Transmountain Diversions connect us all — Water Quality and Quantity Blog

Colorado transmountain diversions via the State Engineer's office
Colorado transmountain diversions via the State Engineer’s office

Here’s a report about last week’s Colorado Foundation for Water Education transbasin diversion tour from the Water Quality and Quantity Blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Because QQ works to address environmental (and resulting economic) impacts from transmountain diversions, the best part of the tour for me was gaining a better appreciation for how interconnected the State is through transmountain diversions.

The Arkansas Valley is the recipient of water that is diverted through complex tunnel systems, or simple diversion ditches, from the western side of the Continental Divide to water population centers on the Front Range. The tour focused primarily on the benefits that historic transmountain diversions (TMDs) have provided to the Eastern Slope. Chaffee County Commissioner Dennis Giese even thanked the West Slope for the water that makes their recreation and ranching economies thrive (a touching gesture that does not happen enough in dialogue across the divide).

We saw the first-ever TMD, the Ewing Ditch, and walked along the ¾ mile ditch from the diversion point to the point it crosses the Continental Divide. We saw TMDs of a much larger scale too, watching water blast from the side of a mountain, bringing water from Homestake Reservoir in the Eagle River basin through a 5-mile tunnel to Turquoise Reservoir and the Arkansas River basin.

More Colorado Foundation for Water Education coverage here.

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