A University of Colorado team has issued a water warning to the next president: the Colorado River cannot meet the current needs of 35 million westerners, and an order to reduce water siphoned from the river by 333,000 acre feet—equivalent to the water used in 666,0000 homes—will likely be needed come next August.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials on Tuesday confirmed the finding. Federal models show a 48 percent chance that, without cuts, lower basin states Arizona, California and Nevada would face shortages starting in 2018.
Anne Castle, President Obama’s former Interior Department Assistant Secretary for Water and Science and now a senior fellow at CU’s Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, led a team of five researchers. They interviewed 65 western water policy experts and decision-makers in addition to analyzing federal data.
“This really is a critical time. Action is required. We’re closer to the edge than we ever have been,” Castle said.
In May, health officials closed down the 120-student K-12 school in Midwest, Wyoming, after detecting dangerous levels of toxic gases inside. Midwest sits in the middle of the Salt Creek oil field, the oldest in Wyoming. Months later, “Other than the skittering of leaves across the cordoned-off parking lot, the only sounds are the clink of the flagpole and the dog barking across the street.”
“There’s so many wells in this area,” says Jennifer Sutherland Bishop, coach of the school volleyball team. “It would take them so long to check it — years to check every single one of these wells — and the one that gives us the most problem is on the school property?”
In September, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department released the results of air quality tests from May. Carbon dioxide levels inside the school were 26 times the recommended limit, which made some areas of the school oxygen-deficient. Levels of benzene, which can have serious short and long-term health effects, were 200 times the amount deemed safe by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a branch of the Centers for Disease Control.
Proponents of getting rid of the recreational marijuana industry in Pueblo County say any benefits are far outweighed by its burdens.
More than anywhere else in Colorado, Pueblo tied its future to the marijuana jobs, tax revenues and other economic benefits touted by legalization advocates around the country. But almost three years after legalization took effect in Colorado, Pueblo is reconsidering that strategy.
On Tuesday, voters will decide whether to ban recreational marijuana businesses. There are two essentially identical measures up for vote — one for the city of Pueblo, the other for outlying Pueblo County, where all of the recreational businesses are currently located.
International water security and transboundary river post-doctoral researcher, Jennifer Veilleux, saw the protests escalate in North Dakota and scoured the internet for information on the major waterways the Dakota Access pipeline would impact, and where Indigenous people lived in relation to those. She couldn’t find much. So she mapped it herself.
What resulted were two detailed socio-ecological maps of the Missouri River Basin, created by Veilleux and the team she assembled, in total 16 geographers, cartographers, lawyers, and researchers who are all collaborating voluntarily. One outlines major waterways the pipeline would intersect and possibly leak into and the nearby tribal lands. The other shows the percentage of Indigenous people by county living near waterways that could be affected by the pipeline, which crosses four Western states.
In 2015, crude oil production increased for the seventh consecutive year, reaching 9.42 million barrels per day, the highest level since 1972.
In 2015, production gains were highest in Texas, the Gulf of Mexico, and North Dakota, as these three regions accounted for 77% of the U.S. total increase.
The research could offer new insight into Yellowstone’s hydrothermal explosions, which have occurred irregularly throughout the park’s history.
Using a helicopter, researchers will fly a hoop-shaped electromagnetic system over Yellowstone for about a month. The device, which was developed in Denmark to map groundwater supplies, seeks to map Yellowstone’s hydrothermal innards without the need to dig. It works almost like an X-ray for hot water flow, able to distinguish water from rock as deep as 1,500 feet below the surface.
After a federal judge criticized the government for failing to consider whether breaching four giant dams on the Snake River would save wild salmon runs, agencies must take a new look at all approaches to managing the the dams in southeast Washington, including breaching them. Public meetings are underway.
“This is an action that (government agencies) have done their utmost to avoid considering for decades,” [the judge] wrote.
His order triggered 15 public meetings in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon, where the dam removal issue has percolated for two decades.
The first meeting was held last month, and the final one is scheduled for Dec. 8. After that, a plan to save the salmon must be created.
The Snake River, at just over 1,000 miles, is the 13th longest in the United States, flowing from the western border of Wyoming to its confluence with the mighty Columbia River in Washington. For much of its history, the river and its tributaries produced salmon runs in the millions that sustained Native American tribes who lived near its banks. The best salmon spawning grounds were in Idaho, and were hampered by the construction of the four dams.
Environmental groups say restoring the salmon runs is impossible with the four dams in place.
Idaho Power’s community solar project in southeast Boise allows customers who cannot install their own rooftop solar panels because they live in rental properties or multi-unit dwellings to take advantage of solar power.
Idaho Power in the past has been rough on rooftop solar customers like many utilities who worry they allow these customers to get out of paying for the rest of the the company’s grid. But this pilot project could lead to future, perhaps larger, projects. Small-scale pilot programs, the commission said, “are valuable for learning what works and what does not.” Idaho Power said the pilot will assist the utility in learning the “complexities associated with offering community solar programs including: customer commitment, construction, contracting, interconnection, maintenance and billing.”
Calgary’s unemployment rate reached double-digits in October, up to 10.2 per cent, its highest level since November 1993.
Calgary appears to have suffered a big share of the economic pain from a recession triggered by persistently low oil prices.
According to [Economist Trevor] Tombe, it’s because job losses in the resource sector have occurred not so much in energy production, but almost entirely in areas that require new investment in the oilpatch, such as exploration, engineering and geology.
“Those jobs are disproportionately in Calgary than in Edmonton,” Tombe said.
A high unemployment rate has made job-hunting a source of desperation — even helplessness — in a city with a crowded field of candidates.
While the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail may not be as well known as some of the nation’s other long-distance paths — including the Continental Divide Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Appalachian Trail — a small group of people is working tirelessly to elevate its status.
The trail begins at the Chief Mountain Customs Station on the U.S.-Canadian border in Glacier National Park. From there, it veers west, passing Waterton Lake and crossing the Continental Divide near Chapman Peak. The trail follows Bowman Lake and exits Glacier at Polebridge where it enters Forest Service land. The trail continues west to Eureka, where it briefly follows U.S. Highway 93 and then Montana Highway 37 from Rexford to the Koocanusa Bridge. It then heads into the woods for the remainder of its journey to Idaho and on to Washington.
Ever since environmental writer and activist Terry Tempest Williams, in February, handed her credit card to the BLM to pay for two oil and gas leases—1,120 acres north of Arches National Park—the agency has “sweated” over whether to issue the leases. This week, the BLM decided to withhold the leases and refund Williams because it claims the company she and her husband, Brooke, created “has no intention of developing the two leases.”
We have made clear to the BLM that we would consider developing our leases when science supports a sustainable use of the oil and gas at an increased value given the costs of climate change to future generations.
The story of Asmaa Albukaie, whose husband and two young boys were kidnapped, never saw her husband again, got her boys back, left for Jordan, then Egypt, where she applied for refugee status through the United Nations, went through two years of interviews and background checks, got a ticket to the United States—to “Boise”—which she had to Google.
“I noticed that women in movies, American women, decide whatever they want to decide. This is not acceptable in Syria. So I made my own decision to learn and study, but I hid in the bathroom because my husband didn’t allow me to study,” said Albukaie, laughing about that now.
Albukaie told me her story in a coffee shop in downtown Boise, where we spoke for about 90 minutes. The city of Boise, Idaho, is taking in a lot of Syrian refugees: 122 so far this year. That’s more than twice as many as Los Angeles, Boston and New York combined.
Albukaie and her two teenage sons — who arrived in November 2014 — were the first Syrian refugees in Idaho.
Boise has been resettling a lot of refugees, from many nations, because of the affordable housing and need for workers in sparsely populated Idaho.
Albukaie recently gave a TED Talk in Moscow, Idaho.
Could idle wells become geothermal heat sources?
Mitchell Pomphrey, an Edmonton-based entrepreneur, has an idea to fix Alberta’s idle-well problem. The manager of a group called the Living Energy Project says it can retrofit older, unproductive wells into geothermal heat sources. “We’re trying to reuse things that would otherwise be wasted,” he says.
The most recent count from the Alberta Energy Regulator shows there were 84,100 inactive wells in the province in September, which is up from 77,600 in March. Meanwhile, the number of orphaned wells in the province — wells for which there is no financially responsible company — has almost doubled during the same time period, rising to 1,285 from 698.
The provincial government is concerned taxpayer money may be needed to clean up after the energy industry if the number of idle wells continues to grow.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says the public need not worry about the yellow-orange smoke that billowed last week from a Commerce City refinery.
A power failure at the refinery caused an emergency shut down and sent sulfur dioxide into the air as part of the shut down procedure. The billowing smoke led emergency officials to warn nearby residents to stay indoors and to lockdown a school and close roads for a few hours.
The plant resumed operations on Sunday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants a national carbon price, in part to discourage firms from migrating to provinces, like Saskatchewan, with no carbon price, or with very low ones.
Provinces will be free to choose the system that best suits local industry. Those that opt for cap-and-trade schemes will have to meet or exceed Canada’s target of cutting emissions by 30%. Provinces will be allowed to keep the money they raise.
That will not mollify them. Energy-producing provinces, such as Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador, worry about the effect of carbon prices on the oil industry and on export-dependent livelihoods, such as lentil farming. They are in the second year of a recession caused by a slump in oil prices. Citizens in those provinces are hostile, although 63% of Canadians support Mr Trudeau’s climate policy, according to a new poll.
24/7 Wall St., a financial news and opinion website, posted a list of the 10 worst states for women. Wyoming ranks second worst, Idaho third, Utah fourth, and Montana eighth.
In 1869, Wyoming became the first state in the country to grant women’s suffrage, roughly five decades before Congress passed the 19th Amendment. Despite being a leader in this important milestone, conditions in Wyoming today are some of the least favorable for women.
No state, for example, has a wider gender pay gap than Wyoming. The typical female worker earns $36,064, or just 64.4% of the $55,965 male median earnings in the state.
Will Montana voters approve a ballot measure to expand the state’s highly restricted medical marijuana law?
A Lee Newspapers poll of more than 1,000 registered voters, conducted Oct. 10–12, found that 51 percent of people responding said they they would vote no on the ballot initiative.
Those in the I-182 campaign say that the majority of voters remain on their side. The campaign’s own poll, conducted by Colorado-based Harstad Strategic Research, had 59 percent in favor of the measure, with 32 percent against and 9 percent undecided.
The 80-megawatt Grand View solar project is more than twice as big as the farm built in Kuna several months ago and will provide clean energy to some 17,000 homes.
Mountain bikers have found spiked boards buried on the Dirt Surfer trail above Eagle, Colorado, prompting an investigation involving the BLM and local law enforcement agencies.
“We are definitely taking the threat of potential harm very seriously,” Eagle County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Amber Barrett said. “We don’t want anyone retaliating over this. We want everyone to get along on the trails. It’s hunting season and we’ve got trail joggers who have issues with mountain bikers who have issues with hunters and horseback riders. But setting a malicious trap like this, we are not going to take lightly.”
An interim report finds that birds, plants, and groundwater continue to benefit from the pilot effort to revive the Colorado River delta.
The interim report, released on Wednesday, documents the effects of the environmental flows in the delta from the initial pulse in March 2014 plus subsequent supplemental deliveries of water through December 2015.
“Some of the cottonwoods that germinated during the initial pulse flow are now more than 10 feet tall,” Karl W. Flessa, UA professor of geosciences and co-chief scientist of the team that’s monitoring the impact of the pulse, said in a statement.
Migratory waterbirds, nesting waterbirds, and nesting riparian birds have all increased in abundance, the report says. The monitoring team found that the abundance of 19 bird species of conservation concern, including vermillion flycatchers, hooded orioles, and yellow-breasted chats, was 43 percent higher at the restoration sites than at other sites in the floodplain.
Eric Holder and Rahm Emanuel ? Bleah !
Did you catch that nazi getting punched? That was flipping awesome!!
oh bob, are you defending her asinine comment? Who cares what species of bear it…