The approval allows Aurora and Colorado Springs, operating together as Homestake Partners, to drill 10 bore samples up to 150 feet deep and for crews on the ground to collect geophysical data.
The U.S. Forest Service received more than 500 comments, mainly in opposition, to a proposal by the cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs to drill bore holes to determine the feasibility of a second reservoir in the Homestake Creek drainage.
The utilities, working together as Homestake Partners, are looking at building the reservoir in the Homestake Creek valley, south of Minturn, in an area that probably contains fens, which could hinder the project.
The two cities are seeking a permit to drill 13 test bores to study geological conditions below four alternative dam alignments on lower Homestake Creek in Eagle County.
Expanding a reservoir, or trying to build one in an area with wetlands, both offer challenges.
The roundtable’s projects are a part of the Colorado Water Plan, which is to be presented to the governor in December.