- ItemOpen AccessDrought management in northeastern Colorado(Colorado State University. Libraries, 1989) Zimbelman, Darell D., author; U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisherThe Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (the District) has established a set of policies and procedures and constructed a water storage and distribution system that allows for the effective and efficient transfer of water, on an annual rental basis or on a permanent basis, to meet changing demands or climatological conditions, including drought. In fact, the District was created and the Project designed during and following the drought of the 1930's. The District operates and maintains the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, which captures runoff from the head waters of the Colorado River on the West Slope of the Rocky Mountains. The stored water is then transferred to storage reservoirs on the East Slope of the mountains, for subsequent delivery to District allottees. The District delivers an annual average of 240,000 acre-feet to supplement the runoff of six East Slope drainages, namely the Cache la Poudre River, the Big Thompson River, the Little Thompson River, and St. Vrain River, Left Hand Creek, and Boulder Creek. The amount of water delivered by the District is directly related to the anticipated runoff from the East Slope drainages, and in most years can offset the impact of below normal runoff. Approximately 30 percent of the deliveries are for municipal and industrial uses, with the remainder being for agricultural uses. The District's policies and procedures allow water to be transferred from one allottee to another on an annual rental basis, without regard to type of use or location, simply by filling out a post card type form and mailing it to the District offices. This is a powerful management system which allows water transfers to be made on an annual basis to the individual or entity with the "greatest" demand. Water can also be transferred permanently. While administratively a permanent transfer is a bit more lengthy, it allows water to be transferred to meet the overall changing demands of the area, namely from agriculture to municipal use. These transfers can occur without being encumbered by the very lengthy, and on occasion costly, process placed on other water supplies by the Colorado water rights system. The Colorado water rights system is a judicial process in which a transfer in water right must be submitted to the water court along with necessary legal and engineering reports which demonstrates that senior water rights holders will not be adversely impacted by the transfer. Since this process is open to legal objection, it can, if the transfer is protested, result in a substantial delay in time and a significant commitment of funds to complete the transfer. Ultimately it may result in less water being transferred than was desired.
- ItemOpen AccessManaging Utah's water through interbasin transfer(Colorado State University. Libraries, 1989) Dimick, Franklin E., author; U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisherIn order to utilize and manage the portion of Colorado River Water allotted to the State of Utah to the fullest extent, a significant problem has to be overcome. Approximately 80% of the population of Utah lives along the Wasatch Front between Ogden and Provo in the Bonneville Basin. The area in the eastern part of the state that is in the Colorado River Drainage Basin is very sparsely populated and has relatively little irrigable land. This means that in order to maximize the use of this water, it must be transferred between basins. The Bureau of Reclamation planned, designed and is constructing the Central Utah Project to achieve this interbasin transfer. The purpose of this project is to divert water from streams that are tributary to the Colorado River and transport it to the Bonneville Basin where the major population centers and the prime irrigab1e lands are located. The major features of the Project used for the interbasin transfer are the Strawberry Aqueduct, three storage reservoirs (one with a capacity of over one million acre-feet), and seven diversions structures of various capacities. Additional storage reservoirs have also been built downstream of the aqueduct to capture and store excess runoff to minimize the impacts created by diverting the water. Proper operation and management of this system will result in the interbasin transfer of 142,500 acre-feet of water annually, in addition to the 56,700 acre-feet diverted for the Strawberry Project, thus utilizing a portion of Utah's Colorado River water.
- ItemOpen AccessEconomic and environmental impacts of a large scale water transfer in the Colorado River Basin(Colorado State University. Libraries, 1989) Oamek, George, author; Johnson, Stanley R., author; U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisherThe direct economic, and offsite environmental impacts of a 400,000 acre foot water transfer between irrigators in the Upper Basin of the Colorado River and urban users in the Lower Basin was examined. Results indicated that the transfer would result in considerable offsite benefits, with minimal disruption to local agriculture.