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=67983 Pojoaque Basin regional water system moves toward construction
SANTA FE, NM - The Bureau of Reclamation is one step closer to constructing a water system to bring safe, reliable drinking water to four Pueblos and parts of Santa Fe County under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Agreement. Today, Reclamation’s Commissioner Brenda Burman joined settlement parties to sign an agreement that renegotiated cost shares and cost savings measures in the project. She also delivered the signed decision document completing the final environmental impact statement process for the construction. <P> The Pojoaque Basin regional water system will divert water from the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico. The system will include water treatment facilities on the Pueblo de San Ildefonso, along with storage tanks and transmission and distribution pipelines to supply up to 4,000 acre-feet (about 1.3 billion gallons) of drinking water annually to the Pueblos of Nambé, Tesuque, San Ildefonso and Pojoaque, and other Santa Fe County customers in the Pojoaque Basin. <P> “I commend the Pueblos, the county and all the settlement parties for reaching an agreement on revising the cost share arrangements and on making changes to allow for cost savings on this complicated project. This is a great accomplishment,” said Commissioner Brenda Burman “This agreement, along with our signed record of decision completing the environmental process for this project allow us to move forward to break ground on construction early next year.” <P> Section 611(g) of the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act allows the settlement parties to renegotiate the existing cost-share of the project should the real costs exceed the original estimated costs. After nearly a year of negotiations, settlement parties reached an agreement that contains approximately $15 million in cost-savings measures and additional financial commitments from the partners. <P> With the 611(g) agreement negotiated, the Department of the Interior was able to finalize the environmental compliance process with a decision to construct the Pojoaque Basin regional water system. The preferred alternative selected will result in the least ground disturbance and the lowest cost for both construction and operation. 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 to settle Indian water rights disputes in the Pojoaque Basin. <P> A total of five design alternatives for constructing the regional water system were considered in the environmental impact statement. The record of decision also approves two connected actions analyzed in the EIS. Reclamation prepared the record of decision in cooperation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the four settlement Pueblos, New Mexico Department of Transportation, Santa Fe County and the City of Santa Fe. The decision made in the ROD is based on how this alternative helps offset the effects of groundwater pumping and in consideration of how the components of this alternative avoid or minimize potential environmental impacts, while providing a reliable, firm and safe supply of treated drinking water for distribution in the Pojoaque Basin in compliance with the Settlement Act. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67943 Reclamation joins Aamodt Settlement parties to sign agreement and present Record of Decision
Reclamation joins Aamodt Settlement parties to sign agreement and present Record of Decision <P> SANTA FE, NM - The Bureau of Reclamation’s Commissioner Brenda Burman will join officials from the State of New Mexico, Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque and Santa Fe County to sign an agreement to move toward construction of a water system to bring safe drinking water to the Pueblos and part of Santa Fe County. In addition to signing the agreement that renegotiated cost shares and cost savings measures in the project under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act, Commissioner Burman will deliver the signed decision document completing the final environmental impact statement process for construction. <P> Who: Reclamation’s Commissioner Burman and partners in the Aamodt Indian Water Rights Settlement. <P> What: Formal signing of the 611(g) agreement under the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Act and presentation of the Record of Decision on the final environmental impact statement process for the construction of the Pojoaque regional water system. <P> When: Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 10 a.m. <P> Where: Buffalo Thunder Resort, 20 Buffalo Thunder Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87506 <P> Why: To learn more about the latest developments in the process to construct the Pojoaque regional water system under the Aamodt Indian Water Rights Settlement. Which include components that will avoid or minimize potential environmental impacts, and provide reliable, firm and safe supply of treated drinking water for distribution in the Pojoaque Basin in compliance with the Settlement Act. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67883 Reclamation crews work to improve Rio Grande flows to Elephant Butte Reservoir
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Bureau of Reclamation construction crews are working to realign a portion of the Rio Grande around a sediment plug that has formed within the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. This construction work will ensure that water is effectively delivered to Elephant Butte Reservoir. <P> Large equipment will be working in the area for about two months as crews excavate a channel that formed naturally this year during high flows. While water levels were high, water continued to flow around the plugged area with minimal reductions in flow reaching Elephant Butte. The Bosque del Apache stretch of the river began to naturally dry last week due to reduced flows on the mainstem of the Rio Grande and continued high temperatures, allowing Reclamation construction crews improved access to the area. <P> “The Rio Grande used to migrate back and forth across the valley, choosing its own path,” said Albuquerque Area Manager Jennifer Faler. “Whenever we have a lot of water like we had this summer, the river channel at this location fills with sediment and starts to seek a better flow path. This year, we had already completed the analysis and environmental compliance and were ready to start the work needed to allow the river to move to the lower, eastern side of the floodplain.” <P> The Rio Grande is being rerouted in an area that has historically plugged with sediment during high flow years. Sediment plugs occur at this location because the river channel is perched above the adjacent floodplain. Most of the sediment in the river moves along the bottom of the channel. As water levels rise above the river banks during high flows, water leaves the main channel and inundates the overbank area. The water remaining in the channel becomes concentrated with sediment, which deposits rapidly and fills the main channel with sand. Channel plugging most recently occurred in 2017. <P> The realignment project aims to reduce plugging, improve downstream water delivery and direct water away from important riverside infrastructure. This pilot project within Reclamation’s River Maintenance Program will provide data and could lead to additional realignment work in the area. <P> Reclamation hydrologists continue to monitor and model river flows. Reclamation will also coordinate with the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission to remove a separate sediment plug that has developed directly above the Elephant Butte Reservoir pool. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67783 Reclamation advances water delivery project for Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations
DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation invites members of the press and public to a meeting to continue negotiations with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. The purpose of these negotiations is to agree to terms for an operations, maintenance and replacement contract for the federally-owned Cutter Lateral features of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, located near Bloomfield, New Mexico. <P> This operations, maintenance and replacement contract for Cutter Lateral will facilitate water delivery to the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations. The negotiations and subsequent contract provide the legal mechanism for delivery of the Navajo Nation’s Settlement Water in the state of New Mexico. WHAT: Public meeting to negotiate the Cutter Lateral operations, maintenance and replacement contract. <P> WHEN: Friday, September 13, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. <P> WHERE: Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Walter F. Wolf Conference Room 2nd Floor GM Suite, Indian Navajo Route 12, Fort Defiance, AZ 86504 <P> WHY: The contract to be negotiated will provide terms and conditions for the operation, maintenance and replacement of specific project features. 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. They can also be obtained on our website at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/index.html, under Current Focus or by contacting Marc Miller at 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, Durango, Colorado, 81303, 970-385-6541, mbmiller@usbr.gov. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67544 News Advisory: Finalists compete in Reclamation contest to identify and develop water treatment technology
ALAMOGORDO, NM – The Bureau of Reclamation is hosting a Pitch-to-Pilot event to fund innovative water treatment technologies for enhancing freshwater supplies in the United States. This event is designed to identify and fund development of desalination and water treatment technologies and processes. Reclamation invites the public to attend and vote for one of ten finalists. The public portion of the competition will take place at the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on August 29. <P> What: Pitch-to-Pilot Public Reception, Presentation of Pitches, live vote on crowd favorite. <P> When: August 29, 2019. Public Tours from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Reception and Pitch-to-Pilot Presentations from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. <P> Where: Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility. 500 La Velle Road. Alamogordo, NM 88310 <P> Who: Ten finalists will compete for up to six funding awards of up to $150,000 each. The finalists are: <P> • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology – Pilot Demonstration of a Janus HF Membrane-based Direct Contact Membrane Distillation Process for Inland High Total Dissolved Solids Produced Water Desalination by Using Waste Heat <P> • WIST, Inc - The First Affordable, Easy-to-Use Silica Pretreatment Solution: Pilot Scale Validation of SiSorb-Nano <P> • New Mexico State University - Non-chemical Control of Membrane Biofouling and Scaling in Water Reuse and Desalination <P> • AdEdge Water Technologies - Innovative High Recovery Flow-Reversal Reverse Osmosis Desalination Process for Potable Reuse Providing Essential Physical Barrier with Higher Recovery Rate & Reduction in Concentrate Flow <P> • University of Utah - Disruptive Transport/Sand Filtration Pretreatment System for Uninterrupted Desalination Water Supply during Harmful Algal Blooms <P> • EcoVAP - Enhanced Evaporation Using Biomimicry for Brine Concentrate Disposal <P> • Garver, LLC - Innovative Electro-coagulation Membrane Pre-treatment with Vacuum-assisted Electrodistillation Concentrate Management for Cooling Tower Blowdown Recovery <P> • University of Minnesota - Pilot Testing of Forced Convection Enhanced Evaporation for Brine Management from Inland Brackish Water Desalination Systems <P> • Eastern Shore Microbes - H.E.A.T. A Biologically, Sustainable Solar Powered System to Eliminate RO Concentrate in Order to Improve the Water Supply for Inland Communities <P> • University of Arizona - Electrochemically Enhanced High Efficiency Reverse Osmosis (EE-HERO) for Brackish Water Treatment. <P> How: To learn more about the event or to obtain free tickets to attend, please visit Tickets to Pitch-to-Pilot Public Event <P> # # # Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67406 Reclamation to Host Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Working Group Meeting
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Bureau of Reclamation will host the summer meeting of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) Federal Advisory Committee on Aug. 21 and 22 in Flagstaff, Arizona. The AMWG brings together diverse interests and research focused on Glen Canyon Dam operations and management actions to make recommendations on how to protect downstream resources while ensuring certainty and predictability for water and power users in the Colorado River Basin. <P> These meetings are open to the public. <P> What: AMWG Federal Advisory Committee Meeting <P> When: Aug. 21, 2019, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (MST) Aug. 22, 2019, 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (MST) <P> Where: Little America Hotel, 2515 East Butler Avenue, Flagstaff, Arizona 86004 <P> Discussion topics at this meeting include updates on current basin hydrology and projected reservoir operations; non-native fish issues; tribal and cultural resources; science results from the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center; fiscal year 2020 budget and work plans; and other resources and administrative issues. AMWG members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and include representatives from federal agencies, Native American tribes, Colorado River Basin states, environmental groups, recreation interests, and contractors for federal hydropower. <P> Visit the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program Adaptive Management Work Group website for more information, including webinar access, at https://www.usbr.gov/uc/progact/amp/amwg.html. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67383 Reclamation Announces 2020 Colorado River Operating Conditions
BOULDER CITY, NEV. – The Bureau of Reclamation today released its Colorado River Basin August 2019 24-Month Study, which sets the annual operations for Lake Mead and Lake Powell in 2020. Based on projections in the 24-Month Study, Lake Mead will operate in the Normal or ICS Surplus Condition in Calendar Year 2020 and Lake Powell will operate in the Upper Elevation Balancing Tier in Water Year 2020 (October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020). <P> The Upper Basin experienced above average snowpack, and runoff was 145% of average this past spring, raising Lake Powell’s elevation by more than 50 feet since early April. Total Colorado River system storage today is 55% of capacity, up from 49% at this time last year. In addition, critical drought contingency plans adopted by the seven Basin States, federal government and Mexico earlier this year are now in place to reduce risks to the system. <P> “While we appreciate this year’s above average snowpack, one good year doesn’t mean the drought is over. We must remain vigilant,” said Commissioner Brenda Burman. “I applaud everyone who came together this year to get the drought contingency plans done. The additional actions under the contingency plans will help ensure the reliability of the Colorado River system for the 40 million people dependent upon it.” <P> The August 2019 24-Month Study projects Lake Mead’s January 1, 2020, elevation to be 1,089.4 feet, about 14 feet above the Lower Basin shortage determination trigger of 1,075 feet. Lake Powell’s January 1, 2020, elevation is projected to be 3,618.6 feet — 81 feet below full. Because Lake Mead is projected to begin the year below the drought contingency plans threshold of 1,090 feet, Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will make water savings contributions to Lake Mead in 2020. <P> Despite the above average 2019 snowpack, the Colorado River Basin continues to experience its worst 20-year drought on record, dating back to 2000. This 20-year period is also one of the driest in the 1,200-year paleo record. The August 2019 24-Month Study can be found at https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/24mo.pdf. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67083 Reclamation advances water delivery project for Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations with contract negotiations for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project’s Cutter Lateral
DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation invites members of the press and public to a meeting where it will begin negotiations for an operations, maintenance and replacement contract with the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority for operation of federally-owned Cutter Lateral features of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, located near Bloomfield, New Mexico. <P> This operations, maintenance and replacement contract for Cutter Lateral will facilitate water delivery to the Navajo and Jicarilla Apache Nations. The negotiations and subsequent contract provide the legal mechanism for delivery of the Navajo Nation’s Settlement Water in the state of New Mexico. WHAT: Public meeting to negotiate the Cutter Lateral operations, maintenance and replacement contract. <P> WHEN: Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. <P> WHERE: Navajo Engineering and Construction Authority, 1 Uranium Blvd, Shiprock, New Mexico <P> WHY: The contract to be negotiated will provide terms and conditions for the operation, maintenance and replacement of specific project features. 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. They can also be obtained on our website at: http://www.usbr.gov/uc/wcao/index.html, under Current Focus or by contacting Marc Miller at 185 Suttle Street, Suite 2, Durango, Colorado, 81301, 970 385-6541, mbmiller@usbr.gov. <P> <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=67043 Reclamation seeks public input to reduce salinity and improve water quality on the Gould Canal
GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public input to reduce salinity and improve water quality along the Gould Canal in Delta and Montrose counties. Naturally-occurring salts in the sediment along the canal are picked up by the water and transported into the Colorado River system. The resulting reduction in water quality creates a negative economic impact to downstream infrastructure and crops. <P> Reclamation proposes a salinity control project to improve 12.4 miles of Fruitland Irrigation Company’s open, unlined Gould Canal in Delta and Montrose counties. Proposed improvements include converting parts of the canal to pipeline and lining other sections. Those improvements will reduce seepage along the canal, enhance water supply and improve water quality by preventing approximately 5,697 tons of salt per year from entering the Colorado River. <P> “Reducing salt along the Gould Canal will help improve the water quality, crop production and wildlife habitat in the Colorado River Basin,” said Ed Warner, area manager for Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office. “We look forward to receiving input from the public and our partners about this salinity project and how we can improve the Colorado River Basin water system.” <P> The draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment are 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 Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Those interested may 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=67003 Brent C Esplin named director for Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Region
WASHINGTON - Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman today named Brent C Esplin director of the Upper Colorado Region. Esplin has more than 20 years of Reclamation experience. He will officially assume his duties as regional director on July 21, 2019. <P> “Brent has been a key leader in western water and power for more than two decades,” said Commissioner Burman. “That experience will be crucial in the Upper Colorado Region as we wrestle with complex issues like ongoing drought and develop innovative approaches to secure and protect life-sustaining water resources.” <P> As regional director for Upper Colorado, Esplin will lead more than 750 Reclamation professionals who manage 82 projects and dams, including 19 hydroelectric powerplants. Those facilities provide water to approximately 5.7 million people living in the region and electricity for almost 6 million power users. Upper Colorado Region reservoirs and surrounding lands also provide world-renowned recreational opportunities and welcome millions of visitors every year. <P> “I’m honored and humbled to lead the Upper Colorado Region,” Esplin said. “This is a diverse region, from the highest Rocky Mountains to the entrance to the Grand Canyon and down through the Rio Grande Valley, our focus remains to efficiently deliver water and power to the millions of people in our region and beyond who rely on Reclamation facilities.” <P> Esplin first joined Reclamation in 1997 as a civil engineer in the Montana Area Office and has served in a variety of regional and field-level leadership positions, most recently as deputy regional director for the Upper Colorado Region. His experience includes successfully addressing complex water supply and hydropower production issues, working with endangered species recovery programs; implementing Indian water rights settlements and collaborating on key river compact issues across multiple western river systems. <P> A native of Smithfield, Utah, Esplin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering, both from Utah State University. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=66283 Reclamation announces increased Green River flows from Flaming Gorge Dam and urges caution to those below
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – The Bureau of Reclamation will increase flows from Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River in Northern Utah beginning Monday, June 3. The Green River is a major tributary to the Colorado River. Higher release flows are based on current reservoir and river conditions, snowmelt projections, recent storm activity and current weather forecasts, as well as input from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Area Power Administration and Flaming Gorge Working Group. Reclamation urges rafters, fishermen and anybody recreating or working along the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam to exercise increased caution as the river will run high, swift and cold—conditions that can quickly overcome even the strongest swimmer. <P> At the highest rate, the dam will release approximately 4,500 cubic feet per second through its hydroelectric powerplant, which will allow full capacity power generation at about 150 megawatts. Another 4,000 cfs will flow through the dam’s two bypass tubes to reach a total release volume of 8,500 cfs. Flows are expected to continue at that rate for seven days. <P> The planned flow ramp-up schedule is as follows (all times are in Mountain Daylight Time): <P> Monday, June 3: 6:00 p.m. – Flows will begin to rise from approximately 2,000 cfs and will reach full powerplant capacity of approximately 4,500 cfs after 10:00 p.m. <P> Tuesday, June 4: 8:00 a.m. – First bypass tube will open and flows will gradually rise over two hours to reach about 6,500 cfs after 10:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m. – Second bypass tube will open and flows will gradually rise over two hours to reach the maximum planned release of 8,500 cfs after 2:00 p.m. <P> Combined with forecasted flows from the Yampa River, which is unregulated and joins the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam in Dinosaur National Monument, flows near Jensen, Utah, are expected to be at or below 22,000 cfs. Flood stage capacity at Jensen is approximately 24,000 cfs. Reclamation will closely monitor actual and forecast flows and will reduce Flaming Gorge Dam release rates if the Yampa River is projected to considerably exceed current forecasts. <P> This release plan is subject to change depending on evolving forecasts. Those recreating on, working around or traveling to the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam should monitor river conditions by checking Reclamation’s website (https://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/fgd.html) and all posted signs at river access points. <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=66203 Reclamation to host public meetings to discuss plans for El Vado Dam and Spillway repairs
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public input on the impacts related to proposed repairs at El Vado Dam in northern New Mexico. El Vado Dam is undergoing a Corrective Action Study through Reclamation’s Safety of Dams Program and will require modifications and repairs of the dam and spillway in the coming years. Some of the potential action alternatives include a geomembrane liner, concrete liner and replacement or repairs to the spillway. Prior to initiating formal scoping for the project as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, Reclamation is holding two public meetings to identify interested parties and potential issues to consider during the process. <P> Who: Bureau of Reclamation <P> What: Public information and input on El Vado Dam and Spillway repairs <P> When and Where: Albuquerque: Tuesday June 4, 2019, at 6 p.m.- 7:30 p.m. Bureau of Reclamation, 555 Broadway NE, Suite 100, Albuquerque, NM 87102. Los Ojos: Wednesday June 5, 2019, at 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Escalante High School, 7575 NM-531, Los Ojos, New Mexico 87551. <P> Why: To learn more and comment on potential alternatives for repairing El Vado dam and spillway. <P> If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jared Baxter at 801-379-1081 or email jbaxter@usbr.gov. Media inquires should go to Mary Carlson at 505-462-3576 or mcarlson@usbr.gov. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=66070 Interior to host signing ceremony and media availability for Colorado River Drought Contingency Plans
BOULDER CITY, NEV. - The Department of the Interior and Bureau of Reclamation invite members of the press to a media availability and signing ceremony for the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plans at the iconic Hoover Dam on May 20. These completed plans are an important step toward reducing risk from ongoing drought in the Colorado River Basin and protecting the river’s water resources for riparian areas, agriculture, and more than 40 million people in the United States and Mexico who depend on it. <P> What: Media availability to discuss completed Colorado River Drought Contingency Plans <P> Who: Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Dr. Tim Petty Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman Representatives from Colorado River Basin states <P> Where: Hoover Dam Boulder City, Nev. <P> When: Monday, May 20, 2019 Media availability to begin at 4:30 p.m. PDT (Spillway House) DCP signing ceremony to begin at 5:30 p.m. PDT (Visitor Center Observation Deck) <P> Members of the press wishing to attend must RSVP no later than 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 20 to Patti Aaron (paaron@usbr.gov) or Marlon Duke (mduke@usbr.gov). <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=66043 Reclamation will use innovative methods to control non-native plants at sites in southwest Colorado
DURANGO, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with the Palisade Insectary and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, will apply an innovative and environmentally conscious method to control weeds this spring in wetland areas at Navajo State Park in Colorado and Simon Draw Wildlife Area in Montezuma County, Colorado. The agencies will release Russian knapweed stem gall wasps as part of an effort to control the spread and vigor of Russian knapweed, a noxious weed in Colorado harmful to native plants and wildlife. The gall wasps will only impact Russian knapweed and will not affect humans, livestock or other plant species. <P> “This approach offers an effective and low-cost complement to chemical and mechanical control of Russian knapweed. This is especially important in biologically sensitive areas, such as the wetland areas where gall wasp releases are planned,” said Ed Warner, Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office Manager. “These wetlands are home to a diverse number of wildlife species, including the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse.” <P> Russian knapweed is an aggressive, non-native, deep rooted perennial plant that spreads through seeds and creeping horizontal roots. Left unmanaged, Russian knapweed displaces native and desirable plant species. In addition to impacting wildlife habitat, Russian knapweed may cause neurological disorders in horses if consumed. <P> The gall wasp causes the formation of galls or abnormal growths along the stem of the Russian knapweed, resulting in nutrient diversion from flowers, seeds and growth. This significantly reduces the ability of the invasive weeds to thrive and spread. The gall wasps require little management after release, and they can easily move around an infestation through flight, wind, or by catching a ride on wildlife. <P> Gall wasps are an incredibly valuable tool for management of Russian knapweed. Impacts from the gall wasp can be seen relatively rapidly as evidenced by trials at other sites conducted by the Palisade Insectary. In as little as three growing seasons, every Russian knapweed stem at the research site was impacted and the overall vigor of the knapweed patch was diminished. <P> <P>
http://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=65908 Second Bug Flow experiment to be conducted under the Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan
SALT LAKE CITY—The Department of the Interior will conduct a second Macroinvertebrate Production Flow this summer at Glen Canyon Dam under its Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan. This experiment, also known as a Bug Flow, aims to improve egg-laying conditions for aquatic insects that are the primary food source for fish in the Colorado River. The experiment will begin on May 1 and continue through August 31, 2019. <P> “Last year’s experiment was a big success, so we’re excited that a second year of testing will occur,” said Scott VanderKooi, Chief of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, which monitors Colorado River ecosystem response to all Glen Canyon Dam flow experiments. “By directly experimenting with flows, we were able to learn a lot about the aquatic ecosystem in Grand Canyon. More importantly, preliminary results show that many different resources may have benefitted from last year’s experimental flows.” <P> This year’s Bug Flows will slightly modify release schedules and flow rates from Lake Powell through Glen Canyon Dam, but will not affect total annual, monthly or weekly release volumes. Flows during the experiment will include relatively low, steady weekend water releases while maintaining routine hydropower production flows on weekdays. Weekday flows will be higher than normal, but hourly changes in release rates will remain unchanged. Steady weekend flows are expected to provide favorable conditions for aquatic insects to lay and cement their eggs to rocks, vegetation and other materials near the river’s edge at a low enough level that the eggs will not dry out as flows fluctuate during the week. Casual recreational river users are unlikely to notice the changes in water levels. <P> Preliminary findings show that caddisflies, an aquatic insect that has been extremely rare in the Grand Canyon over the past several decades, increased nearly four-fold during last year’s Bug Flow experiment. Non-biting midges, another type of aquatic insect that is a key food source for fish and other wildlife, were up to 800% more abundant on weekends when flows were steady compared to weekdays when flows fluctuated for hydropower production. Data collected by the Arizona Game and Fish Department showed that fishing also improved, with the average angler catching around 18% more rainbow trout at Lees Ferry during weekend steady flows compared to weekdays when flows fluctuated. <P> The decision to conduct this experiment was based on input from a collaborative team, including the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Indian Affairs; the Department of Energy’s Western Area Power Administration; the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Upper Colorado River Commission and all seven of the Colorado River Basin States. Experiments are designed to optimize benefits to the Colorado River ecosystem through the Grand Canyon while meeting water delivery requirements and minimizing negative impacts to hydropower production. <P> Insects expected to benefit from this experiment are an important food source for many species of fish, birds, and bats in the canyon. Beyond expected resource benefits, this experiment will also provide scientific information that will be used in future decision making. <P>