Apple Gate

Mountain Home Reservoir, Photo by Richard Stenzel
Mountain Home Reservoir, Photo by Richard Stenzel

2008 Calendar

2008 Applegate CalendarThis calendar is the fourth in a series of historic project calendars that Applegate Group has distributed since 2005. Applegate Group believes that water is Colorado’s most valuable resource and it is important that we all know the history of Colorado’s water project developments. The importance of obtaining a water right in Colorado for beneficial purposes has been recognized since the late 1800’s. Applegate Group, in cooperation with the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, is pleased to share the 2008 Colorado’s Historic Water Projects Calendar with you.

Montgomery Reservoir
On the south side of the Hoosier Pass at the historic site of the Town of Montgomery, is located Montgomery Reservoir. The Town of Montgomery was founded in August 1861, two years after gold was discovered in the area. By 1862, the Town had 150 cabins, five sawmills, three hotels and the largest dance hall in the region. By the late 1860s, gold had played out and the residents had moved south to Buckskin Joe. In the 1950s, the City of Colorado Springs began construction of Montgomery Reservoir and the remains of the Town were flooded. Today, Montgomery Reservoir stores water diverted from the Blue River Basin for ultimate use by Colorado Springs.
Long Draw Reservoir
Long Draw Reservoir is located approximately 35 miles west of Fort Collins. Long Draw Reservoir has a storage capacity of 10,800 acre feet and is owned and operated by Water Supply and Storage Company. The facility stores water from the Colorado River, which is imported across the continental divide through the Grand Ditch. In addition, the reservoir stores native water from La Poudre Pass Creek (also known as Long Draw Creek), a tributary of the Cache la Poudre River. The water from the reservoir is released into La Poudre Pass Creek and then into the Cache la Poudre River. When Long Draw Reservoir was originally constructed the water stored was to be used for irrigation. Since that time it shares of the Water Supply and Storage Company have been acquired by municipalities.
Turquoise Reservoir
Turquoise Lake was constructed as part of the Bureau of Reclamation's Fryingpan-Arkansas Project from 1965-1968. Turquoise Lake is located 5 miles west of Leadville and has a capacity of 129,440 acre-feet. Homestake water is also stored in Turquoise Reservoir. Additional water is available from the Busk-Ivanhoe System which diverts water in the upper reaches of Ivanhoe Creek, a tributary to the Fryingpan River west of the continental divide. Additional inflows from the Fryingpan-Arkansas Projects' Charles Boustead Tunnel also delivers water into Turquoise Lake
Yamcola Reservoir
Yamcolo Reservoir located near the headwaters of the Yampa River was constructed by the Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District. Yamcolo Dam is on the Bear River in Garfield County, Colorado and is used for irrigation, and drinking water purposes. Construction was completed in 1980. At normal levels it has a surface area of 188 acres. Yamcolo is of earthen construction. Its height is 110 feet with a length of 1900 feet. Its capacity is 12,124 acre feet.
Closed Basin Conveyance Channel
The purpose of the Closed Basin Division project, constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation, is to salvage unconfined ground water and available surface flows in the Closed Basin that would otherwise be lost to evapotranspiration by salt grass, rabbit brush, greasewood, and other vegetation. The Closed Basin is located northeast of Alamosa. The salvaged water is delivered through a 42-mile conveyance channel to the Rio Grande River to assist Colorado in meeting it's commitment to the States of New Mexico and Texas, under the Rio Grande Compact of 1939, and to assist the United States in meeting it's commitment to Mexico under the treaty dated May 21, 1906. The Project also provides for the delivery of water to the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge and Blanca Wildlife Habitat Area, stabilization of San Luis Lake, recreational facilities at San Luis Lake, and fish and wildlife enhancement.
Twin Lakes
Twin Lakes Reservoir is located 13 miles south of Leadville. The Twin Lakes System diverts water from the Roaring Fork River to Twin Lakes which was a natural lake bed enlarged and impounded by Twin Lakes Dam. The reservoir sits on Lake Creek which runs down from Independence Pass. The Independence Pass Transmountain Diversion system is owned and operated by the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Canal Company. Twin Lakes Reservoir was later enlarged as part of the Fryingpan- Arkansas Project by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1978-1980. Twin Lakes has a capacity of 141,000 acre-feet. Water from the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project is delivered to Twin Lakes Reservoir through the Mt. Elbert Power Plant.
Mary’s Lake
Mary's Lake is a natural basin, that was enlarged in 1949 as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project to regulate the flow of water to the Estes Park Power Plant by the Bureau of Reclamation. The Colorado River is delivered through the Adams Tunnel to the East Portal where water is subsequently routed to Mary's Lake. The lake is located southwest of Estes Park. Mary’s Lake also provides emergency storage for West Slope water if flow must be stopped. The lake has no natural inflow. Prospect Mountain Conduit and Tunnel carries water from Mary's Lake to the Estes Power Plant penstock.
Prewitt Reservoir
Prewitt Reservoir was constructed by the Morgan-Prewitt Reservoir Company. Water may be delivered to South Platte River by a two mile long outlet canal to the South Platte River where it is then delivered to individual shareholders that are located under various ditch systems or the water can also be delivered to South Platte Ditch via the Highline Canal. Water released from Prewitt Reservoir is used as a supplemental supply to the various ditch water supplies where the various shareholders are located.
Lewis Lake
Lewis Lake captures water in the Lewis Lake basin above the Bridal Veil Power Plant which is located near Telluride. A dam was constructed in 1903 to capture water in the lake where it is delivered by steel pipes to Blue Lake It is part of the Bridal Veil Blue Lake system which is delivers water to the Bridal Veil Power Plant via another pipeline to the generator. The power plant was originally built in 1904 to provide power to the Smuggler Mine and the Lewis Mill.
Blue Mesa Reservoir
Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest lake in Colorado. It is also the highest and most popular of the three lakes formed by damming the Gunnison River in stages during the 1960's and 1970's. Completed in October 1965 by the Bureau of Reclamation, Blue Mesa Dam is a 342-foot-high compacted earth and rock structure. At its greatest storage capacity (7,519' in elevation), Blue Mesa Lake is a 9,000-acre lake with some 96 miles of shoreline.
Moffat Tunnel Collection System
The Moffat Tunnel Collection System, also known as the Fraser System, began operating in 1936. The Denver Water Board captures the water from the Fraser River and its tributaries near the towns of Winter Park and Fraser area. The Diversion system fans out from the west portal of the Moffat Tunnel and collects water through a combination of open and closed conduits and canal systems having a total length of 27.7 miles. The system includes concrete and steel pipes, tunnels, siphons which includes the Winter Park Ski Area Siphon and open and closed canals.
Electra Lake
The Tacoma Hydroelectric Project is located about 20 miles north of Durango, Colorado, on a high intermountain plateau west of the Animas River in La Plata and San Juan Counties. Water for Tacoma Power Plant originates from three drainage basins: Cascade Creek, Little Cascade Creek, and Elbert Creek. The main water storage reservoir is Electra Lake. The Electra Lake project was constructed in 1903 and 1906. An 11,400 foot long steel pipeline extends from Electra Lake to the Tacoma powerhouse. Due to excessive seepage and deterioration, the dam and most of its major appurtenances were reconstructed in 1980 and 1981.
Green Mountain Reservoir
Green Mountain Reservoir is located on the Blue River approximately twelve miles southeast of Kremmling. Constructed between 1938 and 1943 by the Bureau of Reclamation, the reservoir provides compensatory storage to West Slope residents for water diverted to the East Slope via the Colorado-Big Thompson Project (C-BT Project). Green Mountain reservoir, dam, and power plant were the first C-BT Project features to be constructed. Green Mountain Power Plant was the first power unit of the C-BT Project to produce electricity. It began power production in May 1943. It is one of six power plants - the only one on the West Slope - in the Colorado-Big Thompson Project.