Posted on November 13, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Creekside again …
Starburst sunrise along the Snake River.
FRISCO — The sun’s path across the sky is quickly dropping, noticeably in a different position than just a couple of weeks ago, when I ventured to the Snake River for the first time this season in search of ice. Along with shorter days, those changes create opportunities for photography, as if a new lighting designer is on the job. After shooting into the morning sun, I also went for a quick afternoon stroll along Meadow Creek, near our home in Frisco, during the afternoon, hoping to catch some glints of warm sunlight on the remnant ice (yes, remnant; it’s been so warm the past few days that some of the ice is vanishing in our November thaw). Here are the best of today’s images. Please visit our online gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscape and nature images. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Morning photo, photography, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Colorado, Frisco Colorado, ice, nature, photography, rivers, Summit County Colorado | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 31, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Frozen stuff …
A micro-landscape along Meadow Creek, in Frisco, Colorado.
FRISCO —OK, so I’ll admit I have an ice obsession, at least for a few weeks in the fall, when the streams of Summit County start to freeze over. Later in the fall and in the winter, soft snow pillows cover most of creekbeds and streambanks, but for a few weeks in late October and early November, you can kind of see the bones of the rivers as they slow to a trickle. The freeze-up starts in the deepest parts of the canyons, usually where there are some overhanging branches. Splashes of water freeze in the cold air above the stream, then drip down, creating quite an amazing variety of shapes. Set against the flowing water, it can be a magical scene. Please visit the online Summit Voice gallery at Fine Art America for more Summit County landscapes. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Morning photo, photography, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, ice, rivers, Summit County photography, winter | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 30, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Research shows how some bioactive pollutants can hide from sampling
Blue River, Summit County, Colorado.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Along with remnants of makeup, antibiotics and even caffeine, researchers now say that some steroids are also likely to persist in the environment for a long time, posing a threat to water quality and aquatic species.
Some steroids may even “hide” by breaking down in sunlight, but regenerating at night, according to a new study, led by University of Iowa scientists that took a close look at the anabolic steroid trenbolone acetate and two other drugs. (more…)
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: Environment, Persistent organic pollutants, rivers, water, water quality | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 28, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
State officials tracking numerous flood-related spills
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A spate of potentially dangerous spills from oil and gas producing facilities resulting from recent flooding in Colorado may be scrutinized under a congressional spotlight.
Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) and Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Peter DeFazio (D-OR) hav asked the House Resources Committee to hold a hearing on oil and gas spills caused by the recent catastrophic floods in Colorado.
“Not only have my constituents been dealing with damage to their homes, schools, and roads, they are increasingly concerned about the toxic spills that have occurred from the flooding of nearly 1,900 fracking wells in Colorado,” Polis said. “Congress must deal with this issue to ensure that natural disasters do not also become public health disasters.” (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado flooding, energy, Environment, fracking, oil spills, rivers, United States House Committee on Natural Resources | 3 Comments »
Posted on August 22, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Conservation groups concerned about impacts
A map included in a draft version of a water plan is reason for alarm, according river activist Gary Wockner, with Save the Poudre, who says Front Range providers are targeting additional diversions from West Slope streams.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A Front Range alternative for a statewide water plan ordered by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is drawing fire, as watchdog groups charge that the draft version puts too much emphasis upping diversions from Western Slope rivers.
“Just laying out this scheme of diversions and pipelines on a map enflames the political chaos around the Colorado River water supply crisis,” said river activist Gary Wockner director, of Save the Poudre.
According to Wockner, the draft plan being developed by the South Platte, Arkansas and Metro Roundtable could be an effort steer the state water plan toward more dams and diversions, at the expense of losing sight of the need for much more robust conservation measures. (more…)
Filed under: agriculture, climate and weather, Drought, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Colorado River, rivers, water, water shortabne. | 5 Comments »
Posted on July 14, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Streamflow modifications, pollution impacts affect majority of waterways in urban and agricultural areas
Pristine streams like Meadow Creek, which flows out of a wilderness area, are hard to find.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — More than 80 percent of streams in urban and agricultural areas show signs of reduced stream health, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A new report from the agency documents how stream health is being degraded by streamflow modifications and elevated levels of nutrients and pesticides.
The national assessment of stream health was unprecedented. Instead of just measuring chemical or physical properties of water, the study took a more comprehensive look at entire biological communities, as well as measurements of more than 100 chemical constituents in water and streambed sediments. (more…)
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water, water quality | Tagged: pollution, rivers, stream health, streams, USGS, water quality | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Peak runoff helps boost water storage across the state
Snowpack across most of Colorado dropped to below average as temperatures warmed to above average in June.
FRISCO — After a big weather turnaround in April and May, Dillon Reservoir is well on its way to filling, with the water level reaching an elevation of just about 9,008 on June 13, just nine feet below capacity. The last time the water level was this high was July 26, 2012.
“We think it’s likely we’ll fill or at least get within a few feet of full elevation,” Denver Water spokesperson Stacy Chesney said.
Peak inflow into the reservoir was June 10, with the mainstem of the Blue River and the rest of the basin tributaries combining to deliver 1,754 cubic feet of water per second. The inflow hovered around that level early in the week, and started to drop a little bit by Thursday and Friday as the snowpack at higher elevations dwindled. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, rivers, Summit County snow and weather, water | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado River, Denver Water, Dillon Reservoir, rivers, South Platte River, water | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 5, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Colorado River headwaters, Summit County, Colorado.
Ag transfers likely to be a big part of closing the water gap
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — When it comes to water, cities have always been easy targets for environmental groups looking to make a point about conservation and growth. But in reality, agricultural stakeholders bring far more chips to the table.
By some estimates, agriculture uses about 75 percent of the Colorado River’s allocated water, while municipal uses account for about 15 percent. Just California’s Imperial Valley, where most of the country’s winter produce is grown, uses about 3 million acre feet of water annually.
Any solution to the projected 3.2 million acre-foot water gap in the Colorado River Basin will require buy-in from farmers and ranchers in the region. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, rivers, water | Tagged: agricultural transfers, Colorado, Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study, Colorado Rivers, IBCC, rivers, water, water rights | 4 Comments »
Posted on May 19, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A gage along Straight Creek, near Dillon, Colorado.
More cuts possible for critical stream monitoring efforts
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — It’s hard enough to make water management decisions if you have all the information at your fingertips, but the job is about to get even more difficult for resource managers.
The U.S.Geological Survey recently announce it will discontinue operation of up to 375 streamgages nationwide due to budget cuts as a result of sequestration. Additional streamgages may be affected if partners reduce their funding to support USGS streamgages.
Currently, the USGS is looking at shutting down three gages in Colorado: on Halfmoon Creek, near Malta, on the Arkansas River below John Martin Reservoir and along the Gunnison River, near Grand Junction. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Drought, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Colorado, Gunnison River, rivers, Stream gauge, streams, United States Geological Survey, USGS, water | Leave a Comment »
Posted on April 2, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Antihistimines are drying up rock-coating algae
Research shows that pharmaceutical waste is affecting basic stream ecology.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Antihistimines used to treat allergies do more than dry up runny noses. Remnant traces of the pharmaceuticals, now commonly found in many streams and rivers, are having a significant effect on basic biological processes, with as-yet unknown impacts on aquatic life and water quality.
“Pharmaceutical pollution is now detected in waters throughout the world. Causes include aging infrastructure, sewage overflows, and agricultural runoff, said Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall, a scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, lead author of a study that examined how common pharmaceuticals influenced similar-sized streams in New York, Maryland, and Indiana.
The study looked for traces of Caffeine, the antibiotic ciprofloxacin, the antidiabetic metformin, two antihistimines used to treat heartburn (cimetidine and ranitidine), and one antihistamine used to treat allergies (diphenhydramine). (more…)
Filed under: Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Environment, persistent pollutants, pharmaceutical pollution, rivers, streams, water | 1 Comment »