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=61679 Reclamation Begins Refilling Avalon Reservoir as Maintenance Work is Complete
CARLSBAD, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation will begin moving water down the Pecos River from Brantley Reservoir to Avalon Reservoir next week. <P> Reclamation will begin filling Avalon Reservoir, located about 13 miles north of Carlsbad, on February 28. It was drained at the end of 2017 to allow for necessary inspections and for the Carlsbad Irrigation District to perform maintenance. In recent months, Reclamation staff have noticed signs of vehicles four-wheeling in the empty reservoir pool. <P> “We want to remind everyone that this kind of activity is prohibited. Four-wheeling or any activity in a dry reservoir can be very dangerous as water levels can rise in an instant with water flowing from upstream or with inflow from other sources such as nearby arroyos. The surface may look stable but underneath the mud could be sticky, making it difficult for vehicles and people to get out,” said Jim Wilber, Deputy Area Manager of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Albuquerque Area Office. <P> Avalon Reservoir will be filled in preparation for the upcoming irrigation season. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61656 Bureau of Reclamation to Begin Water Releases from Elephant Butte Reservoir in Preparation of Rio Grande Project Irrigation Season
ELEPHANT BUTTE, N.M. – Water movement on the Rio Grande Project is set to begin next week in preparation for the upcoming irrigation season. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation will begin releases from Elephant Butte Dam at 8 a.m. on Friday February 23 to move water to Caballo Reservoir. The release will quickly ramp up to 600 cubic feet per second. <P> Water delivery from Caballo Dam is scheduled to begin on March 16 with a release of 500 cubic feet per second. That release will increase to 2,100 cubic feet per second by 10 a.m. <P> The dry riverbeds below both reservoirs will take on water quickly and the water will begin to flow downstream. The public is asked to stay out of the river channels for their safety. Flows will fluctuate through the spring and summer months according to downstream irrigation demands. <P> The Rio Grande Project is used to irrigate lands in the Elephant Butte Irrigation District in southern New Mexico and in the El Paso County Water Improvement District No. 1 in far west Texas. The Rio Grande Project also supplies water to Mexico in accordance with a 1906 international treaty. In addition, water from the project is used for municipal and industrial purposes by the city of El Paso, Texas. Although irrigation storage and delivery is the primary purpose for Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoirs, Elephant Butte releases are also used to produce hydroelectric power. Recreation is also an important secondary benefit of both Elephant Butte and Caballo Reservoirs. <P> Due to a minimal snowpack in the mountains feeding the Rio Grande, little inflow is forecast for Elephant Butte this spring. Reclamation will provide periodic updates on expected levels at the reservoirs as we enter the summer recreation months. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61498 Longstanding Rights-of-Way Issues Settled
SANTA FE, NM – The resolution of longstanding road rights-of-way issues in the Pojoaque Basin is being recognized as a significant and historic event for Santa Fe County, the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque and for the United States. <P> The Santa Fe County Commission voted unanimously, 5 to 0, on Tuesday to approve settlement agreements with each of the four Pueblos and the Department of Interior to settle rights-of-way issues over a number of disputed roads. Through each agreement, the Pueblos grant road rights-of-way to either the County or the Bureau of Indian Affairs for placement on the BIA Tribal Transportation Program. <P> The New Mexico Land Title Association reviewed the agreements and stated in a letter to the county that “based on the intentions and commitments of the parties as embodied in the Settlement Agreement, the NMLTA is committed to continue to work with the parties to the Settlement Agreement and with the Office of the New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance to be able to provide title insurance that includes access coverage for the properties.” <P> “This settlement is a great accomplishment not only for Santa Fe County and the Pueblos, but for all who will now have legal resolution to their access issues,” said Alan Mikkelsen, Chair of the Department of Interior’s Working Group on Indian Water Settlements. “This is also a great step for all of the parties to the Aamodt Litigation Settlement as it now allows for the implementation of the settlement to move forward.” <P> These agreements require Santa Fe County and the United States to enter into a funding agreement for the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System, which will be constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation under the Settlement. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61438 Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Assessment for Green River Canal Fish Screen Project
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation released a draft Environmental Assessment and proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (EA/FONSI) regarding construction of a fish screen on the Green River Canal located near Green River, Utah. Under the direction and legislative authority of the Upper Colorado River Recovery Implementation Program, Reclamation would provide funding for construction of the fish screen facilities. <P> The purpose of the project is to prevent or reduce the mortality of endangered fish in the Green River Canal by screening them out of the canal and returning them to the Green River. The Green River, near the Green River Canal is designated critical habitat for the Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker. <P> The draft EA/FONSI was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html, or a copy can be requested by contacting Reclamation. <P> Comments are due by February 23, 2018. Please email comments to Lesley McWhirter at lmcwhirter@usbr.gov. Written comments may be mailed to Ed Warner, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave., Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61338 Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Impact Statement for Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation released its Final Environmental Impact Statement today for the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System. The FEIS identifies a preferred alternative based on analysis of potential environmental impacts of five alternatives for planning, designing and constructing the regional water system in the Pojoaque Basin of north-central New Mexico. <P> The Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System is part of the Aamodt Settlement Agreement and was authorized by Congress under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-291). As envisioned, it will divert water from the Rio Grande and include water treatment facilities on the Pueblo de San Ildefonso along with storage tanks, transmission and distribution pipelines, and well fields to supply up to 4,000 acre-feet of water annually. If constructed, the system will provide reliable, safe drinking water to the four Pueblos and other Santa Fe County customers in the Pojoaque Basin. <P> Under Alternative E, the preferred alternative, the water system would collect flows from the Rio Grande supplemented with San Juan-Chama Project water supplies. Emergency use wells would allow water to be withdrawn during emergencies lasting longer than two days that cannot be supplied by short-term storage tanks. The preferred alternative would also include four horizontal radial well collectors to divert water from saturated soils alongside and just below the east bank of the Rio Grande, and a water treatment plant located on the west side of County Road 101D. It also includes the addition of seven new short-term storage tanks to the 15 existing storage tanks, a water transmission and distribution system, including approximately 151 miles of pipelines, one surge tank, six pumping plants, and pressure-reducing and flow-control valves. It would also include approximately seven miles of new overhead and buried electrical distribution lines, and solar-ready facilities. The Department of the Interior will complete a Record of Decision identifying the actions that will be implemented no sooner than 30 days after publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Notice of Availability in the Federal Register on February 19, 2018. <P> Reclamation prepared the FEIS in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Indian Health Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the four Settlement Pueblos (San Ildefonso, Pojoaque, Nambé, and Tesuque), New Mexico Department of Transportation, Santa Fe County, and the City of Santa Fe. The FEIS analyzes key resource topics, such as surface and ground water, vegetation, wetlands and floodplains, cultural resources, socioeconomic resources, and air quality. It lists potential mitigation measures to lessen or eliminate possible negative project-related effects on those resources <P> The FEIS is available on the following websites: <a href="https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/eis.html">https://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/eis.html</a> or <a href="http://www.pojoaquebasineis.com" class="tooltip-ng2">www.pojoaquebasineis.com</a>. <P> It is also available at: <P> <ul> <li>Natural Resources Library, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Main Interior Building, Washington, DC 20240-0001.</li> <li>Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Region, Public Affairs Office, 125 South State Street, Room 8100, Salt Lake City, Utah 84138. </li> <li>Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office, 555 Broadway NE, Suite 100, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102. </li> <li>Santa Fe County Pojoaque Satellite Office, 5 West Gutierrez, Suite 9, Pojoaque, New Mexico 87506 (in the Pojoaque Pueblo Plaza).</li> <li>Santa Fe Public Library, 145 Washington Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501. New Mexico State Library, 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507.</li> <li>Santa Fe Community College Library, 6401 Richards Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508. </li> </ul> <P> Compact disc copies or additional information may be obtained by contacting Ms. Sarah Branum, Bureau of Reclamation, Albuquerque Area Office, 555 Broadway NE, Suite 100, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102; pojoaquebasineis@usbr.gov, or by phone at (505) 462-3591. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61323 Reclamation Continues Water Exchange Negotiation with State of Utah for Lake Powell Pipeline
SALT LAKE CITY – The Bureau of Reclamation and State of Utah are continuing negotiations for a water exchange contract, which proposes exchanging the state’s assigned Green River water right for use of Colorado River Storage Project water released from Flaming Gorge Dam. The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 18, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. with a public open house scheduled at 1:00 p.m. The open house and meeting will be held at the Utah State Library Division, 250 North 1950 West, Room 227, Salt Lake City, UT 84116. This meeting will continue negotiations that began on December 4, 2017 in St. George, Utah. <P> The exchange will provide Utah with a reliable and certain water supply, while assisting Reclamation in meeting its legal obligations. It will enable part of the state’s Colorado River apportionment to flow from Flaming Gorge Dam to Lake Powell for diversion into Utah’s proposed Lake Powell Pipeline. This water exchange negotiation is unrelated to the environmental process associated with the state’s Lake Powell Pipeline project. <P> The negotiation meeting is open to the public. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the exchange during both the open house period immediately prior to formal negotiations as well as during a comment period following the negotiation session. The proposed exchange contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting or can be obtained on Reclamation’s website at: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/provo/index.html, under “Current Focus.” <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61322 Reclamation Continues Green River Water Exchange Negotiations with State of Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – The Bureau of Reclamation and State of Utah are continuing negotiations for a water exchange contract, which proposes exchanging the state’s assigned Green River water right for use of Colorado River Storage Project water from Flaming Gorge Dam. The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 18, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. with a public open house scheduled at 8:00 a.m. The open house and meeting will be held at the Utah State Library Division, 250 North 1950 West, Room 227, Salt Lake City, UT 84116. This meeting will continue negotiations that began on October 30, 2017 in Vernal, Utah. <P> The exchange will provide Utah with a more reliable and certain water supply, while assisting Reclamation in meeting its legal obligations. <P> All negotiation meetings are open to the public as observers. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the exchange during both the open house period immediately prior to formal negotiations as well as a brief comment period following the negotiation session. The proposed exchange agreement contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting, or can be obtained on Reclamation’s website at: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/provo/index.html, under “Current Focus.” <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61319 Reclamation Releases Environmental Assessment on Revocation of Whitewater Unit Land
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation released an Environmental Assessment and proposed Finding of No Significant Impact today for revocation of withdrawn lands for the Whitewater Unit. <P> In the 1950s, Reclamation withdrew federal public land from the Bureau of Land Management in Colorado’s Delta and Mesa Counties for a proposed storage dam and reservoir to be called the Whitewater Unit. However, the project was never fully authorized and the lands are no longer needed for Reclamation purposes. Revoking the withdrawn land will restore full management to BLM for operation under applicable public land laws, regulations and management decisions. <P> The EA/FONSI was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and is available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html, or a copy can be requested by contacting Alan Schroeder at 970-248-0692. <P> Comments are due by Friday, February 16, 2018. Please email comments to Alan Schroeder at aschroeder@usbr.gov. Written comments may be mailed to Ed Warner, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave., Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61300 Reclamation Awards $4.9 Million Contract for Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Modernization for the Colorado River Storage Project
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Bureau of Reclamation took an important step in enhancing infrastructure control, monitoring, information security and knowledge sharing across Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP) facilities by awarding a $4.9 million contract to Systems Integrated on January 2, 2018. The five-phase project will replace and modernize existing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to further standardize Reclamation’s system architectures between its Upper and Lower Colorado Regions. <P> Along with greater knowledge sharing for system support, this standardization will allow for a more cost-effective utilization of standard software packages and licenses, as well as a more efficient and agile response to emerging regulatory compliance and information security concerns surrounding Industrial Control Systems. Modernized systems will enable better data collection and reporting than previously available, expanding Reclamation's ability to provide accurate and detailed information to project customers and end users more quickly than ever before. <P> The first phase of the project will prototype the modernized SCADA system on two hydroelectric generators, which will be identified once work commences under the contract. Phase 2 will install and configure the new system across the remaining CRSP generators. Phases 3-5 will include ongoing monitoring and maintenance for the system. Work under this contract is scheduled to begin January 3, 2018, and conclude January 2, 2023. <P> Congress authorized the Colorado River Storage Project in 1956. Since then, its facilities have provided life-sustaining water and power resources to communities across the arid West. This modernization project will help ensure that those facilities continue to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible to continue providing water and power for millions of American families. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61289 Reclamation Countinues Animas-La Plata Project Contract Negotiations with Ute Mountain Ute Tribe
DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation is continuing negotiations on a proposed repayment contract for the Animas-La Plata Project with the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe for the Tribe’s statutory allocation of project water. The second negotiation meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 11, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. at the Dolores Water Conservancy District office, 60 Cactus Street, Cortez, CO 81321. <P> The contract to be negotiated will provide for storage and delivery of project water and provisions for payment of operation and maintenance costs of 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 website at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/index.html, under Current Focus or by contacting Marc Miller with Reclamation at 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, Durango, Colorado, 81303, telephone (970) 385-6541 or e-mail mbmiller@usbr.gov. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61281 Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Assessment for Piping Minnesota L75 Lateral Irrigation Ditch
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released a Finding of No Significant Impact and final Environmental Assessment for the Minnesota L75 Lateral Piping Project located in Delta County, Colorado. The project involves replacing approximately 0.58 mile of open irrigation ditch with buried water pipeline. The purpose of the project is to reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> Construction is planned for completion in the spring of 2018. The final FONSI and EA are available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61279 Reclamation Releases Draft Environmental Assessment for Orchard Ranch Ditch Piping Project
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Environmental Assessment on the Orchard Ranch Ditch Piping Project located in Delta County, Colorado. The project would replace approximately 2.61 miles of open irrigation ditch with buried pipeline. The purpose of the project is to prevent seepage and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The draft environmental assessment is available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html or a copy can be requested by contacting Reclamation. <P> Reclamation will consider all comments received by Friday, January 19, 2018. Submit comments by email to jward@usbr.gov or to: Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61238 Reclamation Releases Final Environmental Assessment for the Grand Valley Irrigation Company Phase IV – 540 Canal Lining Project
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The Bureau of Reclamation released a Finding of No Significant Impact and final Environmental Assessment for the Grand Valley Irrigation Company’s Phase IV – 540 Canal Lining Project located in Mesa County, Colorado. The project will line approximately 1.64 miles of open irrigation ditch with an impervious liner covered with shotcrete. The purpose of the project is to reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> Construction will begin in December 2017 and be completed in the spring of 2018. The final FONSI and EA are available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61093 Reclamation Closes East Portal Road near Montrose, Colorado, for the Winter
MONTROSE, Colorado—The Bureau of Reclamation’s Curecanti Field Office announced today that the East Portal Road, located east of Montrose, Colorado, will close on Thursday, December 7, 2017, or earlier if weather conditions worsen and make travel unsafe. <P> The East Portal 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 closed through the winter. <P> For more information contact Larry Lingerfelt at (970) 240-6306. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=61018 Reclamation to Negotiate Water Exchange Contract with State of Utah for Lake Powell Pipeline
ST. GEORGE, UTAH – The Bureau of Reclamation and State of Utah are initiating negotiations for a water exchange contract, which proposes exchanging the state’s assigned Green River water right for use of Colorado River Storage Project water released from Flaming Gorge Dam. The negotiation meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 4, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. at the Dixie Convention Center, 1835 South Convention Center Drive, St. George, Utah. <P> The exchange will provide Utah with a reliable and certain water supply, while assisting Reclamation in meeting its legal obligations. It will enable part of the state’s Colorado River apportionment to flow from Flaming Gorge Dam to Lake Powell for diversion into Utah’s proposed Lake Powell Pipeline. <P> The negotiation meeting is open to the public. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and offer comments pertaining to the exchange during an open house period immediately prior to formal negotiations and during a comment period following the negotiation session. The proposed exchange contract and other pertinent documents will be available at the negotiation meeting or can be obtained on Reclamation’s website at: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/provo/index.html, under “News and Highlights”. <P>