Deal will add to water supply but inundate 10% state park…by Bruce Finley, The Denver Post
Federal water engineers on Thursday launched the long-planned and controversial Chatfield Reservoir water supply project, closing a deal with Colorado sponsors.
Audubon Society opponents filed a lawsuit…
If you’ve been following the Army Corp of Engineers’ proposal to heighten the dam at Chatfield, and you missed this article in the Denver and the West section, first page, I hate to break the news to you, but the project has been green-lighted, according to the Denver Post on Friday, October 10th.
The Chatfield Reservoir was initially constructed in 1975 for flood control. Supporters of this project claim that the Denver area will require additional water reserves in order to deal with an estimated population of 8.6 – 10.3 million residents by 2050. By reallocating these waters for residential, industrial and agricultural uses and increasing the holding capacity of the Reservoir, Denver water engineers hope to avoid having to siphon water from the Western Slope.
Conservation groups have fought long and hard to halt this project, citing the impending loss of bird, wildlife and recreational habitat due to the 12-foot projected rise in water level, and the eventual lack of snow melt to fill the larger reservoir. The Audubon Society of Greater Denver filed suit last week in U.S. District Court, arguing that federal authorities dismissed better alternatives without appropriate due diligence, and cited the Clean Water Act, which allows only the least-damaging alternative solution.