Bureau of Reclamation corrects record on Green Mountain Reservoir | SummitDaily.com

Bureau of Reclamation corrects record on Green Mountain Reservoir

Kara Lamb, public information officer, U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, Loveland

This is to correct inaccurate news reports that were published in various Colorado media recently regarding the ancient landslide beneath the village of Heeney, above Green Mountain Reservoir in Summit County. 

Last summer, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation began investigating whether there is any correlation between our operations of Green Mountain and the slide.

Preliminary results from instrumentation have shown the slide, while active, is creeping at a much slower rate than reported in the media: a maximum of 2.5 inches in the past year. 

Reclamation continues to monitor and study the slide. There is no evidence to date that our operations are affecting the slide. 

Media accounts of the manner in which Reclamation and its partners provided Green Mountain water to the Western Slope last summer also are inaccurate. The 10,000 acre-feet from Green Mountain was “stranded” in, not leased or released from, the

Colorado-Big Thompson replacement pool. By stranding it there, water in other pools was freed for release to the Western Slope.

Because drought conditions are not as severe this year, Green Mountain will not be drawn down as low as last year. In this case, the 20,000 acre-feet to remain in the reservoir should not have adverse impacts.

I invite anyone with related concerns or questions please to contact me via phone at (970) 962-4326 or

e-mail atklamb@gp.usbr.gov.

The Bureau of Reclamation continues its dedication to providing water for its Colorado customers on both the Western and Eastern slopes.

Editor’s note: The Bureau mandated last year that 27,000 acre-feet of water had to remain in Green Mountain as a prevention against accelerated landslides. The same rule holds true this year, although a better snowpack should not make that an issue. Last year, because of drought, the 27,000 acre-foot mark was an issue, holding 20,000 acre-feet back that would have gone to water users. The dead pool at Green Mountain is 7,000 acre feet, water that cannot be drawn out. The dead pool was never figured into Green Mountain’s 152,000-acre-foot capacity. How to account for it remains a mathematical issue among water users. Last year, water releases from Ruedi Reservoir helped make up part of the 20,000-acre shortfall at Green Mountain. The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District also pitched in, releasing some water from its 52,000-acre-foot pool at Green Mountain. Green Mountain Reservoir was built as water storage to protect Western Slope interests so Northern Colorado could divert Colorado River headwaters to the upper Front Range.

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