From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
The dam elevation must be lowered by 5 feet this year, under an order from State Engineer Dick Wolfe. There have been long-standing concerns about the dam, located about 30 miles west of Trinidad…
Trinidad already has spent $847,000 to design and build a new concrete outlet works and drain, but engineers estimate another $1.8 million is needed to reinforce the dam and rebuild the spillway. The reservoir must be emptied slowly to avoid triggering a historical slide area along Colorado 12 if the reservoir is emptied too quickly. Still, there’s little comfort for Trinidad, since further restrictions may be needed. “One reason we want to get this done this fall is that the elevation could be lowered even more,” [Utility Superintendent James Fernandez] said. “We’ve got to get this done or we’re out of business. We have a small back-up supply, but are seriously threatened.”
More Arkansas River basin coverage here.