Letter: Windy Gap project needs a “full watershed accounting” | SkyHiNews.com

Letter: Windy Gap project needs a “full watershed accounting”

The Upper Colorado River Watershed Group (UCRWG) and Save the Colorado (STC) review of the Windy Gap Connectivity Project is founded on the recognition of the importance of the need to fix problems related to the Colorado River dam below Granby. We share this commitment to fixing a flawed dam with project proponents, including Trout Unlimited.

We do believe conditions have changed dramatically since the connectivity design was finalized 10 years ago.

These changed conditions include the current historic drought, recognized as the worst in 1,200 years, and the fact Denver is now able to divert the last of their Fraser River water rights after the recent permitting of the expansion of Gross Reservoir.

It is also past time to do a full water accounting in our watershed (the source of the Colorado River). After this accounting, we can determine if there is enough water to utilize the existing Windy Gap reservoir, fill the new connectivity channel and pump Fraser River water up to Lake Granby.

If this accounting shows there is not sufficient remaining water for the proposed plan, then the option of removing the dam and creating a small “forebay” to allow for pumping should be considered. This option would return the river to close to its original condition.

Over $27 million will be spent on this project. UCRWG and STC are simply saying, let us spend this money in a fashion which best serves a critically endangered watershed.

– Andy Miller President, UCRWG


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