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Headwaters Winter 2007--The New Energy Economy

Headwaters MagazineRead select articles from the magazine below or flip through the full issue online.

This Headwaters Magazine explores the relationship of water to energy production. Much remains to be learned about the effects of energy development on the state's water resources. Given the importance Colorado's citizens place on a safe, reliable, high quality water supply, we must pursue these possibilities responsibly.

Watermarks--Letter from the Director

Energy has emerged as one of world's greatest challenges.

Energy is emerging as one of world's greatest challenges. Demand for all its forms continues to increase as our population grows and our standard of living rises.

Read more: Watermarks--Letter from the Director

Surface Concerns

By Donna Gray

Concerned about water quantity and quality impacts, Coloradans are watching the state's burgeoning natural gas industry and monitoring the effects of dewatering aquifers, discharging produced water and hydraulic fracturing.

Read more: Surface Concerns

Who regulates the gas industry in Colorado?

  • The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulates all gas activities including surface and down-hole well spacing, drilling, treatment and disposal of waste and reclamation—restoring the land surface as closely as possible to its original condition. It also requires operators to notify surface owners of its intentions to drill and consult with them about the location of well pads, roads and pipelines and associated facilities. If the operator and surface owner cannot reach agreement, the operator posts a bond for each well it drills.

    Read more: Who regulates the gas industry in Colorado?

Run of the River

By Lori Ozzello

It's feasible.

And to the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association, the possibility of adding a revenue stream and hydropower to their project offers a handful of opportunities.

‘We have the water,’ explains Umcompahgre's manager Marc Catlin. ‘It seems to be the best answer: We take water we already have and use it before we send it to the farmers.

Read more: Run of the River

Legislature and Governor's Office Lead the Way Into Colorado's New Energy Economy

Morey Wolfson doesn't head Gov. Bill Ritter's Energy Office. That job belongs to Tom Plant. But Wolfson is yet another example of the governor's penchant for hiring savvy veterans with significant Colorado water and energy experience.
Wolfson spent 15 years, principally during Roy Romer's governorship, as the executive assistant to commissioners at the Public Utilities Commission. He then spent nearly five years at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He's an expert in renewables — solar and wind power, and energy efficiency.

Read more: Legislature and Governor's Office Lead the Way Into Colorado's New Energy Economy

Oil Shale Déjà Vu

By Donna Gray

For the people of western Colorado, oil shale has been both a blessing and a curse.

Touted as the solution to the country's energy shortfall in the 1970s and '80s, oil shale development caused rapid growth followed by a precipitous economic decline when it failed to reach commercial production.

Read more: Oil Shale Déjà Vu

Significant New Energy Legislation in the General Assembly's 2007 Session

  • HB 1281 requires a 20 percent renewable energy portfolio by 2020 for investor-owned utilities.
    • Provides for non-investor owned and municipal-owned utility 10 percent renewable energy portfolio by 2020.
    • Benchmarks are complemented by legislation that sets up infrastructure for a renewable energy economy.

Read more: Significant New Energy Legislation in the General Assembly's 2007 Session

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Water Law Resources

Guide to Colorado Water Law explores the basics of Colorado water law--learn how it has developed and how it is applied today. This, WEco's most popular Citizen's Guide, was authored by Colorado Supreme Court Justice, and WEco Board Vice President, Gregory Hobbs. Take a look or purchase a copy.


Law Supplement Headwaters magazine a special edition of Headwaters that provides an in-depth look at Colorado water law. Browse the magazine to supplement our Citizen's Guide and your knowledge. View it here

Administration Headwaters magazine read how enforcing the law in our water-scarce state can get tricky and meet the men and women who allocate Colorado's most precious resource. Browse the issue here.

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