River District voices objection to Green Mountain changes | SummitDaily.com

River District voices objection to Green Mountain changes

Peter Roessmann, education specialist, Colorado River Water Conservation District

The Colorado River Water Conservation District vehemently objects to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s intention to reduce the amount of Western Slope water available in Green Mountain Reservoir by 20,000 acre-feet.

The Bureau of Reclamation informed the River District that the threat of substantial earth movement in existing slides areas adjacent to Green Mountain Reservoir will effectively reduce the current yield of the reservoir by a minimum of 20,000 acre-feet of water. The Bureau of Reclamation constructed Green Mountain Reservoir as mitigation for the Colorado-Big Thompson Project’s transmountain diversions to compensate to the Western Slope for the loss of headwaters resources. At this time, Reclamation has expressed its intention to allocate this entire loss of yield out of the Historic Users Pool, which is a critical source of water for the Western Slope of Colorado. The Bureau proposes the Eastern Slope’s 52,000 acre-foot pool in Green Mountain, which is used to protect transmountain diversions, will go unscathed and not suffer the same consequences as the Western Slope’s pool in Green Mountain Reservoir.

The River District sees this as an inequitable and unconscionable allocation of the consequences of a slide threat. The River District will aggressively advocate that the Western Slope not suffer any economic damage or hardship.

The Bureau of Reclamation is obligated to provide 100,000 acre-feet of compensatory water to the Western Slope in order to continue to divert the headwaters of the Colorado River out of the basin.

We will hold Reclamation bound to their duty to fulfill this obligation.

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