Board seeks enlargement of Wolford

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The Board of Directors of the Colorado River Water Conservation District has agreed to pursue a second enlargement to Wolford Mountain Reservoir. The board's proposal calls for raising the height of the dam's spillway up to an additional 6 feet to increase the reservoir's storage capacity by 9,775 acre-feet.

The board directed Colorado River District staff to proceed with further feasibility studies of raising the spillway, as well as to file for a water right for the increased storage volume.

"The drought year of 2002 reminded us again of our need for additional water storage," said Kathy Hall, Mesa County representative to the Colorado River District Board. "Expanding existing reservoirs is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of increasing our storage capacity."

Wolford Mountain Reservoir can store 66,000 acre-feet of water. Sixty percent of the reservoir's capacity is allocated to Western Slope water uses, and the remaining 40 percent benefits Denver Water.

The reservoir was constructed to meet current and future demands for water on the Western Slope, to provide water for the recovery of four endangered fish species on the Colorado River, to mitigate the effects of transmountain diversions at the headwaters of the Colorado River and to be a source of "substitution water" for Denver Water.

Wolford Mountain Reservoir is located in Grand County, about four miles north of Kremmling. The reservoir was completed in 1992 in a joint venture between Front Range water providers and the Colorado River Water Conservation District.

The Colorado River Water Conservation District was chartered by the Colorado General Assembly in 1937 for the conservation, use, protection and development of the water resources of the Colorado River Basin. The district includes, Routt, Moffat, Grand, Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Mesa, Gunnison, Ouray, Delta and portions of Montrose, Saguache and Hinsdale counties.

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