Colorado Water Conservation Board places a call on Eagle River water |

Colorado Water Conservation Board places a call on Eagle River water

EAGLE – The Colorado Water Conservation Board placed a call on Eagle River water this week, mostly to ensure there is enough water for fish to swim in.The call essentially tells water users with junior water rights to the board to stop diverting water from the river. The move to restrict diversions from the river was considered somewhat rare.”Most years it doesn’t happen,” said Dave Merritt, chief engineer with the Colorado River Water Conservation District. “In spite of what seemed like a good year, it has been dry.”Any call most likely would come this time of year, Merritt said, when it is typically dry but the minimum flow in the river still needs to be relatively high.For example the minimum flow between Homestake Creek outside of Red Cliff and Cross Creek, near Minturn, is 25 cubic feet per second from May 1 to Sept. 30, he said. On Oct. 1, the minimum flow falls to 11 cubic feet per second.The Conservation Board’s water right dates to the late 1970s, giving it senior water rights to many in the Eagle River basin who secured their rights later.Junior rights holders typically have plans to get water elsewhere when a call is placed on the river.Vail Resorts, the Conservation District, Eagle River Water & Sanitation and the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority are partners in a small reservoir near the old Climax Mine. When a call is placed on water they divert from the river, they draw from the Eagle Park Reservoir instead.

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