Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-04-2009   #21
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
I skimmed through the draft EIS. This seems to be a sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Seems like the proposal calls for drawing more water out of the Fraser and Williams Fork and routing it through moffat to SBC and into an enlarged gross reservoir. The alternative seems to be taking the extra water from the blue river and delivering it through roberts to through bailey. Seems like the colorado river basin will see diminished flows regardless of whether the gross enlargement goes through.

Individuals can submit comments on the draft EIS through january 2010. While I understand the value of USB to the V+ community, this is a very small user group not likely to be valued by the decision makers. Paddler opposition should focus on bigger picture issues.

I did a bit of research last night and came across some numbers that might be used to oppose the project. Average denver water customer usage is around 160-170 gallons per person per day. Denver water has around 1.3 million customers. Sante Fe has apparently been in a significant water shortage for years and has reduced per capita usage from 168 gpd down to 101 gpd over the course of a decade or so. If Denver water were able to see those kind of conservation successes, by my numbers you could reduce demand by 90,000 acre feet annually. The Gross project numbers state 16,000 acre ft from conservation, and 18,000 acre ft from gross will meet the anticipated 34,000 acre ft projected increase in demand. Sante Fe has already demonstrated conservation success, that if replicated could reduce demand by 3 times the projected demand increase from Denver water.

As in the case in many situations it is far cheaper to use conservation to get a gallon of water than it is to build new supply for a gallon of water. I think that this proposal should be open to a fair challenge on how how aggressive the conservation should be. Perhaps the boating community could rally some opposition around the lower cost conservation option and have some numbers to back it up.

I still think a mississippi pipeline to the front range, desalination plants in cali, and free flowing rivers throughout the entire western united states would be better, but there is a slim chance of that every happening.

deepsouthpaddler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009   #22
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 90
Cutch, thanks for the heads up on the Keystone Meeting. I will make sure to get the word out to all the raft company/kayak crew from WP/Granby area. I know a few company owners are already getting into the mix over that way. I will try and make the meeting.

farmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009   #23
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 393
DSP also makes really good points. The loss of RIMBY is really why I care about this (I'm a selfish bastard...) but in the grand scheme of things we should be against this because it is unnecessarily stealing water from the West Slope (i.e. Gore/Barrel/Shoshone/Westy/thirsty west slopers) to support something that is entirely unsustainable.
doublet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009   #24
tj@cu's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
I think the better argument to address this is from the western slope point of view and how it would negatively affect business in the area (because everything is about money). I will try and read through the EIS after finals and write them a letter. I think I am with tyson on this one also, that for me the main reason for being against the project is USB, maybe it all just flushes at 1500?
tj@cu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009   #25
Tabernash, Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 21
Yo Cutch I,ve been called worse but growing up next to the Fraser for my entire idiotic life sure has me a bit steamed over what is happening...It is sad to drive the pipeline and see our high mountain creeks with but a trickle coming out of them... Then to go to the city and to see conservation isn't happening with grassy medians, sidewalks,streets watered etc..etc... and seriously Cutch quiz a few folks who aren't rats whether kayaking or fishing and see how many are aware.....idiots......Ha!!!!!!

On a more subtle note Fuck you Denver Waterboard
teleski1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2009   #26
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
I don't think the economics of the west slope / fraser valley is a strong argument. What is the economic impact of taking more water out of an already reduced flow watershed? Whatever that impact may be, its going to be far smaller than the economic benefit to denver that the extra water would supposedly support.

To me it is a strong argument to point out that they will spend a bunch of money to make the dam higher when it would be much cheaper to conserve.

One other thing is that and environmental impact statement is supposed to identify impacts of a proposal, and if it is approved, there are usually mitigations to impacts. There are usually secondary impacts, and the final record of decision will attempt to address the impacts and impose mitigations to minimize the impacts.

A potential impact might be flooding of excellent whitewater. A possible mitigation might be managing reservoir levels to keep the rapid exposed if at all possible when flows are in the range when boaters paddle USB. The EIS says that the res level will be lowest in april before the runoff, and highest sometime in june or july. There is a document in the EIS that notes the overall percentage increase in flows though USB, but this is annual water movement, and no note is made for instantaneous cfs flows. One question would be, how in detail would reservoir levels and diversion flows change under the new proposal.

I'm going to write a letter in opposition of the proposal, and asking for mitigations of the lost whitewater opportunities if the proposal goes forward.

In general I just wanted to point out that simply wishing RIMBY wouldn't be flooded in of itself is not an argument that the folks running the EIS are likely to do anything about. Opposition usually takes the form of 1) bitching and moaning, or 2) concise issues that raise valid points in the realm of decision making. If you write letters or go to the meeting, do your best to keep your opposition away from the bitching and moaning type. Bitching won't get you anywhere in the EIS process, and no one really cares to hear anyone bitch. Technically all comments submitted in the NEPA process must be addressed in the final record of decsion. Bitching comments are simply blown off as not valid. Valid concerns and issues will likely either 1) kill a project or 2) result in mitigation measures.

Examples of bitching and moaning comments... "fuck denver water, this sucks"

Example of valid concerns... The proposed action will flood 1/3 to 1/2 a mile of one of the front ranges premier whitewater runs and will have a damaging negative effect on local recreation. In addition the project will spend money to create extra supply, but conservation would be much cheaper. If the project does go forward, mitigation to ensure that minimum impact to recreational opportunities on south boulder creek above gross reservoir should be incorporated in the record of decision.

The project also claims that one of the justifications is to help reduce the vulernability of denver waters supply. A large percentage of denver water is delivered though the south platte system, and the concern is that catastrophic events on the south platte system could leave denver without water. In reality, the extra 18,000 acre ft in gross would be a drop in the bucket compared to denver waters total needs, and a small increase in gross would not significantly change the reliance on the south delivery system.

In summary, its OK for your reasons of opposition to be a loss of whitewater. If you really want the best shot at fighting this, you should include stronger arguments that are bigger in scope.
deepsouthpaddler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2009   #27
phlogistonrich's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 17
I attended the 12/3 public hearing on the Moffat Tunnel project:
· What does a 72,000 acre-foot expansion mean to the paddling community?
o For the expert paddler:
o The increased footprint of the res would mean that (at least) the last .4 miles of the Upper South Boulder Creek run (the final rapid section, named “RIMBY”) would be, as the Denver Water folks put it, “inundated.” A nice way of saying “destroyed by flooding.”
o Furthermore, even slightly raised water levels above RIMBY could result in the disappearance of eddies that paddlers count on for scouting, setting up lines, etc
o Consequently, the flatwater paddle-out across the Gross inlet would be extended—kind of a pain in the ass for already tired (possibly freaked out) kayakers
o The change in flows/levels could effectively shorten the USB season
o All told, the proposed changes would affect the region’s premier expert run
o (I learned most of this from Kyle McCutchen)

o For the intermediate paddler:
o To keep the res full, lots more water will be diverted from the Fraser (Colorado) drainage, through the tunnel, and down USB
o This means that the peak (1000+ cfs) will be longer and go later into boating season
o Based on projections, the run-up and drop-off from peak flows could be extended, but it’s hard to say (couldn’t get a very good answer from Denver Water) —could effectively lengthen the Alto Alto season, which would actually be good for the intermediate paddler
o Bad for the immediate paddler: The Fraser Canyon, which as it stands hardly has runnable flows, would hardly ever run if more water gets diverted through Moffat
o Again bad for the intermediate paddler: Based on some graphs I saw, the Moffat project could result in reduced fall Blue releases from Green Mountain Res. Wouldn’t mean that the run would be lost, but could mean that peak flows would be lower and that the lower Blue season could be shorter
o (I learned most of this from graphs, the EIS, and dialogue with the Denver Water folks)

· I got up and spoke my piece, voicing opposition to the increase in the dam size, increased dam flows, etc

· I would strongly encourage people interested in this issue to make their opinions known
· The fourth hearing that was supposed to be at Keystone was cancelled due to inclement weather. It will be resheduled for January of 2010
· For more info on the next meeting, and the propsal in general, see

Finally, yes, I agree with both Frank and Dave. Ya gotta pick your battles, and this one might be the least of proposed evils. However, additional diversion would really dick over those who live on the west side of the Moffat tunnel. Ultimately, as long as people keep moving here and the Front Rangers continue to lust after non-indigenous green grassy yards, the water demand will go up and up.
phlogistonrich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2009   #28
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 103
An alternative to raising the dam and diverting more water:

85% of water in CO goes to agriculture. (The vast majority of that goes to grow hay and alfalfa for cows.) So, based on that fact, there are alternatives (that nobody here talks about).

1. Front Rangers could pay to line all the ditches (and other measures) to conserve ag water and then use the "saved" water. 20% water conservation on the ag side doubles the water available for the urban front range.

2. Front Rangers can just flat out buy water from farmers.

I know this doesn't address the here and now of Gross Reservoir, but when you get push-back from folks saying that we absolutely have to divert more water from the western slope, you have a reply.
alanbol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2009   #29
nathanfey's Avatar
, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 80
Hey Kyle and all,
Tonights meeting in Keystone has been cancelled due to weather. The Army Corps will reschedule for January. FYI.

Originally Posted by Cutch View Post
It's very easy to ignore 6 of us in a room of 50-60.

I will be at the next meeting to voice my concerns. I will do what I can to stop this project. I won't sit and watch our best double black drown and simply accept that we will get more powder on the greens and will be able to ride the same. This is bullshit. I will at least fight for what I can.

December 8th — Keystone Conference Center, Keystone (10633 Tennis Club Road, Keystone)
nathanfey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2011   #30
golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 13
I have just gotten off of a 4-day Desolation Canyon trip, and at 35,000 cfs, the rapids were amazing. But what was a million times more amazing were the riparian ecosystems up and down the river. SO FULL OF LIFE! Dams kills lizards and lots of other important things. They are all bad... This Gross Rez issue is heating up again as the last round of permits are under review. If anyone wants to discuss or be on the citizen action list, drop me a line.

BackyardAgrarian is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
opinions about the Gross Resevoir expansion project wade@watershed Whitewater Kayaking 16 10-21-2008 11:23 AM
Gross enlargement -- potential reservoir expansion to drown part of USB ACC Whitewater Kayaking 10 09-03-2008 04:43 AM
Reclamation Increases Flows from Green Mountain Reservoir Bureau of Reclamation Buzz Announcements 0 06-19-2007 11:29 AM
SBC - Below Gross IkayakNboard Whitewater Kayaking 2 05-18-2006 12:18 PM
Glade Reservoir MPEARSON Whitewater Kayaking 1 02-23-2006 09:38 PM

» Classified Ads
Wavesport Fuse 56...

posted by SummitSurfer

Wavesport Fuse 56 "Medium" barely used in great condition. ...

Jackson Karma (Medium)

posted by Paddling Life

Brand Spankin' New 2016 Jackson Karma Creek kayak!

Jackson Karma Traverse 9...

posted by Rendezvous River Sports


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:05 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.