Windy Gap Firming and the Moffat Collection System Project: What are the potential long-term environmental effects?

A picture named grandlake

From The Denver Post (Bruce Finley):

“I know (Front Range residents) want to take showers, but we have to co-exist. They can’t destroy the beauty here — which is probably part of why they came to Colorado in the first place,” said Pat Raney, 66, one of a dozen or so volunteers who test water quality. Lying on her belly on the deck of a rocking pontoon boat on the lake, Raney lowered a disc used to measure underwater visibility: “7 feet 4 inches,” she reported to fellow volunteers. “Color is brown.” That’s less one third of the 30-feet visibility documented in 1941 before diversions here began…

While Grand Lake residents opposed to diversions tested water last week, Northern Colorado water district officials (who conduct their own water-clarity tests) were leading two busloads of Front Range residents on a moving seminar aimed at highlighting the need for new water.

Front Range water authorities contend that rearranging nature’s plumbing is not the only factor making Grand Lake water murkier. Residential and commercial development around Grand Lake may lead to septic system, lawn fertilizer and other contamination of water, Denver Water project manager Travis Bray said. The Front Range authorities now are trying to sweeten their proposals. They’re offering to improve the town of Fraser’s water-treatment plant — easing stress on that river. A cleaner Fraser flow into the Colorado would mean “no net change in the nutrient levels” in Grand Lake, Northern project manager Jeff Drager said. Northern would team with Denver Water to improve the facility, he said. “We’re talking maybe $4 million.”

The water providers also have offered to manage river flows in a way that ensures additional water to sustain fish.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here.

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