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Hello all,

There seems to be a renewed push to expand Gross Mountain Reservoir. I am not very familiar with all of the issues at stake, but it seems to me this is flying under the radar which is never a good thing. I thought I would start the topic so there can be a better understanding of the issue and consequences. There is a public hearing this evening in Boulder. Here is a link to The Daily Camera Article from yesterday:

Public input sought on Gross Reservoir expansion - Boulder Daily Camera

I am interested to hear what people think about this.
 

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What's the effect of 125' of loss on USBC?

Anyone have access to a Topo map and can tell what the end effect of this is? My mindset at this point is that this is a muchbetter option than de-watering something else. (Like the super pipe from the green).
 

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Here is the draft EIS: https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/html/od-tl/eis/moffat-deis-docs.html

There is a ton of info there but if you look under the executive summary it gives all of the options with a few maps showing the expansion, the all are around 100 feet of elevation added to the dam. This really sucks because that is going to get mighty close to the best rapid on the front range.
We have until January to give input into this, hopefully we can stop it but it looks like it is going to happen.
-Tom
 

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Also looks like the best cliff jumping spot on the front range will disappear.
 

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I can't see how expanding the resevoir would make a dam bit of difference. The foot print is small. Isn't the Frazier River basically dewatered already?
 

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I can't see how expanding the resevoir would make a dam bit of difference. The foot print is small. Isn't the Frazier River basically dewatered already?
This is the kind of thinking from which we need to evolve. Each new water theft is always justified partially by the idea that "it's just a small percentage". Currently, over 60% of the Fraser River's water is being taken out. This already sucks. The new water firming projects want to raise that amount to 72%. To the idea of a dewatered Fraser River, I say Fuck You. And give the water back!
 

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Ya gotta pick and choose your battles. This one probably isn't worth it. Not all dams and diversions are bad in my opinion. Look at how the Blue Mtn Resevoir keeps the Blue and Colorado Rivers running all summer. Also, the supplemental water from the Twin Lakes/Roaring fork diversion keep the Ark running until Mid August. All this would be kaput by July if it wasn't for the dams.



This is the kind of thinking from which we need to evolve. Each new water theft is always justified partially by the idea that "it's just a small percentage". Currently, over 60% of the Fraser River's water is being taken out. This already sucks. The new water firming projects want to raise that amount to 72%. To the idea of a dewatered Fraser River, I say Fuck You. And give the water back!
 

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There is a hearing tonight in Granby and Thurday night in Boulder: American Whitewater - Public Hearing added for Denver Water's Moffat Collection Project

I think the issue is not so much raiding Gross, as it is the stolen westslope water from the CO and Frasier Rivers.

I thought this was pretty much a given, as it was part of an old agreement to not build 2 forks Dam on the South Platte.

I'm not sure, but I think it only adds about a third of a mile of flat water to USB and would not flood the last big rapids.

For Tom and Christian, it should add a significant high water season to USB as well as extend the season in the lower canyon.
 

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Meeting in Denver tonight, 12/3 Thursday

There is a meeting at the Stapleton Doubletree Hotel TONIGHT. I will be attending and hope to see many others that can make it. My points will be that the Fraser River is already horribly dewatered, and that the expansion must not destroy anymore of the Upper South Boulder Canyon, which includes the some of the greatest whitewater on the front range, namely RIMBY. I hope to see others there.
 

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Unfortunately I can't make this tonight, but I wonder if someone could post the significant arguments on each side from these meetings? I'd like to at least send some intelligent written comments.

I'm still unclear whether or not the added capacity would impact rapids on USB. Does anyone have a definitive answer? That certainly seems important from the whitewater community's standpoint of recreational impact.

Personally I tend to be against most of these types of water projects at this point. We don't really solve any problems with this type of project. The Front Range is desirable place to live with a large number of employment opportunities. Because of that people will keep coming here. All that a water project like this does is allow more development until we once again have the same shortage of water as before (if not worse since people seem to always overestimate the benefits of these projects and developers always adopt these best case estimates). I think people supporting these either do not have any long term vision for the community and are merely looking out for their own benefits, or they see them as stop-gap measures with the hope that some technology revelation will lead us out of the mess. Unfortunately history has generally frowned up populations overextending their resources.
 

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Dave,

You may know better than I but to me it looks on the map like it would flood at the very least the entire run-out to RIMBY if not the whole rapid when it would be full to capacity.
 

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Based on that map, and other topo maps RIMBY will likely be gone. RIMBY is located on the end of the straightaway in which the new reservoir capacity would fill up to. The run out will definitely be gone, the boof will likely be under water, and the entrance to the RIMBY may be above still. Regardless, the entire rapid should still be exposed during early season when the reservoir's level is low. The flooding of the rapid could cause other issues though.

In my opinion, USB doesn't need much more water during peak runoff although it may help extend the season. USB at 1500cfs? I'm not so sure about that idea. haha
 

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Ignorance!!Kill a river ========kill a valley not only the Fraser is affected here......fuck you Denver fuck you Denver Waterboard. Water some more sidewalks........
 

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To telltwurp and telliski, you are both idiots. This issue is much larger than some east vs west pissing match. This is not some gain to the front range or Denver kayaking community. This is the death and alteration of the Fraser River (which is already pretty dead), the Blue River, and the loss of flows to the entire Colorado basin. It is high water Gore and Barrel Springs. It is the destruction of the bottom .4 miles of the Upper South Boulder run, and the destruction of the most scenic parts of the run, the parts of the run that are furthest removed from the railroad. It is the addition of 3/4 miles of flatwater to the lake paddle out. It is the alteration of flows to South Boulder Creek which are already horribly unnatural, and often run to high during the season, because they add as much water as they are allowed, based on a percentage of the natural flow. It makes high water higher, and the shoulder seasons drop off more quickly so that are runnable window is shortened... if the place would even still be worth running. It is the destruction of RIMBY, one of the only wilderness waterfalls in the Denver/Boulder area, and the affection of it being Right In My Back Yard should be noted that this is Denver's backyard. It's boulder's back yard. It's Wigston's backyard. It is the further alteration of flows in the Lower South Boulder Canyon. They will justify the other destruction by increased flows on USB, which does little good since most of that water will be pumped into the newly proposed Leyden Gulch Reservoir, and that water will never make it to our legal access point in Eldo Canyon.

This proposal will negatively affect every kayaker in Colorado. This is not some east vs west, summit vs front range, native vs non-native issue. This is an issue that every kayaker that wants to continue kayaking needs to deal with now. I was in a room last night of roughly 50 people. Three kayakers showed up. Myself, CWWA access director, and a paddler that works for Denver Water. Out of the six people that spoke last night, every single person was opposed to the project. Everyone was either a politician or worked for Denver Water. Hopefully someone will show up the meeting in the mountains, since bitching about it here is doing little.
 

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My impression of this project was it is going to happen one way or another. Being at the meeting did it seem like they were taking comments to make the best decisions or just taking them because they are obligated to? The unfortunate part of this is they will go where the money is even if it is destructive and unethical.
 

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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)
 

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Cutch - Thanks for being on this and sorry I was unable to make last nights meeting (and will likely be unable to make the Keystone meeting.)

Is there someone we can address public comments to? A targeted e-mail/letter writing campaign could possibly be quite effective.

KSC makes good points above that I would like to include in some written comments somewhere.

RIMBY is in my top 5 fav rapids on the Front Range and it would really suck for it to sink. Also, for everyone but Christian USB season will be shortened by this. The unnatural USB flows already suck as USB goes from 200 to 1000 in under a week and often drops back to 200 in under a week.
 
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