I love October: golden Aspen trees; the view from Highway 24 when you look down into Manitou and see the red, gold and orange colors seemingly painted on the brush; crisp evenings; boots again; pumpkins again; extra bags of Halloween candy, just in case, and then the leftovers; the first snow. Yep, winter’s coming but we have time to savor the calm before the storm!
Speaking of storms, a few of our fellow Americans might be wishing for a life in the land-locked states after hurricanes wreaked havoc in their lives, from Texas to Florida to Puerto Rico to the Virgin Islands, etc. There were fires on the West Coast this summer and tornadoes in the Midwest. Mother Nature has been busy. Their holidays will be bleak, and the only way to help them is to give money!
There are many environmental issues facing the world today; in Colorado, we are constantly addressing water issues. Last month, we published an article on water problems in Woodmen Hills, and the WH board argued that the numbers relating to the amount of water available were inaccurate. See their statement on this page.
To allow for their statement, I have kept my column short this month.
I hope you enjoy this issue, and have a great fall!
See you in November!
Editor’s note: In the NFH article last month, “Really — is there enough water?,” we talked to Jim McGrady, who provided statistics based on a study he had done on the water availability in Woodmen Hills. McGrady also worked for Woodmen Hills as the water and waste-water director. The NFH article had referred to McGrady as the “former district manager,” and that was incorrect.
Woodmen Hills is disputing the numbers related to the water availability for Woodmen Hills. Woodmen Hills sent the following response to the article.
Really — is there enough water
Response from Woodmen Hills
From Josh Killet, Woodmen Hills board president: “Jim McGrady had his facts wrong, and we can prove it. He said Woodmen Hills’ water supply is 951-acre-feet per year, but it’s actually 1426.7 acre-feet per year. His entire doom-and-gloom analysis flowed from this basic misunderstanding. In 2016, the District used only 51 percent of our supply. There is absolutely no reason to worry about the water situation in Woodmen Hills.”
Statement of current water supply status Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District
This statement was prepared by JDS-Hydro Consultants Inc who has been the water and wastewater engineering consultant for Woodmen Hills for over a decade.
Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District has numerous water sources that include both renewable and non-renewable sources. Water to the Woodmen Hills District is physically supplied from local sources within the actual District boundaries, supplies that are imported from the east, and sources imported from the south. The District does not rely on any single source or any single category of sources.
Non-renewable water is water that is based on a finite total volume. In the case of WHMD, these are generally sources associated with the Denver Basin. Denver Basin Resources are expected to decrease over time. WHMD tracks short-term and long-term changes in the various Denver Basin formations and continually modifies its outlook accordingly. The declination of water supply in the Denver Basin is a very complicated issue and varies dependent on location and formation. A few of WHMD non-renewable supplies are projected to continue 40 to 60 years as productive sources and others appear to potentially remain in production for 100 years or more.
Renewable water sources are those that are considered to be sustainable. The WHMD has more than one renewable water source. One of which is a permanent contract with Cherokee for an annual volume of 350 acre-feet.
The District’s current legal water supply from all sources is 1426.7 annual acre-feet of supply. The legal supply is the projection of what is legally available to the District. There are certain sources, which are legally available but not currently physically accessed. This most often is because the District does not yet need those sources. If and when those supplies are needed, physical facilities will be constructed to add to the District’s physical supply.
We project that the District’s current physical supply capability is 1097 annual acre-feet. The 2016 annual WHMD demand was 729 annual acre-feet of water. This represents about 51% of its legally available supply and about 66% of its currently available physical supply. Annual variation is usually around plus/minus 10% dependent on weather and lawn irrigation patterns.
During the year of 2016, WHMD met its demand using 54% of renewable water and 46% of non- renewable water.
WHMD carefully tracks demand, supply, and projected changes in supply in order to continuously plan for the future and long-term supplies. WHMD will maintain reliance on multiple sources as is true today and will continue to study, evaluate, and include additional renewable water source projects, extension and management of existing non-renewable sources, potential for recharge and/or reuse of existing consumable sources, and possibility of Aquifer Storage and Recharge.