In the fight over Colorado River water molecules, water rights dictate which direction some of the river flows: west on its natural route from the Continental Divide, or east through
In the fight over Colorado River water molecules, water rights dictate which direction some of the river flows: west on its natural route from the Continental Divide, or east through tunnels to the Front Range.
The next program in the Colorado River District’s “Water With Your Lunch” Zoom webinar series will explore the importance of Shoshone and the Roller Dam to all West Slope water users. Join us from noon to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5. Panelists for the discussion include Andy Mueller, general manager for the Colorado River District; Mark Harris, manager of the Grand Valley Water Users Association in Grand Junction, operators of the Roller Dam; Faye Hartman, Conservation Director, Colorado River Basin Program at American Rivers and Jim Pokrandt, community affairs director of the Colorado River District.
On the main stem of the Colorado, the most heavily diverted of the river’s basins, two historic structures have much to say about providing water security for Western Colorado. One is the Shoshone Hydropower Plant in Glenwood Canyon. The other is the Grand Valley Diversion Dam in Debeque Canyon, sometimes known as the Roller Dam for its engineering design.
You can register for the seminar at https://bit.ly/
The Shoshone Hydropower Plant holds the oldest, major water right on the mainstem of the river, 1,250 cubic feet a second dated 1902. It is a nonconsumptive water right, meaning the flows into the power plant continue downstream after they spin the plant’s turbines. When river flows ebb after the spring runoff, Shoshone contributes the majority of the Colorado River’s water in Glenwood Canyon. In turn, those flows provide for year-round recreational opportunities and the economic benefits that come with them, on the mainstem of Colorado.
The Roller Dam is where most of a suite of old water rights called the “Cameo call,” are diverted. Some are as old as the late 1800s, some from the early 1900s. Some of this call is diverted farther downstream at the Grand Valley Irrigation Co. intake at Palisade. Much of this water today serves both the abundant agriculture in the Grand Valley, but also municipal use for outdoor lawn irrigation as neighborhoods have been built on top of farmland.
While both structures divert water for modern use, these flows benefit the entire stretch of the river from the headwaters to the Grand Valley. Along the way, the extra water molecules serve wildlife, the ecosystem, recreation and municipal water plants. The more the molecules in each case, the better that resource is.
In each case, both structures command the river, pulling water downstream that might otherwise be diverted to the Front Range through transmountain diversion tunnels. Shoshone and Cameo water rights are filled before these diversions under the prior appropriation system. When either or both rights are calling, junior diverters have to cease or replace the water they take out of priority, keeping our West Slope water flowing east to west.
(Wednesday) 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm MST
Virtually with Zoom
Register here: https://bit.ly/ColoSOR From Grand County to the Grand Valley, we all rely on the Colorado River and its tributaries. Learn more about current issues on the Colorado Mainstem, including challenges
Register here: https://bit.ly/ColoSOR
From Grand County to the Grand Valley, we all rely on the Colorado River and its tributaries.
Learn more about current issues on the Colorado Mainstem, including challenges facing West Slope water users, drought, and the economic value the river provides us at the virtual Colorado State of the River meeting hosted by the Colorado River District. From threats posed by prolonged drought to the increasing pressure on West Slope water as demand from the Front Range increases, this lunchtime webinar will help you understand challenges impacting your West Slope water.
• Colorado District 5 Senator Kerry Donovan will give a brief welcome
• Andy Mueller, General Manager of the Colorado River District, will address the “Protection of West Slope water as we face an uncertain future.”
• Jim Pokrandt, Director of Community Affairs at the Colorado River District, will present an update on drought, river flow, and water supply.
• Molly Mugglestone, Director of Communications and Colorado Policy for Business for Water Stewardship, will present on a study that found Colorado’s rivers are major economic drivers producing nearly $19 billion in output annually from people recreating on or near rivers, streams, lakes, reservoirs and waterways.
•A conversation about increasing demands for West Slope water and opportunities for collaboration on the mainstem of the Colorado with Senator Kerry Donovan, Paul Bruchez, Grand County rancher and governor’s appointee to Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC) and, Matt Rice, Director of American Rivers Colorado Basin Program.
(Wednesday) 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm MST
Virtual Zoom Meeting
Join the District for its Quarterly Board Meeting. Meetings are open to the public and welcome your participation. You can see the upcoming agendas and livestream the meetings online
Join the District for its Quarterly Board Meeting. Meetings are open to the public and welcome your participation.
You can see the upcoming agendas and livestream the meetings online here.
The Colorado River Water Conservation District is governed by a Board of Directors. Each of the 15 counties within the District has one appointed representative. All policies, Resolutions, budget actions and other major activities of the Colorado River District are approved by the Board.
The District is comprised of 15 West Slope counties in which a majority of the Colorado River Basin in the State of Colorado exists. These counties are Moffat, Routt, Grand, Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, Gunnison, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Mesa, Ouray, Delta, and portions of Montrose, Saguache and Hinsdale. The District covers approximately 29,000 square miles, roughly 28% of the land area of Colorado.
19 (Tuesday) 8:00 am - 20 (Wednesday) 5:00 pm MST
Colorado River District
201 Centennial Street, Glenwood Springs, Colorado