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Old 08-31-2015, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,160 posts, read 2,610,159 times
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The thing about water rights though is that I don't know that they are set up in an ethical manner. It's a system waiting for people to take advantage and sneak extras. Some dude who's granddaddy got here first can flood irrigate his ranch with a stream but you can't collect the water that falls from your roof??? Look at the way the Colorado river treaty was set up. Stupidly. Similar things can be said about water rights all across the front range. It's a blatantly uneconomical and in many ways an unjust way of doing business.

Anyways it takes more than water to make things grow. The big thing is the hot cold swings and odd temps that make things very hard to grow here. If it was just water, We'd look like Cairo.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,895 posts, read 6,473,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCHP View Post
If you look at all the native vegetation between Denver and eastern Kansas, it should be obvious growing large trees isn't a big part of the natural formula. While there are the occasional forested area that has occurred naturally because of geographic features or proximity to water, the only reason there are any decent sized or collections of trees in Colorado east of the front range at all is because of human effort to put them there. This is called the high plains for no reason.
This is hardly unique to the Front Range or Colorado. Check out this colorized picture of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco before it was Golden Gate Park:


A-Foresting We Will Go: A History of Trees in San Francisco | Tramps of San Francisco
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Old 09-01-2015, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Newport Coast, California
474 posts, read 493,120 times
Reputation: 1136
There is a great map that was put together that measures the number of "pleasant days" across the US based on NOAA data.

kelly norton: The Pleasant Places to Live

I would say the biggest negatives are the incredibly dry air and the many many cold days.

The good thing about this map, is it provides an interesting comparison across the US looking at what is pleasant and usable for outdoor activities, taking into account, wind, temperature, humidity, and precipitation.

Clever Map Reveals Which Cities Get the Best Weather | WIRED
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:10 AM
 
1,822 posts, read 1,385,188 times
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The dry air in Colorado is great for climate and comfort, but horrible for those whose bodies are used to decades of high humidity (especially respiratory-wise). So even one data factor - dry air - can yield widely different results depending on the context.

No Internet site, image, or table can sum up an accurate image that can be applied to everyone. There's no way to even display "pleasant weather". One person could consider rainy, wet, and PNW-ish as 'pleasant'. Another might view cloudless, sunny, and dry as 'pleasant'. The innerdnet is handy for amassing gobs of data and "stuff" to look at, but not so good at producing the relevant data that a person often needs (this site excepted, of course!)

Back to CO, the dry air helps with colder temperatures. I've been outside in single digit nights with no wind, and it has been more comfortable and bearable than places with high humidity, windy conditions, and temperatures even in the 30's (i.e. the wind chill effect).

In the end though, I'd vote that the dryness is a liability, rather than an asset. Comfort aside, think how large of a component water is to the human body, and how essential it is to nearly all life. Natives and persons used to this region of the country probably don't notice any of this, but for others, there is an high awareness of the moisture-starved conditions, especially the longer one lives here.

Last edited by Sunderpig2; 09-02-2015 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:21 PM
 
13,266 posts, read 25,422,080 times
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I have had decades of summers with high humidity and I still loathe it. If/When I move to Colorado, the dry air is one big reason. I never adapt to humidity (including going to places where people go on purpose for vacation, like Hawaii) and barely sweat, but steam, like a baked potato in foil. It sickens me.
Right now I'm at 10,000 feet in Colorado, and it's in the 60s, and chilly at night. Back East where I must go next week, it's going to be 93F. with 85 % humidity. Feh.
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:32 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,340 posts, read 39,622,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
The thing about water rights though is that I don't know that they are set up in an ethical manner. ... but you can't collect the water that falls from your roof??? .... It's a blatantly uneconomical and in many ways an unjust way of doing business.

Anyways it takes more than water to make things grow. The big thing is the hot cold swings and odd temps that make things very hard to grow here. ....
The 'personal recovery / re-use' water rights in the 3 states I work have changed significantly in the last 10 yrs. It was illegal to collect rainwater in WA and OR, even areas with 100+" drizzle / yr. That was changed to accommodate recycle / reuse / aquifer recharge. TX is currently rewriting the 'gray-water' codes that will allow most personal residence gray water recovery / re-use. You can fill a 10,000 gal tank EZ using treated gray water(according to Health Dept stds of ~80 gal / day per person!!!) we use 8 gal / day for 2 people...

need to build a 10,000+ gal tank... EZ as Legos (put it under your garden and back fill with 3' of rich soil!) There are MUCH cheaper ways to do this, but same general idea.
https://www.google.com/search?q=aqua...IVypQNCh2GyQLP


If you have lots of space, people use bladders, or add them in the useless space between tract homes (protect from UV). Or, use as 'thermal mass' for your extended season green house .
Bladder Tanks, Collapsible Pillow Tanks, Helium Recovery Bladders, and Frac Bladder Tanks for Fuels, Water and Chemicals

Very ez and quick... get a 300 gal tote and build a great big funnel for Rainstorms

no longer illegal in UT
DIY 275 Gallon Rainwater Collection

We can get (3) 300 gal totes / week of NEW veggie oil washed from a local 'Food Grade' trucking company (detergent / water contaminated). They MUST wash tankers between loads...

filter, boil off the water in a couple scrap water heaters / with solar / wood assist, and you get FREE fuel for your diesel car. (Something you can do while you are waiting for Colorado weather to clear up!)
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:09 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,340 posts, read 39,622,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
... boil off the water in a couple scrap water heaters... (Something you can do while you are waiting for Colorado weather to clear up!)
whoops... in light of the conservation / water theme... you can use a centrifuge to spin off the water and then clean it (ez to make bio-filter natural separation beds, and use for irrigation or non-potable home use. ).

Several friends in Seattle went together and bought a used commercial centrifuge <$1000 and they share it. (Each family only needs to use it once / month).

You could use centrifuge to speed up your gray water recycle process.

Plants and organic materials are essential to your bio-filter water reclamation system.
Making tracks toward innovation in the stormwater runoff treatment train | St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
https://www.thenaturalhome.com/greywater.html

LEGALLY reusing your reclaimed Grey water can significantly reduce your monthly (metered) water / sewer bills. Minor plumbing changes will be required.
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Old 09-04-2015, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Illinois
963 posts, read 440,920 times
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Colorado gets plenty of abundant, frequent snow in the winter, but average highs above freezing in the winter months, and frequent sunshine can mean that the snow won't stay there for very long even though it snows frequently from November through April.

Also, Denver suffers from an urban heat island, making average highs/lows as much as 6-8F warmer in summer and winter, than its neighboring suburban and rural areas. And the Denver area tends to get a lot of fog or polluted air.

However, I can list one positive thing about the dry weather: it means that, while in summer, even though it may be hot in the middle of the day, it cools down greatly during the night. Dry weather opens up the day/night temperature difference larger.

Last edited by It is 57 below zero; 09-04-2015 at 01:43 AM..
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Old 09-05-2015, 12:01 PM
 
Location: in the mountains
1,372 posts, read 801,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
I think it's kind of comparable to places like the east cost, the southern great lakes area, central Midwest, and gulf coast regions as far as benefits and drawbacks.

The southern great lakes area is humid and has a wider variety of plants and animals.

The gulf coast is also not dry, the gulf coast is extremely humid. Vegetation wise, the gulf coast of Florida is different from the gulf coast of Texas, you can't really combine the two as one homogeneous "gulf coast".
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:22 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
2,560 posts, read 1,794,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
I'm assuming most people have heard of the benefits of Colorado's weather. I concur that there are times when Colorado's weather is really nice. But here are some issues I have with the weather in Colorado:

1. The UV intensity is for real. I would say as a rough estimate, people burn 2x as quick out here as they do in other places, and even faster than that at high altitude and with snow. Colorado has a bad rate for skin cancer. Also, sunburns make you wrinkled and really just don't feel good. Working landscaping for a few summers I would love those overcast, misty days so much. The sun really gets too intense if you are out in it all day long. Even when putting on sunscreen twice a day, I still felt funky at the end of the day.

2. No smells. Most places, unless your by a stream or a wetland, don't really smell like much at all. There's kind of a dusty dry needle smell and the pine trees smell like butterscotch. There's no fresh dirt smell or the smells that lakes and meadows in the eastern US will give.

3. Awful for plants. Colorado's weather is so erratic, the frost dates are so late, the nights are so cool, and the climate is so dry that really not much grows out here. Also the warm winters are really hard on a lot of plants (harder than cold winters actually). It has to be one of the toughest states to garden or landscape in. And the forests and wilderness's aren't really that pretty from a micro perspective, when looking at the 100 sq ft around you. Not much plant variety and thinks don't rot so the deadwood is REALLY thick in any sort of national forest or wilderness. Also many people give up on trying to have nice lawns after living here for a while.

4. Dry air. Sure humidity can get on peoples nerves, but dry air can be just as annoying. Skin will crack and get flaky. Also whenever I get up in the middle of the night, I have to get a drink of water. When I worked landscaping or did strenuous activity outside, it was hard on your lungs and throat to be dried out so much, even with drinking water. As a combo of the of the dry air and sun intensity, I often get this weird feeling of being hot and cold at the same time when I'm outside for an extended period of time. The sun is so intense that it gets hot in it directly, but it gets really chilly when the wind blows or when you step in the shade.

bs

5. Winter is really long. The time where the grass is brown and the leaves are off the trees and its not unlikely to snow is about the same as areas like northern Wisconsin; from about the beginning of Oct. to the end of May, with some plants not coming online till June. Also the time when ski season is nice is pretty short, like Feb-mid April, so about 2.5 months. It's more often than not a somewhat crappy before then, unless a big storm hits, so there's a long time where it's still not summer but it's not really snow season either.

Also the rain is really cold (it's never fun to stand out in the rain here), it hails a lot, and we are on the edge of the US tornado zone. There have been several funnel clouds in the Denver area this summer.

I would not say Colorado's weather is hands down better than the rest of the US. Obviously some people will prefer Colorado's weather to other places and other people will prefer the other places weather over Colorado's, but I think it's kind of comparable to places like the east cost, the southern great lakes area, central Midwest, and gulf coast regions as far as benefits and drawbacks.
I think you summed it up perfectly. The climate limits what you can grow to a great degree. And Don't forget about freak late Aug/early Sept. snow fall and late April/May snow fall that breaks tree limbs.
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