Rio Grande Reservoir: Expansion project final design stage

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Here’s an update on the San Luis Valley Irrigation District’s plans to enlarge Rio Grande Reservoir, from Alex Rice writing for The Mineral County Miner. From the article:

The final design stage is in the fourth of five phases of the project, which would expand the large reservoir approximately 20 miles southwest of Creede by 10,000 acre-feet. The fifth stage would include the expansion of the reservoir, which is near the headwaters of the Rio Grande…

Currently in the third phase, the district is looking at its Reservoir Allocation Enhancement Model, which deals with how to operate the reservoir once the expansion project is completed, specific to the needs of the district and its water users, along with compact and direct flow storage. Smith, also the chairman of the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) and its representative on the Rio Grande Roundtable, said that this third phase will cost $100,000, and is being funded through the CWCB’s water supply reserve account. The district is currently consulting with the Colorado Division of Water Resources, the District 20 Water Commissioners, the Rio Grande Water Users Association, the Nature Conservancy and Trout Unlimited on the expansion project.

“It’s a 100-year-old reservoir, and it needs a fix,” Smith said when asked why the SLVID undertook the project in the spring of 2002. “It has physical repair issues that need to be addressed so you have a reservoir to meet the needs of the next 100 years.”

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