From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):
One of the most popular sayings surrounding the upcoming state water plan has been “one size does not fit all.”
Pueblo Water is taking that to heart in its own planning for the future of Clear Creek Reservoir, located in northern Chaffee County.
“Clear Creek is an important part of our future,” said Alan Ward, water resources manager for Pueblo Water. “We’re looking to see if there’s a sweet spot so we can look at enlargement that is most costeffective.”
The Pueblo Board of Water Works Tuesday approved a $97,600 contract with GEI Consultants to look at various sizes for enlargement of the reservoir.
The reservoir now holds 11,500 acre-feet (3.7 billion gallons). GEI did a study in 2001 on what it would cost to enlarge the reservoir to 30,000 acre-feet.
But those numbers are out of date by now, and there may be some intermediate sizes that are less costly and more practical.
The biggest factor is land acquisition. U.S. Forest Service and some private land lies behind the reservoir and would be inundated as reservoir levels rise. If the storage were increased to less than 30,000 acrefeet, not as much land would be needed, Ward explained.
While the dam is not unsafe, Pueblo Water is studying seepage issues and the effectiveness of corrective measures that have been performed. The risk assessment by Black & Veatch will be complete in October.
The study also will look at improving the outlet works in order to maintain large releases when necessary.
Pueblo Water purchased Clear Creek Reservoir and Ewing Ditch from the Otero Canal Co. in 1954, and uses it to store primarily transmountain water by exchange. There is an in-basin water storage right that occasionally comes into priority during wet conditions, such as this spring.