Letter: Float a dry riverbed
Due to climate change and a 20-year drought, the Colorado River system is at its lowest levels. River flow is managed in two sections divided at Lee’s Ferry in Arizona.
The “Upper C” consists of the States of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico, the “Lower C” being Arizona, Nevada, California and also Mexico. Water for the Upper C is held in Lake Powell and Lower C water is held in Lake Mead. Latest figures show that Lake Powell is at 36 percent capacity and Lake Mead is at 39 percent. Lake Mead takes in 9 million acre feet of water from Powell every year and releases 10.2 million acre feet. The loss cannot be sustained. Arizona will be the hardest hit but all states will feel the impacts of impending water use cutbacks.
The Gross Reservoir on the eastern slope of Colorado near Eldorado Springs has approval to add 131 feet to its dam height for additional water storage. The water for Gross reservoir comes from the Frasier River, a tributary to the Colorado, and flows under the Continental Divide through the Moffat Water Tunnel. It is hard to fathom that adding 131 feet to a dam height and an additional 77,000 acre foot capacity would not mean millions more acre feet of water being taken from an already over-appropriated Colorado River.
With all this being common knowledge, the U. S. Forest Service has granted a drilling permit in the Homestake Creek drainage to determine if an area containing a large fenn, an important ecological feature, is a geologically sound place for another reservoir.
An old saying is “never let a camel get his nose under your tent flap” which has now happened. It paves the path for another reservoir holding water to be diverted to Colorado Springs and Aurora, further depleting the Colorado River.
When will the bleeding stop?