Sue Anschutz-Rodgers, the owner of Crystal River Ranch above Carbondale, has told the state she is making progress toward building two 55-foot-tall dams that would form two 500-acre-foot reservoirs on land she owns in the Four Mile Creek basin and along Dry Park Road.
The reason for the discrepancy is dry soils, which soak up spring snowmelt before it gets to streams.
In the past, if the hydropower plant was not operating, the water right tied to it is not being put to beneficial use and cannot be used.
The violation occurred when the mining company moved a tributary of the Crystal River to make room for a new road.
According to a real-time text poll, 57% of the workshop participants said the demand-management feasibility investigation was moving too slowly.
The spot, just upstream of the small boat ramp on Willits Lane near the FedEx outlet, has long presented a tricky obstacle to boaters, especially at low water.
The bill has garnered the support of the Glenwood Springs-based Colorado River Water Conservation District, which helped shape the revamped 2020 bill with its input.
Because of ongoing cleanup and water-quality monitoring as a result of the spill, the temporary road and creek diversion will be in place longer than intended — until at least the fall of 2022, according to a report from the company.
Late summer, flows in the 15-mile reach are often lower than what is recommended by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for healthy fish habitat mainly because of two large upstream irrigation diversions: DeBeque Canyon’s Grand Valley Project, known as the Roller Dam, and Palisade’s Grand Valley Irrigation Canal.
Others agreed about the need to increase the River District’s revenue but expressed doubt a tax measure could pass in western Colorado’s more conservative counties, such as Mesa, Montrose and Delta, especially in a presidential election year with high turnout.