water projects and associated activities in Utah, southwestern Wyoming, and parts of Idaho and Nevada. <P> "I am pleased to announce Wayne's selection for this important leadership position," said Upper Colorado Regional Director Larry Walkoviak. "Not only does he have a wealth of experience and background in Utah water management issues, he brings a strong customer-focused approach and demonstrated ability to implement innovative and collaborative solutions to complex resource challenges." <P> Throughout his 19-year federal water management career, Pullan has held a number of key positions in which he has overseen the successful development, implementation and coordination of many agency programs and initiatives, including during his most recent tenure as the deputy Provo Area Office manager. He has played vital leadership roles in serving as the federal representative on various multi-stakeholder committees, partnership task forces, advisory councils, and two Native American water rights settlement implementation teams. <P> Pullan has also been instrumental in resolving many complicated land and water management issues involving Reclamation projects in Utah and Wyoming, and overseen the implementation of important title transfer and environmental compliance activities, risk mitigation solutions, and project infrastructure improvements. <P> Pullan will assume his new position as the successor to Curt Pledger who retired in December. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics and in Asian studies and a master's degree in agricultural economics both from Brigham Young University. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=46024 Reclamation Releases a Draft Environmental Assessment for Piping the Slack and Patterson Laterals
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Reclamation announced today that it has released a draft environmental assessment on piping Roger's Mesa Water Distribution Association's Slack and Patterson Laterals off the Fire Mountain Canal, located in Delta County, Colo. The project involves replacing approximately 9.4 miles of unlined earthen laterals with buried water pipeline. The purpose of the project is to improve the efficiency of water delivery to ditch users and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The draft environmental assessment is available our <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html">website</a> or a copy can be received by contacting Reclamation. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received prior to preparing a final environmental assessment. Comments can be submitted to the email address above or to: Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81506. Comments are due by Friday, March 14, 2014. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=45824 Reclamation Releases a Draft Environmental Assessment for Piping Parts of the Clipper Ditch
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Reclamation announced today that it has released a draft environmental assessment on the Clipper Ditch Pipeline Project, part of the Crawford Project in Delta County, Colo. The project involves replacing approximately 3.5 miles of open irrigation ditch with buried water pipeline. The purpose of the project is to improve the efficiency of water delivery to ditch users and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The draft environmental assessment is available on our <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html">website</a> or a copy can be received by contacting Reclamation. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received prior to preparing a final environmental assessment. Comments can be submitted to the email address above or to: Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81506. Comments are due by Monday, February 17, 2014. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=45744 Interior Honors Brackish Groundwater Research Facility Employee for Energy Savings
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. - The Department of the Interior announced Steve Holland of the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility is one of the recipients of the 2013 Department of Interior Environmental Achievement Award. From 2011 to 2012, Holland implemented changes throughout the facility to reduce energy use by 53.6 percent and continues to achieve additional savings over the last year. <P> "Reducing energy use at Reclamation facilities is an important undertaking for Reclamation," said Commissioner Michael L. Connor. "Steve achieved a tremendous amount of energy savings. I congratulate him and the other employees of the facility for this incredible accomplishment." <P> The 2013 Department of the Interior Environmental Awards recognize departmental employees and partners for who have achieved exceptional savings under Executive Order 13514 "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance" and for cleaning up contaminated land. <P> The energy savings measures at BGNDRF were also recognized by the Department of Energy when it was selected for the 2012 Better Buildings Federal Award. That competition challenged federal agencies to achieve the greatest reduction in annual energy intensity, or energy consumed per gross square foot. <P> "We are really proud of the work Steve has done and the leadership he has shown at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Facility," said Bureau of Reclamation Upper Colorado Regional Director Larry Walkoviak. "He has certainly given our other facilities throughout the region something to strive for as we look to conserve energy." <P> Steve Holland is an electronics technician at the BGNDRF. Facility manager Randy Shaw said he made energy savings a component of Holland's performance requirements when he was hired. He challenged Holland to reduce energy use by 10 percent. But Holland took that challenge and far exceeded his expectations by reaching 53 percent savings. <P> Located on 40 acres of land in Alamogordo, BGNDRF opened in 2007 and provides clients with six indoor test bays, a laboratory, office space, a 30-seat conference room and outdoor areas for testing and developing a variety of advanced water technologies. Clients consist of government agencies, universities and private sector companies. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=45684 Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project Contract Negotiations Continue with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
DURANGO, Colo. - The Bureau of Reclamation and Navajo Tribal Utility Authority are continuing negotiations on an operations, maintenance, and replacement transfer contract for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project. The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, January 15, 2014, at NTUA Crownpoint Office Building, New Mexico 371 & Navajo Service Route 9 in Crownpoint, New Mexico. <P> The OM&R transfer contract will provide terms and conditions for the transfer of operation, maintenance, and replacement responsibilities from Reclamation to the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority for portions of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project. <P> All negotiation meetings are open to the public as observers, and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments related 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; by visiting our <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/navajo/nav-gallup/contracts/NGWSP-OM-TransferContr081513.pdf">website</a> or can be obtained by contacting Ryan Christianson. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=45306 Florida Project Long-Term Water Service Contract Negotiations to Begin with the Florida Water Conservancy District
DURANGO, Colo. - Reclamation and the Florida Water Conservancy District will initiate negotiations for a proposed long-term water service contract for the Florida Project located near Durango, Colo. The first negotiation meeting is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at the Bureau of Reclamation, Western Colorado Area Office, 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, in Durango, Colo. <P> The contract will provide terms and conditions for the proposed use of Florida Project water for municipal and industrial, and other miscellaneous beneficial uses. <P> All negotiation meetings are open to the public as observers, and the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments related 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,and can also be obtained <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/pdfs/contractDocs/Florida/index.html">on-line</a> or by contacting Ryan Christianson at Reclamation, 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, Durango, Colorado, 81303, telephone (970) 385-6590 or e-mail at <a href="mailto:rchristianson@usbr.gov">rchristianson@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=45084 Reclamation Releases the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact on the C Ditch/Needle Rock Pipeline Project
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Reclamation announced today that it released the final EA and Finding of No Significant Impact on the C Ditch/Needle Rock Pipeline Project in Delta County, Colo. The project involves replacing a total of approximately 14,669 lineal feet of open irrigation ditch with buried pipe. The project will improve the efficiency of water delivery to ditch users and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Region. Funding for the project is through a cooperative agreement between Reclamation and C-Ditch Company. <P> The final EA and FONSI are available on our <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/ea/cDitch/index.html">web site</a> or a copy can be received by contacting Terry Stroh with Reclamation in Grand Junction at (970) 248-0608 or tstroh@usbr.gov. <P> Construction is anticipated to be completed by spring 2014. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=44724 Reclamation Awards $27.5 Million Contract to Rebuild Four Glen Canyon Generators
The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $27.5 million contract to Alstom of Littleton, Colo., to rebuild four of the eight hydroelectric power generation units at Glen Canyon Dam that have reached the end of their service life. <P> "For nearly 50 years, Glen Canyon Powerplant has generated renewable, hydroelectric power to help meet the electrical needs in the West," said Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor. "The units being rebuilt under this contract have been in service for nearly 30 of those years. Replacing the generation units on schedule ensures continued reliability and optimal efficiency of the powerplant for the next 30-35 years as Reclamation supports the nation's all-of-the-above energy strategy." <P> The four units to be replaced will have improved generator components – known as 'stators' – made from solid copper bars, increasing reliability and extending the life of the units by up to 10 years. Once the work is completed, all eight of the powerplant's generators will have been rebuilt. <P> Work is scheduled to begin in the summer and continue through December 2016 with the process to rebuild each generator taking approximately seven months to complete. Only one generator will be rebuilt at a time which equates to 173 megawatt reduction in the total power plant capacity while each unit is off-line. <P> All power plant maintenance and replacement activities are scheduled in full coordination with the Western Area Power Administration which markets the power sold to municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, Native American tribes, and government agencies in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nebraska, and Nevada. <P> Glen Canyon Powerplant has a total capacity of 1,320 megawatts and annually produces approximately five billion kilowatt-hours of power to help sustain the electrical needs of about 5.8 million customers. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=44645 Reclamation Releases the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact on Orchard Mesa Canal System Improvements
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Reclamation announced today that on behalf of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program it released a final environmental assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact on the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District Canal System Improvement Project. <P> The major features of the project include: construction of a 10-acre regulating reservoir, upgraded check structures in canals, installation of remote monitoring systems, replacement of some open earth laterals with pressurized pipeline, and improved operational procedures. The improvements will provide a more reliable water supply throughout the canal system with an estimated water savings of approximately 17,000 acre-feet per year. This water will benefit endangered fishes, wildlife, and river recreation in the important "15-Mile" reach of the Colorado River downstream of Palisade, Colo. <P> The first phase of construction on this project is anticipated to begin after this irrigation season in November 2013. The initial construction contract for the installation of new check structures was awarded to DLM Contracting Enterprises, Inc. from Albuquerque, NM and will cost $1.1 million. Some portions of the project will be subcontracted to local contractors. <P> All project features and components are expected to be completed within three to five years and are estimated to cost approximately $16 million. Additional construction contracts will be released in the future. <P> The final environmental assessment and FONSI is available on our <a href="http://www.usbr.gov/uc/">web site</a> under environmental documents or a copy can be received by contacting Terry Stroh with Reclamation in Grand Junction at (970) 248-0608 or <a href="mailto:tstroh@usbr.gov">tstroh@usbr.gov</a>. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=44604 New Vallecito Reservoir Road Opens
DURANGO, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service announced today that completion of construction of a new road and bridge at Vallecito Reservoir is anticipated late this month or early next month. The new road is located below Vallecito Dam and replaces a portion of Forest Service Road 603 that currently crosses over Vallecito Dam. Reclamation and USFS determined that the road across the dam should be relocated for public safety, security, and vehicle traffic management. <P> The USFS funded and managed construction of the new road and bridge that crosses the Vallecito Dam spillway and continues to the east side of the dam and then north to connect with Forest Service Road 603, which is located on the east side of Vallecito Reservoir. After the new road is opened to the public, the road across Vallecito Dam will be closed to all motorized use; however, non-motorized use will continue to be allowed. <P> For more information about this road relocation project, please contact Mark Chiarito at Reclamation, phone (970) 385-6577 or Allen McCaw at USFS, phone (970) 385-1314. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=44595 High Flows Move Safely Through Albuquerque
<b>Albuquerque</b> - Higher flows moved safely through the Albuquerque area and down the Rio Grande early this morning. The flows are now moving through the Bosque Farms and Belen area. <P> The flows peaked at more than 5,000 cubic-feet-per-second at Alameda Bridge and 4,320 cfs early Saturday at Central Bridge in Albuquerque. The river channel was visibly flowing bank to bank but stayed far below the levees. Flows are receding but storms in the area could cause smaller spikes in the Rio Grande Saturday. <P> “The system is working as it was designed to operate,” said Mike Hamman, Bureau of Reclamation Albuquerque Area Manager. <P> The water came into the Rio Grande from an arroyo below Cochiti Dam. It peaked in the arroyo at 9,000 cfs. But the force of volume was reduced greatly as it traveled down the Rio Grande. Several habitat restoration projects with side channels for the silvery minnow are full north of Albuquerque. It is believed they may have helped to attenuate some of the flow. <P> The Rio Grande was flowing at close to 5,000 cfs at Isleta Diversion Dam south of Albuquerque Saturday morning. The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District continues to closely monitor the river as these flows move through Isleta Pueblo, Bosque Farms, Los Lunas, Belen and Bernardo today. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=44594 Water Management Agencies Prepare for Higher Flows in Albuquerque Area
<b>Albuquerque</b> - Higher flows are expected to come down the Rio Grande through the Albuquerque Metro area late tonight and early tomorrow morning. <P> Water managers from the Bureau of Reclamation, the Army Corps of Engineers, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District expect the flows to peak at around 6,000 cubic-feet-per-second based on readings from an upstream gage. This flow is expected to be contained within the levees in the metro area. The flow could last several hours at that level. <P> People should stay out of the Rio Grande Bosque for the next 12 to 24 hours as a precaution. <P> The water came into the Rio Grande from an arroyo below Cochiti Dam. It peaked in the arroyo at 9,000 cfs. But that flow is expected to be reduced to about 6,000 cfs by the time it reaches Albuquerque. The National Weather Service is also advising of additional flows that are coming from numerous arroyos due to a slowly moving storm system. <P> Residents living along the Rio Grande south of Albuquerque should be on alert as these flows reach that area tomorrow. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=44589 Flows Rise on the Rio Grande and Recede on the Pecos
<b>ELEPHANT BUTTE, NM</b> – The Rio Grande between Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoirs is now the point of focus for flooding in New Mexico. The river in that area is rising rapidly due to high flows from Cuchillo Creek. Mescal Arroyo is also on the rise. <P> The channel capacity in that area is 5,000 cubic-feet-per-second and the river is currently flowing at that level. <P> Evacuations are under way along the Rio Grande in that area of Truth or Consequences as well as in Williamsburg and Los Palomas. Highway 51 near the Rio Grande has been closed. <P> Caballo Reservoir is prepared to receive the flows. The public is advised to stay away from the Rio Grande and Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoirs. <P> On the Pecos River, flows continue to recede this morning. Flows out of Avalon Dam continue to decline. The flow through Carlsbad is well within the channel capacity. <P>