Colorado River District To Ask Voters For Money To Bolster Protection Of West Slope Water

Board authorizes Nov. 3 ballot question to increase mill levy by $1.90 per year per assessed $100,000 of residential value
July 22, 2020

Glenwood Springs, CO — The Colorado River District’s board of directors adopted a resolution Tuesday, July 21, 2020, to ask voters in November to support a property tax increase to protect water security in Western Colorado while funding projects to improve water use and healthy streams.

River District General Manager Andy Mueller said the board’s resolution asks for taxpayer support for the River District work directed at:

  • Fighting to keep water on the West Slope;
  • Protecting adequate water supplies for West Slope farmers and ranchers;
  • Protecting sustainable drinking water supplies for West Slope communities; and
  • Protecting fish, wildlife, and recreation by maintaining river levels and water

The resolution also approves a Fiscal Implementation Plan that spells out how the added money would be invested across the district. Included in the plan is an explicit direction that the “district is committed to coordinating and consulting local elected officials in any and all relevant counties prior to committing funds to any specific project or activity pursued by the district.”

If voters agree, the median residential property tax increase in the district’s 15-county region would be $7.03 per year. The question will go on the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot in Grand, Summit, Eagle, Pitkin, Garfield, Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco, Mesa, Delta, Ouray, Gunnison, and parts of Montrose, Saguache and Hinsdale counties.
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Colorado River District to Host Virtual Yampa Valley State of the River

Webinar will explore important issues facing Yampa River water users and the River District’s effort to provide water security in the Yampa River Basin.
June 21, 2020

Steamboat Springs, CO. — Whether it’s for clean water from your kitchen tap, water for hay or livestock or flows to paddle or play on, we all rely on the Yampa River and its tributaries.

Learn about current Yampa Basin water issues, ongoing drought and challenges facing West Slope water users at the virtual Yampa Valley State of the River meeting hosted by the Colorado River District, the Community Agriculture Alliance and the Yampa-White-Green Basin Roundtable.

Join us from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 29 on Zoom. The webinar is free. Registration is required and can be completed at bit.ly/YampaSOR. If you’re busy for the live event, register to receive a recording of the webinar by email to watch later.
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Learn How Water Policy Impacts West Slope Water Use At The Colorado River District’s “Water With Your Lunch” Webinar

“Water Policy and You” will explore recent federal and state policy changes that impact West Slope water users.
June 22, 2020

Glenwood Springs, CO — Join the Colorado River District for a lunch hour Zoom webinar discussing Western water policy and its impacts on residents of Western Colorado. Experts will present the latest developments in water policy at both the state and federal level.

Tune in to the webinar from noon to 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 30. Members of the public are welcome to join in the conversation and will have the opportunity to submit questions to guide the discussion by emailing edinfo@crwcd.org. This webinar is the second in the Colorado River District’s lunchtime webinar series “Water With Your Lunch.”

This webinar is free. Registration is required and can be completed here: bit.ly/WWLpolicy. If you are busy during the live event, register to receive a recording of the webinar in your email inbox after the presentation.
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Colorado River District to Host Virtual Gunnison State of the River

Webinar will explore important issues facing Gunnison River water users and the River District’s effort to provide water security in the Basin
June 15, 2020

Learn about current Gunnison Basin water issues, ongoing drought and challenges facing West Slope water users at the virtual Gunnison State of the River meeting hosted by the Colorado River District at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 24 on Zoom.

The webinar is free. Registration is required and can be completed at bit.ly/GunniSOR. If you’re busy for the live event, register to receive a recording of the webinar in your email inbox.

The Gunnison State of the River is traditionally held as a community event, but the safety precautions brought about by the novel coronavirus have the Colorado River District resorting to a virtual platform. The Colorado River District hosts annual State of the River meetings to engage Western Colorado residents in water issues that get to the heart of water planning in this arid region. Attendees will better understand drought, the economic impact of a healthy water supply and the need to protect our water future on the Western Slope.
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Dry April and May hurt Western Colorado runoff forecasts

June 1, 2020
After a winter of near-average snow fall, Mother Nature put the brakes on Western Colorado’s snowpack beginning in mid-March. As a result, the snowpack withered prematurely and West Slope runoff has suffered, a fact compounded by the lack of subsequent spring moisture. The Gunnison River peaked in mid-May and the Colorado River peak is expected this week.

According to the Colorado River District, Western Colorado’s hot and dry summer and fall of 2019 set a poor stage for whatever snow was to come, especially in the Gunnison and San Juan basins. Dry soils absorb snowmelt before streams benefit. Lack of precipitation and high winds at the end of this past winter further decimated the conversion of snow to water supply.

“We are now in year 20 of an extended dry period that we should start accepting as the new normal,” said Andy Mueller, general manager of the Colorado River District. “Warmer temperatures, dry soils and disappointing spring and summer moisture are defining how we look at future policies to determine how best to protect Western Colorado water security.”
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Have “Water With Your Lunch” – And Thirst For More

Colorado River District hosting free lunchtime webinar series for West Slope water users
May 29, 2020

Join the Colorado River District for a free lunchtime webinar series on Zoom called “Water With Your Lunch,” where panelists will explore major western water challenges on the Colorado River system and how stakeholders are working to address them.

From noon to 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, the Colorado River District will host the first in the series: a discussion about long-term challenges facing West Slope water users and opportunities for collaboration. In partnership with the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and American Rivers, the webinar will provide an overview of how broad challenges on the Colorado River impact our West Slope communities.

Members of the public are welcome to join in the conversation and will have the opportunity to submit questions to guide the discussions. This webinar is free. Registration is required and can be completed here: https://bit.ly/3gukEon
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Boat Access at Wolford Mountain Reservoir to Open Friday, May 15
May 8, 2020

Here is some good news in these days of the coronavirus pandemic: The boat ramp and marina at Wolford Mountain Reservoir will open Friday, May 15. The aquatic invasive species inspection and decontamination station will be operational and the marina will offer boat rentals and fuel sales. All state, local and reservoir specific rules and guidelines on social distancing must be followed.The adjacent day-use area and picnic pavilion area is already open and fishing access to the reservoir shoreline is accessed through that area, with social distancing guidelines in effect.

A week later, on Friday, May 22, the Wolford Campground will open for new campers.
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Learn more about your water at virtual Summit State of the River

Webinar will explore runoff conditions, transmountain diversions and opportunities for you to get involved.
April 30, 2020

Whether it’s for clean water from your kitchen tap, water for hay and livestock or flows to paddle and play on, we all rely on our rivers. Learn more about current conditions and issues in the Blue and Colorado river watersheds at the Summit State of the River at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 14 on Zoom.

The webinar is free. Registration is required and can be completed at bit.ly/SummitSOR. This virtual event is hosted by the Colorado River District and the Blue River Watershed Group. A recording of the webinar will be emailed to registrants after the event.

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Campground, Boat Access at Wolford Mountain Reservoir closed

Shoreline Open for Angling with Social Distancing Standards Emphasized
April 27, 2020

Boating access at Wolford Mountain Reservoir remains closed for the winter season and will likely remain closed until further notice, announced the Colorado River District, owner and operator of the reservoir and its recreational facilities.

Boating on the reservoir is closed every year during icing conditions. As the ice breaks up, it remains closed until inspection and decontamination operations are set up to prevent the spread of invasive quagga mussels carried on boats that have been floated on infested reservoirs.
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Campground at Wolford Mountain Reservoir closed

The reservoir is open, though anglers and other users should practice social distancing.
April 8, 2020

To slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, the campground at Wolford Mountain Reservoir is not accepting any new campers, announced the Colorado River District, owner and operator of the reservoir and its facilities.

Since March 27, the campground has been closed to additional campers in compliance with the public health order requiring Coloradans stay at home except for essential needs. The playground, pavilions and picnic tables are also closed.

The reservoir currently has near total ice coverage, but that ice is melting, and the shoreline will become more accessible The boat ramp is currently scheduled to open in mid-May, however this date may be postponed due to impacts of COVID-19.
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River District Applauds Passage of Farm Bill, Inclusion of Critical Droughts and Agricultural Programs

December 12, 2018  

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday wrapped a most welcome holiday gift – the passage of the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill, officially known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, emerged from a long-delayed conference committee on Monday, quickly received kudos from Agriculture Secretary Perdue, then passed the U.S. Senate with strong bi-partisan support on an 83-17 vote.

The Colorado River Water Conservation District applauded the Farm Bill’s passage, noting several of its important provisions.

“The critical drought resiliency provisions included in this bill will help to ensure Colorado’s farmers and ranchers can adapt to a changing climate while continuing to provide food and fiber to the nation,” said Andy Mueller, General Manager of the Colorado River District. “We appreciate the commitment that Senators Bennet and Gardner have shown to our farmers, ranchers and rural communities.”

The Farm Bill provides a five-year extension to numerous farm, nutrition, forestry, research and environmental programs, including flexibility in grant programs that will help the arid West address on-going and persistent drought.

The legislation also authorizes renewal and extensive application of exiting water conservation and efficiency programs such as pioneering conservation programs that the Colorado River District is leading alongside irrigators in the Gunnison basin.

The Farm Bill also provides increased funding for critical projects and programs that can assist the Colorado River basin in avoiding catastrophic Compact administration – where Colorado River water users statewide could be shutoff in order for the state to meet its contractual water delivery obligations to downstream states.

Colorado River District Statement on Upper Colorado River Basin Contingency Planning Documents 

October 9, 2018 

Upper Colorado River Commissioner, James Eklund, along with staff from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and Colorado Water Conservation Board, hosted a webinar this morning to present, for the first time, draft documents outlining the framework of Drought Contingency Plans for the Upper Colorado River Basin states.

Andy Mueller, General Manager for the Colorado River District, issued the statement below following the webinar and subsequent posting of the draft plans for public review:

“I want to thank Commissioner James Eklund, First Assistant Attorney General Karen Kwon and Colorado Water Conservation Board Director Rebecca Mitchell for bringing Colorado’s water community together for a review of Drought Contingency Planning (DCP) efforts today. I appreciated their making the draft DCP documents available for public review.”

“The Colorado Water Conservation Board also deserves thanks for directing an outreach program on these important but controversial water management issues in the coming weeks. We applaud the recent direction from the Board requesting the CWCB staff to draft and present a proposed policy to guide the CWCB in the coming efforts to develop a Demand Management Program. We continue to encourage the Board to make sure that any Demand Management Program in the state of Colorado is voluntary, compensated, temporary and that water for such a program comes from conservation measures on both sides of the Continental Divide.”

“These Plans will undoubtedly shape the ways we use water here on Colorado’s West Slope, and they should require coordinated conservation efforts on both sides of the Continental Divide to protect water uses tied to the Colorado River.”

“We look forward to being part of this important conversation going forward.”

Colorado River District Opposes Amendment 74 and Proposition 112

Garfield County Commissioners Join West Slope Municipalities to Provide Water from Ruedi Reservoir for Environmental and Agricultural Needs Downstream 

October 8, 2018 

The Colorado River District’s Board of Directors is opposing two statewide initiatives that will appear on the Colorado ballot this November. At a special meeting held in September, the Board voted unanimously to oppose Amendment 74 and Proposition 112.

The Board of Directors, which represents 15 western Colorado counties covering nearly one- third of the entire state, moved to oppose the initiatives due, in large part, to the direct negative impacts that both would have on West Slope water management efforts.

In final resolutions released this week, the River District’s Board described Proposition 112 as an “overly-aggressive proposal creating a de facto statewide ban on oil and gas production” that would “devastate the state’s economy and cripple state and local government budgets including the Colorado River District’s.”

Proposition 112, they argued, would also significantly reduce state severance tax revenues that support water projects and programs statewide – including important environmental, conservation and water quality programs administered by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.

In their resolution opposing Amendment 74, the Board of Directors described the proposed constitutional amendment as “ill-advised, poorly constructed and fraught with unintended consequences harmful to Colorado’s waters and water users.”

The Directors were unanimous in their concerns with Amendment 74. Their Resolution specifically points to concerns that “the risk and expense associated with Amendment 74 would predictably result in the State of Colorado losing state authority to implement the federal Clean Water Act to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with attendant adverse impacts to Colorado’s streams, rivers and water users.

Resolution to Oppose Amendment 74
Resolution to Oppose Proposition 11

West Slope Local Governments Join Forces to Boost River Flows 

Garfield County Commissioners Join West Slope Municipalities to Provide Water from Ruedi Reservoir for Environmental and Agricultural Needs Downstream 

October 2, 2018 

Garfield County has joined the Towns of Carbondale and Palisade, the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District, and the City of Aspen in a collective effort to contribute more than 1,500 total acre feet of unscheduled “contract water” held in Ruedi Reservoir for agricultural and environmental needs a long the lower Roaring Fork River and farther downstream on the Colorado River.

The Colorado River District was first approached by the Town of Carbondale with an offer to provide some of the Town’s unused, uncommitted water in Ruedi Reservoir for downstream needs. The River District then approached other local governments with unused reserves in Ruedi to join in the effort. The table below outlines the total contributions by individual governments taking part in the most recent contributions.

“When it comes to drought, we’re all in this together” said Jay Harrington, Carbondale’s Town Manager. “We recognized there were multiple needs downstream that weren’t being met and we wanted to do what we could to help.”

The unusual and generous move by local governments in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Basins follows previous efforts this dry summer that utilized reserves in Ruedi Reservoir to satisfy downstream irrigation needs known as the “Cameo Call,” a suite of historic agricultural water rights near palisade in the Grand Valley.

The Colorado River District and Ute Water Conservancy District previously contributed a combined total of 8,000 acre feet from late July into September. Those contributions were used to substitute water that would have typically come from Green Mountain Reservoir’s “Historic Users Pool” (HUP) to satisfy the Cameo Call. But the HUP was depleted far earlier than usual due to extremely dry conditions in western Colorado last year.

XTO, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, followed suit in September with 5,000 acre feet of Ruedi releases to provide water for endangered fish species in what is known as the Critical 15-Mile Reach between Palisade and the Colorado River’s confluence with the Gunnison River.

“2018 was a horrible water year for all of us on the West Slope” said John Currier, Chief Engineer for the Glenwood Springs-based Colorado River District. “This is a good example of folks from both ends of the basin coming together to assist their neighbors and the environment.”

Governmental Entity and Water Contribution:
Town of Carbondale – 250 Acre Feet
Town of Palisade – 162 Acre Feet
Snowmass Water and Sanitation – 400 Acre Feet
City of Aspen – 400 Acre Feet
Garfield County – 350 Acre Feet

For more information please contact: Jim Pokrandt  970.319.1807 or Zane Kessler  970.989.4156


River District Protests Newest Filing for Green River Pipeline Rights

District Argues Aaron Million’s Newest Development Proposal is Speculative in Nature, Would Negatively Impact Colorado’s Compact Entitlements

April 9, 2018

The Colorado River Water Conservation District has submitted a formal protest to an application for a trans-mountain diversion water right permit filed by Aaron Million and Water Horse Resources, LLC.

Million filed for the permit with Utah’s Division of Water Rights for the project, which is proposed to divert 55,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Green River near the Colorado state line. The Green River water would then be piped roughly 500 miles north and east through Wyoming, then south to Colorado’s Front Range.

The River District has opposed past diversion proposals by Million, who previously attempted to secure Green River rights for a controversial project that would have pumped water from Flaming Gorge Reservoir, or a point upstream in Wyoming, to Colorado’s Eastern Slope.

“This new application suffers from many of the same problems as his previous proposals but presents a number of new problems and interstate legal issues as well.” said Peter Fleming, General Counsel for the Colorado River District.

The River District’s protest points out that the application is speculative, and that “no specific beneficial use or need has been identified for the project other than a general reference to future water demands in Colorado.”

“This is a clear case of water speculation.” said Andy Mueller, General Manager of the Colorado River District. “Development of this resource in this manner would not only harm existing Western Slope water users but would impact the ability of the River District and the State of Colorado to plan for and develop future water resources as well.”

According to the District’s objection, “the application is vague and lacks sufficient detail to form the basis of a recognized water right, particularly given the large volume of water claimed and the complex legal and accounting problems raised by the application. The application should be denied on this basis alone.”

Utah’s Board of Water Resources and Division of Water Resources have also submitted objections to the proposal. Those objections urge that the application be denied for a variety of reasons, many similar to those raised by the River District.

“This new application suffers from many of the same problems as his previous proposals but presents a number of new problems and interstate legal issues as well.” said Peter Fleming, General Counsel for the Colorado River District.

The April 19, 2016 announcement below is an update to our October 8, 2015 Press ReleaseNormal ops to resume at Wolford dam
April 19, 2016

The Colorado River District has found that there is no compelling safety reason to proceed with remediation of Ritschard Dam at Wolford Mountain Reservoir in Grand County, now or in the foreseeable future.

This conclusion comes after exhaustive study of the settlement and a failure-risk assessment of the rock-fill, clay-core dam put into service in 1995. The River District’s consulting engineers and a separate Consultant Review Board it commissioned, together with the State of Colorado Dam Safety Branch, have concluded that the dam remains safe.

The River District will fill the reservoir this spring, reversing a two-year self-imposed restriction limiting the reservoir to within 10 feet of full as a cautionary measure.

Multi-million dollar rehab project planned for Ritschard Dam

October 8, 2015
A massive rehabilitation project is being planned for Ritschard Dam, the earthen dam that holds back water from Wolford Mountain Reservoir, just north of Kremmling. Jim Pokrandt, communications specialist for the Colorado River Water Conservation District, owners of Ritschard Dam, confirmed the project Tuesday. Pokrandt said the project is still in the design analysis stage and no official decisions have been made yet regarding specifics but said, “We are on a pathway to rehab the dam. Right now we are in the design analysis stage. We don’t have a final design on what the work will look like.”

Renovation Solutions for Ritschard Dam at Wolford Mountain Reservoir to be Developed This Year to Address Materials Settlement

February 18, 2015
The Colorado River District owns and operates the Ritschard Dam that forms Wolford Mountain Reservoir near Kremmling in Grand County, Colorado. It is a clay-core, rock-fill dam that has experienced settling beyond the amounts normally expected by engineers for a dam of this type. The dam is safe and will continue to be safe in the future, according to the District’s engineering staff.

Colorado River District Awarded $8 Million Federal Grant for Lower Gunnison River Basin 

January 15, 2015
The Lower Gunnison River Basin is the target for $8 million in new grant funding to improve irrigation practices, water quality, agricultural productivity and environmental conditions. The Colorado River District is the lead partner in the grant-funded project that includes a total of 31 partnering entities. Dave Kanzer, Senior Water Resources Engineer for the District, said the grant stems from the 2015 Farm Bill initiative called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that identified the Colorado River system as a “Critical Conservation Area,” one of eight in the country.

Colorado River and Southwestern Water Conservation Districts Discuss Drought

September 18, 2014
The two Water Conservation Districts that comprise the entire Colorado River basin in Colorado adopted implementation principles concerning how the current, extended drought conditions are addressed on the Colorado River’s storage system.

Colorado River District praises Governor’s Veto of SB023

June 6, 2014
The Colorado River District applauds Governor Hickenlooper’s decision on June 5 to veto Senate Bill 14-023. As noted in the Governor’s veto message, we are certain it was a close and difficult decision. The River District, along with many other parties, requested a veto.

Colorado River District & West Divide Water Conservancy District Approve Settlement in Crystal River Water Rights 

June 26, 2014
The Colorado River District yesterday joined the West Divide Water Conservancy District in approving a settlement ending litigation regarding water rights in the Crystal River. Both the River District and West Divide are pleased to avoid the costs of litigation as well as the inevitable animosity with their mutual constituents over protecting water rights for present and future use in the Crystal River valley.

Agreement Reached on Water Rights Call on Shoshone Hydro Plant

April 2, 2013
Two back-to-back, drought-plagued winters in Western Colorado have triggered an agreement to “relax” a senior water rights call on the Colorado River at the Shoshone Hydro Plant to allow water providers to store more water this spring, a move that benefits Denver Water and the West Slope.

River District to Decrease Reservoir Levels for Drought and Monitoring

August 22, 2012
The Colorado River District, which owns and operates Wolford Mountain Reservoir, will take advantage of this year’s drought and resulting low reservoir water levels to further monitor movement at Ritschard Dam. As with all earthen dams, Ritschard Dam was expected to settle over time. However, over its 16-year life, the dam has settled nearly two-feet, rather than the estimated one-foot. This year’s dry conditions require drawing the reservoir down lower than most years in order to meet contractual and environmental demands for the stored water.

Colorado River District Praises Colorado River Water Supply & Demand Study as a call to Action

December 12, 2012
The Colorado River District commends the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study released today to the public as a thorough and detailed call to action for Colorado River stakeholders to address a gap between human and environmental demands on the river system and the amount of water it produces annually.

Update to October 8, 2015 Press Release

Normal ops to resume at Wolford dam
April 19, 2016

The Colorado River District has found that there is no compelling safety reason to proceed with remediation of Ritschard Dam at Wolford Mountain Reservoir in Grand County, now or in the foreseeable future.

This conclusion comes after exhaustive study of the settlement and a failure-risk assessment of the rock-fill, clay-core dam put into service in 1995. The River District’s consulting engineers and a separate Consultant Review Board it commissioned, together with the State of Colorado Dam Safety Branch, have concluded that the dam remains safe.

The River District will fill the reservoir this spring, reversing a two-year self-imposed restriction limiting the reservoir to within 10 feet of full as a cautionary measure.

These developments come after six years and more than $1.5 million worth of study and the installation of sophisticated instrumentation to analyze the dam’s settlement. This study and monitoring was instigated by observations of settlement, a normal expectation in such a dam, beyond what designers had contemplated.

Throughout this time, the Dam Safety Branch of the Colorado Division of Water Resources has been thoroughly kept up to date on all investigations. The River District will continue its intensive monitoring of the dam and continued collaboration with state dam safety officials and other interested parties. The River District has been transparent and public with its study of the dam and had told the public that repairs could range from minimal to in excess of $30 million, but the overriding intent was that the settlement would be dealt with in a safe, prudent and responsible manner.

A breakthrough in understanding the risks associated with the on-going settlement came earlier this year when the River District conducted a formal Risk Analysis Workshop.

The conclusion was that the risk of a settlement-related dam failure was far lower than the estimated one-in-one-million risk of dam failure from a catastrophic flood that would overtop the dam. A one-in-one-million risk of failure represents extreme caution and a normally accepted assessment of risk common to all modern dams. The risk of a settlement-related dam failure was estimated at one-in-one-hundred-million, far lower than the flood risk.

Going forward, the River District will continue to work with the Dam Safety Branch, our engineering firm AECOM and the Consultant Review Board. Plans are to install more instrumentation and to establish a long-term monitoring plan, while preparing for the possibility that remediation may be necessary at a future point in time.

Multi-million dollar rehab project planned for Ritschard Dam

October 8, 2015
A massive rehabilitation project is being planned for Ritschard Dam, the earthen dam that holds back water from Wolford Mountain Reservoir, just north of Kremmling. Jim Pokrandt, communications specialist for the Colorado River Water Conservation District, owners of Ritschard Dam, confirmed the project Tuesday. Pokrandt said the project is still in the design analysis stage and no official decisions have been made yet regarding specifics but said, “We are on a pathway to rehab the dam. Right now we are in the design analysis stage. We don’t have a final design on what the work will look like.”

Renovation Solutions for Ritschard Dam at Wolford Mountain Reservoir to be Developed This Year to Address Materials Settlement

February 18, 2015
The Colorado River District owns and operates the Ritschard Dam that forms Wolford Mountain Reservoir near Kremmling in Grand County, Colorado. It is a clay-core, rock-fill dam that has experienced settling beyond the amounts normally expected by engineers for a dam of this type. The dam is safe and will continue to be safe in the future, according to the District’s engineering staff.

Colorado River District Awarded $8 Million Federal Grant for Lower Gunnison River Basin 

January 15, 2015
The Lower Gunnison River Basin is the target for $8 million in new grant funding to improve irrigation practices, water quality, agricultural productivity and environmental conditions. The Colorado River District is the lead partner in the grant-funded project that includes a total of 31 partnering entities. Dave Kanzer, Senior Water Resources Engineer for the District, said the grant stems from the 2015 Farm Bill initiative called the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) that identified the Colorado River system as a “Critical Conservation Area,” one of eight in the country.

Colorado River and Southwestern Water Conservation Districts Discuss Drought

September 18, 2014
The two Water Conservation Districts that comprise the entire Colorado River basin in Colorado adopted implementation principles concerning how the current, extended drought conditions are addressed on the Colorado River’s storage system.

Colorado River District praises Governor’s Veto of SB023

June 6, 2014
The Colorado River District applauds Governor Hickenlooper’s decision on June 5 to veto Senate Bill 14-023. As noted in the Governor’s veto message, we are certain it was a close and difficult decision. The River District, along with many other parties, requested a veto.

Colorado River District & West Divide Water Conservancy District Approve Settlement in Crystal River Water Rights 

June 26, 2014
The Colorado River District yesterday joined the West Divide Water Conservancy District in approving a settlement ending litigation regarding water rights in the Crystal River. Both the River District and West Divide are pleased to avoid the costs of litigation as well as the inevitable animosity with their mutual constituents over protecting water rights for present and future use in the Crystal River valley.

Agreement Reached on Water Rights Call on Shoshone Hydro Plant

April 2, 2013
Two back-to-back, drought-plagued winters in Western Colorado have triggered an agreement to “relax” a senior water rights call on the Colorado River at the Shoshone Hydro Plant to allow water providers to store more water this spring, a move that benefits Denver Water and the West Slope.

River District to Decrease Reservoir Levels for Drought and Monitoring

August 22, 2012
The Colorado River District, which owns and operates Wolford Mountain Reservoir, will take advantage of this year’s drought and resulting low reservoir water levels to further monitor movement at Ritschard Dam. As with all earthen dams, Ritschard Dam was expected to settle over time. However, over its 16-year life, the dam has settled nearly two-feet, rather than the estimated one-foot. This year’s dry conditions require drawing the reservoir down lower than most years in order to meet contractual and environmental demands for the stored water.

Colorado River District Praises Colorado River Water Supply & Demand Study as a call to Action

December 12, 2012
The Colorado River District commends the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study released today to the public as a thorough and detailed call to action for Colorado River stakeholders to address a gap between human and environmental demands on the river system and the amount of water it produces annually.

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