Colorado conservation groups urge feds to continue with careful review of massive new Colorado River diversions

A Colorado River headwaters stream just below the Denver Water diversion point.

Letter to Corps of Engineers and EPA calls for careful scrutiny

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado water and environmental advocates say they’re concerned that fast-tracking the federal environmental review for the Moffat Collection System Expansion Project could lead the responsible agencies to leave out important information and not fully address the impacts of new water diversions from the Colorado River.

“We’re worried that that we’re going to hit fast forward and miss some things,” said Becky Long, water caucus coordinator with the Colorado Environmental Coalition, explaining why several groups recently wrote a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA, reiterating their concerns about water temperatures and sediment loading in the Colorado River and its tributaries.

The fast-tracking was requested by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper back in June. In a June 5 letter to President Barack Obama, Hickenlooper touted a far-reaching water agreement as “removing” West Slope opposition to the Moffat project, and urged the Corps to release a final Environmental Impact Statement by the end of 2012, followed by a formal decision in early 2013. Continue reading

Denver Water diversion plans up for comment again

Denver Water plans to increase transmountain diversions through the Moffat collection system will be up for comment at a pair of upcoming meetings.

Moffat project would increase diversions from West Slope by about 18,000 acre feet per year; Denver Water developing comprehensive mitigation plan

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Front Range and high country residents will get another chance to comment on Denver Water’s plans to increase transmountain diversions at a pair of upcoming meetings hosted by members of the Colorado Wildlife Commission.

With its proposed Moffat Collection system firming project, Denver Water would meet future water needs by developing 18,000 acre-feet per year of new, annual firm yield water that would be delivered from West Slope headwaters stream to its Front Range delivery system. The plan includes raising Gross Reservoir in Boulder County to store an additional 72,000 acre-feet of water diverted from the Fraser and Williams Fork river systems. The proposed project would increase Gross Reservoir from its current storage capacity of 41,811 acre-feet to approximately 114,000 acre-feet. Continue reading

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