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Old 02-04-2005   #1
Join Date: Mar 2004
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A possible(?) new dam near Gunnison?

In a nutshell, the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District is exploring the idea of a 300-foot-high dam just south of Gunnison. If it goes through, the reservoir would be 3/4 the size of Blue Mesa. Any idea what this could do to the Gunnison Whitewater Park? Check out for the full story. I'm sure the Gunnison Country Times has a similar story on its front page.

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Old 02-04-2005   #2
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Looks like they're talking about the rez being 3/4 the size of Taylor Park, not Blue Mesa- somewhat of a relief. But they're still talking about pumping water uphill (similar to ALP), which means the Cost / Benefit will likely be negative. Most dam projects integrate a hydro-power component to generate revenues, plus they factor in recreation, water costs, etc. - then they can decide if the project is net-positive or not.

This project sounds like it would take decades to research, permit, fund and implement. From a boater's perspective, I don't necessarily like dams and whatever they take from the Gunnison below Almont in springtime doesn't go through all the runs below. However, they're not talking about flooding a runnable canyon (that I know of) and there's something satisfying about denying water to the Bellagio's fountains.

I know it's more complicated than that, of course- water conservation issues such as slaking the thirst of the Front Strange are going to get to be a hotter and hotter topic in the years to come. No reason to start choosing sides just yet, but I imagine we'll all keep an eye on this one.....

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Old 02-04-2005   #3
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Sorry about the mistake there. Taylor Reservoir is considerably smaller than the Blue Mesa. This correction definately needs to be noted.
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Old 02-05-2005   #4
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Talk about a great way to make Gunny even colder, double the lake effect!
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