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1. 2 We are a Headwaters State Colorado rivers nourish 30 million people in 19 states & Mexico.

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Presentation on theme: "1. 2 We are a Headwaters State Colorado rivers nourish 30 million people in 19 states & Mexico."— Presentation transcript:

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2 2 We are a Headwaters State Colorado rivers nourish 30 million people in 19 states & Mexico

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6 6 Hydrology of the Yampa Basin Hydrology - the Distribution, Movement, and Quality of Water on Earth This Discussion Limited to Distribution and Movement of Surface Water in the Yampa River Basin Take Away Message - the Hydrology of the Yampa River is HIGHLY VARIABLE! In Space and Time… Disclaimer- “Averages Without Variances are Meaningless - Or Worse Misleading” Droughts (and floods) are not the average and they are important hydrology planning tools!

7 7 High Annual Variability – Between Years

8 8 Average Precipitation Variable in Space (think snow!)

9 Hydrologic Plot Thickens – Annual Variability & Seasonality

10 10 Highly Variable Within the Year - Seasonality

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12 12 By volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, (on Average 21% O2) * 19.5 percent: Minimum permissible oxygen level. No effect. * 6-8 percent: 8 minutes percent fatal; 6 minutes - 50 percent fatal; 4-5 minutes - recovery with treatment. * 4-6 percent: Coma in 40 seconds, convulsions, respiration ceases - death. Consider two sets of data of hourly oxygen in a room. Both sets of numbers with the same daily average, 21.0%. 21,21,21,22,22,22,20,20,20,21,21,21- No effect 18,15,12,9,6,3,24,27,30,33,36,39 - Death Beware the Average – an example

13 Hydrology – Beware the Average Be Aware of the Variability

14 14 A Tale of Two Drought Years cfs Upper Yampa/Water Trust Release from Stagecoach Reservoir

15 15 Prior Appropriation a system of allocating water rights from a water source which developed due to the scarcity of water in that area.water rights Simple in Theory “a call on the river” Complex in Application Water Law in Colorado

16 16 John Wesley Powell 1834 –1902) 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition,Powell Geographic Expedition Adoption of the appropriation doctrine in the Colorado Constitution of 1876 Powell - proposed irrigation systems and state boundaries based on watershed areas to avoid disagreements between states. (1878)irrigationwatershed The Office of the State Engineer was created in 1881 Powell - "Gentlemen, you are piling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water rights, for there is not sufficient water to supply the land.“ (1883) Colorado River Compact signed 1922 Water Right Determination and Administration Act of 1969 Instream Flow Program Established 1973 Water Law - Long History Delph Carpenter

17 17 Water Resources Planning on the Yampa Intersection of Hydrology and Water Rights

18 Paleo (tree ring) hydrology Planning for the Future? – Look at the Past

19 Modeling the Yampa Looking at the present (water rights) through the eyes of the past (paleo) to see the future.

20 drought created the political will 2005 state legislature took action - HB “Water for the 21 st Century Act” A bottom-up planning process : Stakeholders in each of 8 major river basins formed Basin Roundtables - to assess existing supplies and future needs - to develop Basin Plans - send reps to the Interbasin Compact Committee drought created the political will 2005 state legislature took action - HB “Water for the 21 st Century Act” A bottom-up planning process : Stakeholders in each of 8 major river basins formed Basin Roundtables - to assess existing supplies and future needs - to develop Basin Plans - send reps to the Interbasin Compact Committee

21 By 2050 population and economic growth to create a potential shortfall of 400,000AF. By 2050 population and economic growth to create a potential shortfall of 400,000AF.

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23 Identified Projects and Processes Pursue identified in-basin storage projects Foster new relationships - fallow/lease arrangements between farmers & municipalities - re-use/lease arrangements between municipalities eg WISE Conservation Develop more efficient irrigation methods Reduce municipal use Agricultural Transfers aka “ag dry-up” New Supply New strategic trans-mountain diversion Identified Projects and Processes Pursue identified in-basin storage projects Foster new relationships - fallow/lease arrangements between farmers & municipalities - re-use/lease arrangements between municipalities eg WISE Conservation Develop more efficient irrigation methods Reduce municipal use Agricultural Transfers aka “ag dry-up” New Supply New strategic trans-mountain diversion

24 Identified Projects and Processes Little Morrison Creek storage Colorado Water Trust Lease Conservation Steamboat Springs Conservation Plan (tiered water rates, water-efficiency rebates, leak detection, customer usage web portal, drought response plan) Agricultural Transfers none identified New Supply Maybell pumpback Identified Projects and Processes Little Morrison Creek storage Colorado Water Trust Lease Conservation Steamboat Springs Conservation Plan (tiered water rates, water-efficiency rebates, leak detection, customer usage web portal, drought response plan) Agricultural Transfers none identified New Supply Maybell pumpback

25 Colorado Water Plan A bottom-up process funded and facilitated by the CWCB. Governor’s Office & Legislature Colorado Water Conservation Board Interbasin Compact Committee Basin Roundtables (8) Governor’s Office & Legislature Colorado Water Conservation Board Interbasin Compact Committee Basin Roundtables (8)

26 Colorado Water Plan Statement of values and policies to guide decision-making at the local and state level. - projects and programs - legislation to facilitate plan implementation Establish goals to meet water policy objectives State as facilitator of plan implementation.

27 Hydrologic Highly variable annual flows – all rivers in region Climate change Legal Existing water rights & law of prior appropriation 15 Interstate and International Agreements (“Compacts”) Regulatory Endangered Species Act (ESA) Existing action plans to mitigate degradation eg Yampa Plan Economic/Political Balancing impact on existing uses and future growth Local Feasibility of a New Strategic Trans-mountain Diversion All the constraints above Cost of financing $10B-$15B project Political will to sustain multi-decade project Hydrologic Highly variable annual flows – all rivers in region Climate change Legal Existing water rights & law of prior appropriation 15 Interstate and International Agreements (“Compacts”) Regulatory Endangered Species Act (ESA) Existing action plans to mitigate degradation eg Yampa Plan Economic/Political Balancing impact on existing uses and future growth Local Feasibility of a New Strategic Trans-mountain Diversion All the constraints above Cost of financing $10B-$15B project Political will to sustain multi-decade project


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