The Havasuapi refuse to become the next millennium’s world terrorists by allowing mega nuclear industrial complex mining industries to mine in the Grand Canyon.6/26/2012 Forest Service Approves Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Despite 26-year-old Environmental Review “>
6/26/2012 Forest Service Approves Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Despite 26-year-old Environmental Review
Scripps Institution of Oceanography: Climate Change Means Shortfalls in Colorado River Water Deliveries
EMBARGOED BY PNAS: FOR RELEASE ON Monday, April 20, 2009 02:00 PM PDT: Climate Change Means Shortfalls in Colorado River Water Deliveries: Scripps researchers find that currently scheduled water deliveries from the Colorado River are unlikely to be met if human-caused climate change reduces run1off in the region. The Colorado River system supplies water to tens of millions of people and millions of acres of farmland, and has never experienced a delivery shortage. But if human-caused climate change continues to make the region drier, scheduled deliveries will be missed 60-90 percent of the time by the middle of this century, according to a pair of climate researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.
“All water-use planning is based on the idea that the next 100 years will be like the last 100,” said Scripps research marine physicist Tim Barnett, a co-author of the report. “We considered the question: Can the river deliver water at the levels currently scheduled if the climate changes as we expect it to. The answer is no.”
Even under conservative climate change scenarios, Barnett and Scripps climate researcher David Pierce found that reductions in the runoff that feeds the Colorado River mean that it could short the Southwest of a half-billion cubic meters (400,000 acre feet) of water per year 40 percent of the time by 2025. (An acre foot of water is typically considered adequate to meet the annual water needs of two households.) By the later part of this century, those numbers double.
The paper, “Sustainable water deliveries from the Colorado River in a changing climate,” appears in the April 20 edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The analysis follows a 2008 study in which Barnett and Pierce found that Lake Mead, the reservoir on the Colorado River created by Hoover Dam, stood a 50-percent chance of going dry in the next 20 years if the climate changed and no effort was made to preserve a minimum amount of water in the reservoir. The new study assumes instead that enough water would be retained in the reservoir to supply the city of Las Vegas, and examines what delivery cuts would be required to maintain that level.
“People have talked for at least 30 years about the Colorado being oversubscribed but no one ever put a date on it or an amount. That’s what we’ve done,” said Barnett. “Without numbers like this, it’s pretty hard for resource managers to know what to do.”
Barnett and Pierce also point out that lakes Mead and Powell were built during and calibrated to the 20th century, which was one of the wettest in the last 1,200 years. Tree ring records show that typical Colorado River flows are substantially lower, yet 20th Century values are used in most long-term planning of the River. If the Colorado River flow reverts to its long-term average indicated by the tree rings, then currently scheduled water deliveries are even less sustainable.
Barnett and Pierce show that the biggest effects of human-induced climate change will probably be seen during dry, low-delivery years. In most years, delivery shortfalls will be small enough to be manageable through conservation and water transfers, they estimate. But during dry years there is an increasing chance of substantial shortages.
“Fortunately, we can avoid such big shortfalls if the river’s users agree on a way to reduce their average water use,” said Pierce. “If we could do that, the system could stay sustainable further into the future than we estimate currently, even if the climate changes.”
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8/28/2011 Washington Examiner: Navajos focus on Little Colorado River settlement By: FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press: The Navajo Nation, unwilling to settle its claims to the Colorado River without a pipeline to deliver much-needed water to its residents, now is focusing on rights to water from one of the river’s tributaries. Negotiators on a northern Arizona water rights settlement have removed from the deal a $515 million pipeline that would have delivered water to the Navajo and Hopi reservations. Even with the lower cost, however, it remains uncertain when the revised settlement might be introduced in Congress. Navajo lawmakers approved a version of the settlement last year. That version included the pipeline to send 11,000 acre-feet of Colorado River from Lake Powell to a handful of Navajo communities and about 4,000 acre-feet of water a year to the Hopi reservation.
But Republican Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, who has shepherded key American Indian water rights deals through Congress, later said it was too costly and asked the negotiators to revise it.
Kyl’s office declined to comment on the revised settlement that negotiators sent him in June because it’s not final. But in a letter to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Kyl said the revised document marks only the next phase of conversation and that “it is possible that those costs will have to be further reduced.”
“Because of the estimated cost associated with a main-stem settlement, the parties pulled back and focused simply on a Little Colorado River settlement,” said Tom Whitmer, a water resource manager and tribal liaison for the state water department. “The federal government’s budget is not in the most healthy state. Whenever you start talking about settlements, it’s also about the cost of the infrastructure to get the water to the area it’s needed.”
Under the revised settlement, the Navajo Nation still would get any unclaimed flows from the Little Colorado River and nearly unlimited access to two aquifers beneath the reservation. It also would settle claims from the Hopi Tribe, which did not follow the Navajos’ footsteps in approving the settlement last year.
“I think we’ve gotten some things in there we feel good about,” said Hopi Chairman Le Roy Shingoitewa. “Whether or not they remain is really something the parties all have to agree to.”
Both the Navajo and Hopi are party to a case to adjudicate rights to the Little Colorado River, which has been on hold to allow for settlement discussions. Aside from Zuni Pueblo, no other Arizona tribe has acquired rights to the river, Whitmer said.
The revised settlement was revealed in a separate federal court case earlier this month in which the Navajo Nation sued to assert its rights to the Colorado River. The negotiators said in a status report that they did not expect any settlement to be approved by Congress until late next year.
They also outlined further concerns by Kyl, including the future of the Navajo Generating Station that provides power to deliver water through a series of canals to 80 percent of the state’s population and ensures that American Indian water rights settlements are met.
Kyl had asked negotiators for the tribes and 30 other entities to try to lower the $800 million cost of the settlement so that he could introduce legislation well ahead of his planned retirement.
Navajo water rights attorney Stanley Pollack said the settlement was structured so that the pipeline could be removed if necessary and that he would not bring it before tribal lawmakers without Kyl’s blessing.
Although the pipeline has been dropped from the settlement, neither the Navajo Nation nor the Hopi Tribe has waived rights to water from the Colorado River.
The revised settlement would provide the delivery of some 6,400 acre-feet of Colorado River water to Navajo communities in Arizona, along the New Mexico border. The water was reserved for a possible Navajo water rights settlement with the state of Arizona as part of a historic deal with Arizona tribes in 2004. The water would be delivered through the Navajo-Gallup pipeline authorized by the Navajo Nation’s water agreement with New Mexico in 2009.
The Arizona settlement for the lower Colorado River basin had been in negotiation for more than a decade. Tribal officials say they’ll now have to come up with other ways to provide water in areas where Navajos commonly drive long distances to haul water for themselves and their livestock. Some smaller projects are in the works.
Ray Yazzie Begay, 45, had high hopes for a pipeline that would deliver water to his community in Cameron. Much of the water there has a bitter taste, he said, and is good only for showering and livestock feeding. He recently was filling up a 210-gallon water tank outside the Cameron Trading Post that was destined for his sheep, cattle and horses a few miles away.
A pipeline “would bring a lot of good things to the community,” he said. “A lot of us live out there in the back areas.”
Navajo lawmaker Duane Tsinigine said the need for water is especially prevalent on the western side of the reservation, where Navajos were prevented from making any improvements to their home or land for decades because of a land dispute with the Hopi Tribe. The construction ban has been lifted but many in the community are still awaiting basic needs, he said.
“Maybe we can file for a separate settlement, which if we filed we might not see in this lifetime,” he said.
http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2011/08/navajos-focus-little-colorado-river-settlement-0#.Tlrg5qffoZw.email#ixzz1WO8qKBu2Read more at the Washington Examiner:
7/28/2011 News Hawk: Southern California Water Leaders Challenged To Help Create a Groundwater Storage Plan
Southern California Water Leaders Challenged To Help Create a Groundwater Storage Plan By Mike Adams on Jul 28 2011 “We want to know what you want so the plan is done in the best interests of the end user, the water consumer.” Those were the words of Central Basin Municipal Water District General Manager Art Aguilar to a packed room of water industry, community and city leaders about the Central Basin Groundwater Storage Plan that Central Basin is preparing this year. The plan will address the ecological and financial impact of managing the groundwater basin that extends approximately 270 square miles within the Los Angeles coastal plain and is the primary source of water for more than 2.5 million residents in the region.
In Southern California, water management is a huge issue. About half of the water comes from the area and is stored underground. The rest is imported from the Colorado River and Northern California or is recycled water that is used for specific uses, like irrigating golf courses. Protecting the vital public resource of water is a very important responsibility and it’s a responsibility that Central Basin says is theirs.
“We have a statutory right and a civic obligation to create this plan with input from all our partners. We have been emphatic in saying give us the input and we’ll develop the plan from that input,” Aguilar stated.
Many questions from the audience were about specific elements of the plan, and Central Basin officials repeated Aguilar’s theme. The specific elements need to be developed with the stakeholders, including those attending today’s meeting.
“We will continue to have these meetings out in the public where everyone can participate. We have seen the negative effectives of what backroom deals and secrecy can do to a process like this, and we are absolutely committed to keeping this process transparent,” Aguilar told Newshawks Review after the meeting.
The meeting today was scheduled after Central Basin filed what is called a Notice of Preparation for a Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) about the Groundwater Management plan. The NOP has been revised to include a longer project description; a change that Central Basin staff says was made in response to stakeholder feedback received in February. Central Basin’s plan is the first of its kind that will have an EIR of the Central Groundwater Basin, and as such will be the first plan to have an environmental analysis the basin.
The management of groundwater storage is a critical element in assuring that there is a future reliability of drinkable water to the 2.5 million residents Central Basin serves.
The Plan’s objectives are to protect the supply, maximize storage within the Basin, to protect local decision-making authority and local water rights as well as improving the reliability of supply during drought or emergencies.
One audience member asked why Central Basin was preparing a plan and the Southern California Water Replenishment District had already submitted a plan, which was rejected in Los Angeles courts.
Aguilar repeated that Central Basin has the statutory authority to create a storage plan and manage groundwater, and that it intends to do just that.
The current public comment period for the Program Environmental Impact Report will last until August 20th. Central Basin then said it will publish the draft report which will be reviewed by the public for 45 days and will include public meetings as part of that review process.
Central Basin said it expects the final report will be ready by December at which time it will hold public hearing with an anticipated approval of the Plan set for the first quarter of 2012.
“We have been and will continue to conduct an inclusive process where all of our stakeholders will be able to participate. The only way that the process will not be inclusive is if people choose not to participate,” Aguilar told the group.
Central Basin Water Resources Manager David Hill, who moderated today’s meeting, reminded the water managers and city officials of the importance of creating a plan that works for the residents of the region.
“To keep our region economically viable we have to do an even better job of conserving and having access to water. The Groundwater Storage Plan will address those issues in a very important and comprehensive way,” he said.
We win and then Republicans in Congress try to move the goal posts. For years now, we’ve been fighting to stop a uranium mining project that would encompass over a million acres around the edges of Grand Canyon National Park. Mining waste would end up in the Colorado river, destroying the splendor that attracts families from all over the country, and contaminating the drinking water of the communities down river. Call Congress and tell them to stop the mining.
A few weeks ago, the Secretary of the Interior withdrew the claims in that area from bidding for the next 20 years. We saved the Grand Canyon. Now, Congress has attached a rider to a needed budget bill that would allow them to override the Secretary’s order and release this million acre tract in spite of its devastating consequences. We’re trying to remove the rider through an amendment being offered by Representative Pastor (D-AZ).
We can’t let Congressional Republicans continue to rewrite the rules after we’ve already won. Call your Representative to stop the mining in the Grand Canyon.
Thank you for all you do for the environment.
Sarah Hodgdon Signature
7/26/2011 Lawsuit Prompts Full Environmental Review of Uranium Mining Threatening Dolores, San Miguel Rivers in Colorado Feds Still Refuse to Revoke Leases Awarded Under Flawed Analysis
7/26/2011 Center for Native Ecosystems and Center for Biological Diversity: “Lawsuit Prompts Full Environmental Review of Uranium Mining Threatening Dolores, San Miguel Rivers in Colorado: Feds Still Refuse to Revoke Leases Awarded Under Flawed Analysis”: Contacts: Josh Pollock, Center for Native Ecosystems, (303) 546-0214 x 2 and Taylor McKinnon, Center for Biological Diversity, (928) 310-6713 and Hilary White, Sheep Mountain Alliance, (970) 728-3729: DURANGO, Colo.— In response to a lawsuit from conservation groups, the Department of Energy has finally agreed to conduct a full, in-depth analysis of the environmental impacts of uranium mining and milling in southwestern Colorado. The environmental impact statement will examine the effects of DOE’s uranium-leasing program on 42 square miles of public land near the Dolores and San Miguel rivers.
In a lawsuit that’s still pending, the conservation groups challenged the Department’s current leasing program for not complying with the National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act. Although DOE now concedes the need for a new and expanded environmental review, the Department continues to implement the program under the original flawed approval. In fact, it has awarded or renewed 31 leases for mining-related activities on 25,000 acres.
“The Department of Energy knows its previous environmental reviews fell short and yet leasing for uranium operations has moved forward. That badly flawed approach jeopardizes human health, wildlife and two of the West’s most precious rivers,” said Taylor McKinnon of the Center for Biological Diversity. “The feds’ refusal to revoke approvals and leases they’ve admitted are flawed is inherently dishonest and will keep everyone in court.”
Uranium mining and milling resulting from the lease program will deplete Colorado River basin water and threaten to pollute rivers with uranium, selenium, ammonia, arsenic, molybdenum, aluminum, barium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, vanadium and zinc. Selenium and arsenic contamination in the Colorado River basin from abandoned uranium-mining operations have been implicated in the decline of four endangered Colorado River fish species and may be impeding their recovery.
“Even small amounts of some of these pollutants, like selenium, can poison fish, accumulate in the food chain and cause deformities and reproductive problems for endangered fish, ducks, river otters and eagles,” said Josh Pollock of the Center for Native Ecosystems. “It is irresponsible for the Department of Energy to put fish and wildlife at risk by allowing uranium leases without adequate analysis of necessary protections to prevent pollution.”
“Combined with the activities in the DOE leasing tracts, the impacts of new mining on unpatented claims in the area and the proposed Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill in Paradox Valley all add up to serious new concerns for water quality,” said Hilary White of the Sheep Mountain Alliance. “We have to understand and mitigate existing contamination problems in the area before the government allows new mining to ramp up.”
The Colorado Environmental Coalition, Information Network for Responsible Mining, Center for Native Ecosystems, Center for Biological Diversity and Sheep Mountain Alliance sued the Department of Energy and Bureau of Land Management in July 2008 for approving the program without analyzing the full environmental impacts from individual uranium-mining leases and for failing to ensure protection of threatened and endangered species prior to authorizing the program. The groups are represented by attorneys Travis Stills of the Energy Minerals Law Center and Jeff Parsons at the Western Mining Action Project.
DOE will take public comment on its new environmental impact statement until Sept. 9. Comments will also be accepted at public meetings Aug. 8-11 in Telluride, Naturita, San Juan County, Utah, and Montrose.
SAVE THE DATE: Community Benefit Concert “No uranium mining in the Grand Canyon” Time: Saturday at 6:00pm – Sunday at 1:00am, Orpheum Theater, 15 W. Aspen St, Flagstaff, AZ. For over 25 years, international uranium mining companies have aggressively pursued uranium at Grand Canyon. The citizens of Arizona need to be informed about the dangers and everlasting health effects caused by uranium mining. Past uranium activity has caused direct health affects to the local Indian Tribes living in and around the Grand Canyon region. For instance, many Navajo families have been diagnosed with many types of cancer due to the abandoned uranium mines located all over the Navajo, Reservation.
Furthermore, the Havasupai Tribe has been fighting proposed uranium mines on the rim of the Grand Canyon, which are located directly above their groundwater source and near their sacred Red Butte for many years. The Tribe has learned about the irreversible contamination that uranium mining can cause to Havasu Creek. For this reason, many non-profit organizations have joined forces with neighboring Tribes and community members to continue the fight for clean water for all humans and animal life whom reside in the Grand Canyon region.
We are proposing a Community Benefit Concert for an evening of networking and uranium education. “If the mine poisons our water, it will be the end of my people,” said Carletta Tilousi, a Tribal Council member working to protect the health and future of her tribe. Promoting awareness to protect the Grand Canyon Watershed is the utmost important reason to host a Community Benefit Concert to promote “life”.