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=65203 Bureau of Reclamation finalizes Green River Water Rights Exchange with the state of Utah
ST. GEORGE, UTAH – The Bureau of Reclamation and state of Utah held a ceremony today to sign the Green River Water Rights Exchange contract. Under the terms of the contract, the state agrees to forbear its right to deplete water from the Green River and its tributaries, enabling Reclamation to meet Endangered Species Act flow requirements. In exchange, the state of Utah will receive an equal amount of water released from Flaming Gorge Dam. The contract provides assistance in meeting flow and temperature requirements for the recovery of endangered fish, and allows Reclamation to continue operations in compliance with the 2006 Record of Decision. <P> Representatives from Reclamation and the state completed negotiations on the proposed agreement last year, and Reclamation recently completed a subsequent National Environmental Policy Act review, which resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact. This agreement is specific to the Green River Block of the state’s previously-assigned Central Utah Project Ultimate Phase water right. It is not related to the state’s proposed Lake Powell Pipeline project. <P> “This water exchange contract represents a successful and productive partnership between the State of Utah and the federal government,” said Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Regional Director Brent Rhees. “A partnership aimed at providing maximum value from available water resources.” <P> “We appreciate our partnership with Reclamation and the hard work of our respective teams during this process,” said Eric Millis, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources. “These agreements bring considerable value to the State of Utah by providing a reliable water source and benefiting the in-stream flows of the Green and Colorado Rivers.” <P> The contract between Reclamation and the state of Utah permits the state to put a portion of their water right to beneficial use and provides a more reliable water source for Utah during dry years, while avoiding the need to construct costly new water storage facilities. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=65183 Bureau of Reclamation to finalize Green River Water Rights Exchange with state of Utah at signing ceremony
SAINT GEORGE, Utah – The Bureau of Reclamation and state of Utah will join in a signing ceremony to formalize an agreement for the Green River Water Rights Exchange contract. This agreement exchanges the state’s assigned Green River water right for use of Colorado River Storage Project water from Flaming Gorge Dam. Representatives from the state and Reclamation completed negotiations on the proposed agreement last year and Reclamation recently completed a subsequent National Environmental Policy Act review, which resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact. <P> This agreement is specific to the Green River Block of the state’s previously-assigned Central Utah Project Ultimate Phase water right. It is not related to the state’s proposed Lake Powell Pipeline project. <P> When: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 8:00 a.m. (MDT) <P> Where: Dixie Convention Center, Entrada BC Room, 1835 S Convention Center Dr., St. George, Utah <P> Members of the media are invited to attend. Representatives from the state of Utah and Reclamation will be briefly available following the contract signing to answer questions from media representatives. <P> Live stream or other remote participation options are not available for this event. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=65043 Reclamation to hold public meeting to discuss improvements at Big Sandy Reservoir
FARSON, WYOMING – The Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public meeting in Farson, Wyoming on March 26 to solicit comments regarding the environmental impacts of the Big Sandy Reservoir Enlargement Project. The meeting will be held at the Eden Valley Community Center on March 26 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at 4039 Highway 191 in Farson. Members of the public may also submit comments via email to jbaxter@usbr.gov. <P> The Big Sandy Reservoir Enlargement Project would enhance the reservoir by: <P> • Raising the spillway crest five feet • Installing a filter diaphragm around the outlet works • Constructing a cement-bentonite wall through the dike, <P> In addition, raising the spillway crest would firm up the water supply by increasing potential storage in Big Sandy Reservoir by 12,900 acre-feet. <P> Reclamation has developed a draft environmental assessment that considers the possible impacts of enlarging the reservoir. This document addresses potential impacts to hydrology, recreation, fish and wildlife, and endangered species. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=64923 Earthquake reported at the Paradox Valley Salinity Control Facility
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. – The U.S. Geological Survey reported that an earthquake occurred at 10:22 a.m. MST, on Monday, March 4, 2019, near Reclamation’s Paradox Valley Salinity Control Facility near Bedrock, Colorado. Reclamation maintains a comprehensive network of seismic monitoring instruments in the area, which indicated a preliminary magnitude 4.1 for this earthquake. The quake was felt by employees at the Reclamation facility and residents in surrounding areas. <P> The Paradox Valley Salinity Control Facility injects highly pressurized, concentrated salt water (brine) into a 16,000-foot-deep well, preventing the brine from entering the Dolores River. The well was not operating at the time of the earthquake due to routine maintenance. Operations will not resume until Reclamation completes a thorough assessment of the situation. <P> High-pressure brine injection has been known to trigger small earthquakes in the past, and today’s event was within the range of previously induced earthquakes. Reclamation’s seismic network in the area monitors the location, magnitude and frequency around the Paradox Valley Salinity Control Facility. Reclamation will continue using that network to monitor earthquakes in the area. <P> The Paradox Valley Salinity Control Facility substantially benefits downstream water quality in the Colorado River Basin, and helps the United States meet treaty obligations with Mexico for allowable salinity levels in the river. Historically, the Dolores River picked up an estimated 205,000 tons of salt annually as it passed through the Paradox Valley. Since the mid-1990s much of this salt has been collected by the Paradox Valley Salinity Control Unit in shallow wells along the Dolores River and then injected into deep subsurface geologic formations. The deep well injection program removes about 95,000 tons of salt annually from the Dolores and Colorado rivers. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=64043 Reclamation releases draft Environmental Assessment for Clipper Center Lateral Pipeline Project
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment on the Clipper Center Lateral Pipeline Project located in Delta County, Colorado. The project would replace approximately 4.3 miles of open irrigation ditch with buried pipe. The purpose of the project is to prevent seepage and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The draft FONSI and EA 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 Monday, January 21, 2019. Submit comments by email to lmcwhirter@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=63984 Reclamation solicits proposals for hydropower development at Silver Jack Dam
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking proposals to lease the right to develop hydroelectric power at Silver Jack Dam, part of the Bostwick Park Project, located near Montrose, Colorado, under a Lease of Power Privilege (LOPP). <P> A LOPP is a contractual right given to a non-Federal entity to use a Reclamation facility for electric power generation consistent with Reclamation project purposes. The LOPP program promotes renewable hydropower energy development on Reclamation owned facilities and allows non-Federal entities to take advantage of existing infrastructure where there is potential to generate clean, renewable energy. Reclamation will collect a portion of the revenue generated by the hydropower project to be credited to the project to help cover current or future project expenses. LOPPs do not exceed 40 years. <P> Guidelines for submitting proposals must be followed and are available in a Federal Register Notice (83 FR 64871) located at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-12-18/pdf/2018-27299.pdf. No Federal funds will be available for this hydroelectric power development. <P> The potential lessee must submit a written proposal and seven copies on or before 4:00 p.m. Friday, May 17, 2019. A proposal will only be considered if it is received at or before 4:00 p.m. on the designated date. Late proposals will not be considered. <P> Proposals can be sent or delivered to Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501. <P> Technical data, including water release patterns, may be obtained by contacting Ryan Christianson at rchristianson@usbr.gov or 970-248-0652. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63865 Reclamation releases draft Environmental Assessment for Aspen Canal Piping Project
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment on the Aspen Canal Piping Project located in Delta County, Colorado. The project would replace approximately 5.6 miles of open irrigation ditch with buried pipe. The purpose of the project is to prevent seepage and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The draft FONSI and EA 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 4, 2019. Submit comments by email to lmcwhirter@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=63784 Reclamation releases final Environmental Assessment for North Delta Irrigation Canal Salinity Control Project I
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a final Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment on the Delta Irrigation Canal Salinity Control Piping Project located in Delta County, Colorado. The project will replace approximately 6.1 miles of open irrigation ditch with buried pipe. The purpose of the project is to prevent seepage and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The final 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>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63783 Reclamation releases final Environmental Assessment for East Side Laterals Piping Project, Phase 9
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has released a final Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment on the East Side Lateral Piping Project, Phase 9 in Delta and Montrose Counties, Colorado. The project will replace approximately 20.4 miles of open irrigation ditch with buried pipe. The purpose of the project is to prevent seepage and reduce salinity loading in the Colorado River Basin. <P> The final 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. Additionally, historical and photographic documentation on the laterals effected by this project are available at www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/rm/cr/index.html. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63685 Reclamation draining Avalon Reservoir for maintenance
CARLSBAD, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation is in the process of draining water from Avalon Reservoir so the Carlsbad Irrigation District can conduct required maintenance on the dam. <P> The reservoir is located about 13 miles north of Carlsbad. It was also drained last winter for similar purposes. During that time, Reclamation and Carlsbad Irrigation District staff noticed signs of four-wheeling within the reservoir pool and vehicles stuck in the mud. <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 with water from nearby Brantley Reservoir late this winter or early this spring in preparation for the next irrigation season. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63603 East Portal Road closed for winter in Montrose, Colorado
MONTROSE, COLO. - Reclamation’s Curecanti Field Office announced today that the East Portal Road located east of Montrose, Colorado, will close for the winter on Wednesday, November 21, 2018. <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, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Crystal Dam. The road will reopen next spring as weather conditions permit. For more information contact Larry Lingerfelt at (970) 240-6306. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63527 Reclamation awards grants to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for management, operation and maintenance and aquatic nuisance species prevention at seven parks in Western Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded two grants to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for seven state parks in Western Colorado owned by Reclamation. The first is a $3.065 million management, operation and maintenance grant and the second is a $776,182 aquatic nuisance species prevention grant. The grants will be used at Rifle Gap, Vega, Crawford, Paonia, Ridgway, Mancos/Jackson Gulch and Navajo. <P> The grants are part of a 50/50 cost share that will provide for continued management, operation and maintenance and aquatic nuisance species prevention from October 2018 to September 2023. Activities covered by these grants include: park administration, public safety, law enforcement, park operations, custodial services, grounds maintenance, aquatic nuisance and invasive species inspections, boat inspections and vessel decontaminations. <P> “Since 1994 Colorado Parks and Wildlife has done an impressive job of managing the seven state parks, creating a place where people enjoy visiting and recreating. The grant for aquatic nuisance species, in particular quagga and zebra mussels, will go a long way to prevent the spread of mussels in Western Colorado.” said Ed Warner, Area Manager for the Western Colorado Area Office. “Local communities also benefit economically from the associated recreation opportunities provided at each reservoir”. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63526 Bureau of Reclamation to Hold Public Meeting to Discuss Vegetation Removal Along High Line Canal
SALEM, UT – On November 8, 2018 the Bureau of Reclamation will hold a public meeting to discuss plans for the removal of woody vegetation (trees and shrubs) from government-owned land adjacent to the High Line Canal. The canal is located in Utah County near the cities of Salem and Payson. <P> If not properly managed, woody vegetation near urbanized canals can present safety risks. Woody vegetation grows roots that penetrate earthen canal banks and creates habitat which encourages rodent infestations. Rodents burrow into canal banks and create leaks that threaten facility integrity. In addition, vegetation makes it more difficult for canal operators to discover and address developing safety issues. Without a clear view of the banks of a canal, a minor seepage problem can rapidly develop into a full-scale emergency. <P> Reclamation’s Provo Area Office is committed to working with neighboring landowners and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss any issues related to the project. The public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Salem Community Center at 151 West 300 South in Salem, Utah. Comments may also be sent to highlinewoodyvegetation@usbr.gov. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63503 Interior Initiates High-Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam
PAGE, Ariz. – The Department of the Interior initiated a high-flow release of water on November 5 from Glen Canyon Dam. This is the first high-flow release under the Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan, which was approved in December 2016. This experiment will help rebuild beaches, sandbars and other environmental resources in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. It continues important scientific research and monitoring along the Colorado River while preserving crucial water and power deliveries for the nearly 40 million people who rely on the river. <P> “This high-flow experiment is an important opportunity to learn more about the Grand Canyon’s resources,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “I applaud the partnership and collaboration among the Department agencies and bureaus, all seven basin states and other stakeholders to continue our successful adaptive approach to managing Glen Canyon Dam.” <P> During this 60-hour high-flow release, the increased river flow will carry sediment deposited on the bed of the Colorado River from tributaries below Glen Canyon Dam in recent months through the Grand Canyon. Scientists and other researchers will also use this high flow experiment to gather important information which will help inform future operational and management decisions at the dam and along the Colorado River. In fact, this high flow experiment continues and supports more than 20 years of extensive scientific research, experimentation and analysis conducted through the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program. The Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan is a 20-year plan that updates protocols for continued experiments and provides a framework for adaptive management of Glen Canyon Dam. <P> The decision to conduct this experiment was based on input from a collaborative team, including Department of the Interior agencies—Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs—the Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration, and representatives from all seven Colorado River Basin States. Before proceeding with the experiment, experts determined there would be no unacceptable adverse impacts on other resource conditions. Technical experts with the Department of the Interior have coordinated the experiment’s design to optimize benefits to sediment resources throughout the Grand Canyon while meeting all water delivery requirements and minimizing negative impacts to hydropower production. <P> This high flow experiment will not change or impact the total annual amount of water released from Lake Powell to Lake Mead. Releases from Glen Canyon Dam, both before and after the experiment and through the remainder of the year, will be adjusted to compensate for the high volume released during this high-flow experiment. <P> Additional information about this high-flow experiment will be posted and updated online at: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/gcdHFE/index.html. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=63424 Media Advisory: High-Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam
PAGE, Ariz. – The Bureau of Reclamation, under the direction of the Department of the Interior, will increase water releases from Glen Canyon Dam beginning on Monday, November 5, 2018 and ending November 8. This release is in support of a high flow experiment (HFE) in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey. Releases will begin to increase early Monday morning and will peak at approximately 38,100 cubic feet per second at 2:00 p.m. Flows will continue at that peak for 60 hours to move accumulated sediment downstream to help rebuild eroded sandbars and beaches through Glen and Grand Canyons. These sandbars and beaches are important for life in and along the river. <P> Reclamation and National Park Service officials advise river users to exercise caution along the Colorado River through Glen and Grand Canyons and the easternmost portion of Lake Mead during the entire week of November 5. Flow level information will be posted online and at multiple locations in both Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. Note that it will take several hours and up to two days following beginning and end of the HFE for high flow waters to reach and then recede at downstream locations in the canyons, depending on their distance from the dam. <P> WHAT: High Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam <P> WHEN: Monday, November 5, 2018; First bypass tube will open at approximately 10:00 a.m. MST, with full bypass at 2:00 p.m. MST. Full bypass will continue for 60 hours. <P> WHERE: Glen Canyon Dam, US-89, Page, AZ 86040 <P> Members of the media are invited to view the opening of the bypass tubes on November 5, tour Glen Canyon Dam and interview on-site subject matter experts from Reclamation, National Park Service and U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center. Reporters wishing to view the high flow experiment should contact Marlon Duke (mduke@usbr.gov or 385-228-4845) or Lee Traynham (ltraynham@usbr.gov or 801-524-3752). <P> This HFE will not change the total annual amount of water released from Lake Powell to Lake Mead. Releases later in the water year will be adjusted to compensate for the high volume released during this experiment. Insights gained from this and previous high flow experiments will continue to assist in the management and operation of Glen Canyon Dam. <P> Additional information about this high flow experiment will be posted and updated online at: https://www.usbr.gov/uc/rm/gcdHFE/index.html. Additional information about projected river flow levels at campsites and other use areas through the Grand Canyon can be found here: https://grandcanyon.usgs.gov/portal/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=13c8070db92046d4ac3825decb1f0ca7. <P>