Crystal River: Diligence case for reservoir at Placita now has six objectors

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From AspenJournalism.org (Brent Gardner-Smith):

The two water districts [Colorado River District and the West Divide Water Conservancy District] are asking a judge to grant a conditional water right to dam the Crystal River at Placita, an old town site along Highway 133 just below McClure Pass. The dam would create a 4,000 acre-foot reservoir and allow for the installation of a hydropower plant fueled by 150 cubic-feet-per-second of flowing water.

Pitkin County, the Crystal River Caucus, the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association, American Rivers and Trout Unlimited are all opposing the districts’ efforts.

Also in opposition is Paul Durrett of Glenwood Springs, who goes by his middle name of Gregory. He served on the board of the West Divide Water Conservancy District for 16 years, starting in the 1970s. “The Placita Power Plant and Placita Reservoir fills no need in the Crystal River drainage by any credible water user,” Durrett told the court in a hand-written legal filing. “This application is a ploy to retain some interest in the Crystal River and continue the falsehood that the taxpayers in the Crystal and Roaring Fork River drainages have anything to gain from the continued taxation by the WDWCD.”

The conditional water rights tied to the West Divide Project date back to 1958.

More Crystal River watershed coverage here and here.

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