The Path to a Secure Water Future: Colorado River Cooperative Agreement
The Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (CRCA) began a long-term partnership between Denver Water and the West Slope. The agreement is a framework for numerous actions by the parties to benefit water supply, water quality, recreation, and the environment on both sides of the Continental Divide.
Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (entire document, 9/26/2013)
Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (2-page summary)
Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (6-page summary)
List of signatories and beneficiaries
Shoshone Outage Protocol Agreement (ShOP)
Learning by Doing (LBD) is one of the outcomes of the CRCA to create an initiative to work on environmental concerns with the Fraser and Colorado Rivers. The primary goal: “to maintain, and where reasonably possible, restore or enhance the condition of the aquatic environment in Grand County.” A Management Committee oversees LBD activities, of which the Colorado River District is a voting member. Additionally, we contribute financially, such as assisting in the funding of stream monitoring to evaluate flushing flows, sediment accumulation and prediction of trout embryo survival rates within the project area of the Grand County Stream Management Plan.
For decades, the Fraser River in Colorado’s Grand County has turned into a trickle every fall as the snowmelt that powers the river dissipates. The low flows have led to warmer water temperatures and less wildlife.
That changed this year, at least along a short stretch of the Fraser. And it’s due to an unusual partnership that includes Denver Water, which diverts most of the river to the Front Range, and Trout Unlimited, which has fought for decades to protect it. The group, dubbed Learning by Doing, focused its efforts on nearly a mile of the river near Tabernash. Work wrapped up on the $200,000 project earlier this fall. – More –
When Does An Environmentalist Compromise? Lessons From The Fraser River
“I had man tears when I saw this for the first time,” said Kirk Klancke, president of the Colorado River Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited. “It was very emotional to see the river look healthier than it has in the 47 years I’ve lived there.”
Fraser Flats, a nearly-mile-long section of Fraser River in Grand County, is showing signs of recovery following a restoration project, according to Denver Water.
The $200,000 river restoration project was completed in September with the goal of helping aquatic life stay healthy throughout the year. The early results from a fish survey on October 5 show that the number and size of rainbow and brown trout has increased.
“Before the project, the river was slow, shallow and wide, and that’s not healthy for fish or aquatic insects,” Jessica Alexander, environmental scientist at Denver Water, says on Denver Water’s website.
Several features were added as part of the Fraser Flats River Habitat Project including strategically-placed rock structures, new riverbank vegetation and sequences of river pools. – More –
It’s a success story in river restoration
Group completes restoration to improve habitat for part of Fraser River
Stories have circulated for years about the state of Grand County’s waterways, largely centered around bad news, but there have been some bright spots lately, including the recent completion of the Fraser Flats Habitat Project.
The Fraser Flats Habitat Project is a cooperative venture conducted by Learning By Doing, an amalgamation of local water stakeholders who several years ago formed a committee in an effort to increase cooperation and decrease litigation between Front Range water diverters, local governments and High Country conservation groups. The Fraser Flats Project is the group’s pilot project, restoring a roughly one-mile section of the Fraser River.
Work on the project, which was conducted on a section of the Fraser River between Fraser and Tabernash, wrapped up in late September and the members of Learning By Doing are, to put it mildly, thrilled with the success of the project.
In 2017 Kirk Klancke of Colorado River Headquarters Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Jessica Alexander of Denver Water and Anna Dexler-Dreis of Colorado Headwaters Land Trust presented at our annual Grand County State of the River public meeting.
“Fraser Flats River Habitat Project” – 2:50 minute video
“Learning by Doing – The Perfect Storm on the Upper Colorado” – 9:38 minute video
In 2016 Jeff Drager of Northern Water and Kirk Klancke of Colorado Headquarters Chapter of Trout Unlimited presented at our annual Grand County State of the River public meeting, ” Learning by Doing An Enhancement Program.”
Colorado Cooperative Agreement Map:
Press Conference Announcing the CRCA, April 28, 2011