Apple Gate

Upper Black Lake, Photo by Richard Stenzel

2014 Calendar

 This calendar is the tenth 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 is pleased to share the 2014 Colorado's Historic Water Projects Calendar with you.

December
Lakes 4 & 5 of Seven Lakes System
Early settlers to Colorado Springs dug an open ditch from Fountain Creek into town. From it, they dipped out their needs for drinking, bathing, washing clothes and so on. In 1876, the ditch water became polluted and local citizens began demanding a new system. Officials of the town began looking to the mountains for a water supply. Development of Colorado Springs mountain system – water from Pikes Peak – began in the 1890’s. Through U.S. Congress grants and other purchases, the city received title to the Seven Lakes on the South Slope of Pikes Peak and surrounding lands. In 1891, Colorado Springs paid $70,000 for the Seven Lakes which are today a part of the south slope system. Shown in the calendar photograph are Lakes 4 & 5, which are a part of the Seven Lakes storage system. Water stored in these lakes and the south slope system is delivered by releases to the stream system, which are then diverted and delivered through a system of tunnels, the longest of which is Strickler Tunnel at 6,480 feet.
January
Clear Creek Reservoir
Clear Creek starts in the Sawatch Range northwest of Granite, and flows through Winfield and Vicksburg, Colorado before joining the Arkansas River just south of the Lake-Chaffee county line. Near the mouth of Clear Creek is a dam that creates Clear Creek Reservoir. In 1955, the Board of Water Works of Pueblo, which is a private company, purchased Clear Creek Reservoir which has a storage capacity of 11,500 acre-feet. This reservoir is one of the Board’s sources of water which it uses to provide water to the City of Pueblo.
February
Flatiron Reservoir
Flatiron Reservoir is located in Chimney Hollow southwest of Loveland, Colorado and north of Carter Lake. It is a central distribution point for Colorado-Big Thompson Project (C-BT) water to Northeastern Colorado. The reservoir was built between 1951 and 1953 at a cost of $1.2 million. Flatiron Reservoir has a capacity of 760 acre-feet of water. Water flows from Pinewood Reservoir through Bald Mountain Tunnel then down the Flatiron Penstocks into the 43 Megawatt Flatiron Power Plant which discharges into Flatiron Reservoir. Flatiron Reservoir serves as the afterbay for the Flatiron Power Plant and to store C-BT Project water for delivery to the Big Thompson River and Horsetooth Reservoir via the Hansen Feeder Canal. Water can also be pumped from Flatiron Reservoir through the Carter Lake Pressure Tunnel to Carter Lake. Water stored in Carter Lake can then be delivered to the Little Thompson River, St. Vrain Creek, Boulder Creek, South Platte River and Southern Water Supply Project pipeline. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operates the power facilities and reservoir.
March
Jerry Creek Reservoirs No.1 and No. 2
Jerry Creek Reservoirs No. 1 and No. 2 are located about 32 miles northeast of Grand Junction, Colorado. Jerry Creek Reservoir No. 2 is the largest reservoir, with a current impoundment of 6,300 acre-feet. Jerry Creek Reservoir No. 1 is a 57-foot high earth embankment dam impounding 1,100 acre-feet. The two reservoirs are the preferred source of water for Ute Water Conservancy District. The Ute Water Conservancy District supplies water for Grand Junction, Colorado and its surrounding area, which services more than 110,000 people. The Ute Water Conservancy District was established on April 4, 1956 by a decree of the Mesa County Court system. The purpose of the District's inception was to supply domestic water service to the rural areas of the Grand Valley under the "Water Conservancy Act" of Colorado.
April
Rifle Gap Reservoir
Rifle Gap Reservoir. located 7.5 miles north of the Town of Rifle, is a part of the Silt Project, which was constructed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as a part of the Colorado River Storage Project (CRSP). The initial investigation began in 1936 and was authorized by Congress in 1956 as an amendment to CRSP. The dam construction started in 1964 and was completed in 1967. The dam is 157 feet high and has a storage capacity of 13,602 acre-feet. The Silt Project provides irrigation water for 6,597 acres of land. The Silt Water Conservancy District, which was formed in 1957, manages the project. The first irrigation works in the Rifle area started in 1887 as the Grass Valley Land & Water Corporation, which was financed by English investors.
May
Navajo Reservoir
The Navajo Dam is an earthen dam on the San Juan River which is a tributary of the Colorado River. The dam and its reservoir are located about 34 miles east of Farmington, New Mexico. This dam was built as part of the Colorado River Storage Project, which is a massive system of dams and reservoirs across the upper Colorado River Basin, by the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation. Construction started in 1957 and was completed on September 15, 1962. Today it is one of four major storage facilities for the project – Glen Canyon, Blue Mesa and Flaming Gorge are three of the other large dams that make up the project. Navajo Reservoir extends 35 miles up the San Juan River, 13 miles up the Pine River, and 4 miles up the Piedra River in southern Colorado. When filled, the reservoir occupies 15,610 acres, with a total capacity of 1,708,600 acre-feet and an active capacity of 1,036,100 acre-feet.
June
Trout Creek Reservoir
Trout Creek Reservoir is located near Buena Vista on Trout Creek, a tributary of the Arkansas River. The privately owned reservoir is used for irrigation, recreation and fish propagation. The dam is a 99-foot high Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) structure that uses the concrete face of the dam as a spillway. The reservoir capacity is 670 acre-feet. The dam was constructed in 2001 and is currently being considered for enlargement.
July
Fossil Creek Reservoir
Fossil Creek Reservoir is located in northern Colorado southeast of Fort Collins, northeast of Loveland, and west of Windsor. The reservoir is used to store water for irrigation and is normally kept full. It is owned by North Poudre Irrigation Company. Fossil Creek Reservoir is located about 40 miles below its main North Poudre Canal headgate. Fossil Creek Reservoir greatly facilitated the expansion of water exchanges throughout the Cache la Poudre River Basin.
August
Trujillo Meadows Reservoir
The Trujillo Meadows Reservoir was completed in 1956 by the State Division of Game, Fish, and Parks. The reservoir stores water from the Rio De Los Pinos and is located in Conejos County in Colorado. The reservoir is 25 miles north of Los Pinos, New Mexico. The reservoir has an adjudicated water right for 913.15 acre-feet with decreed uses of: fish propagation, production of fur-bearing animals, water fowl habitat, and other recreational uses. A resurvey of the reservoir in 1998 found it contains 870 acre-feet, rather than the 913 acre-feet that are adjudicated. The appropriation date is August 31, 1954.
September
Silver Jack Reservoir
Located in west-central Colorado southeast of the city of Montrose, the Bostwick Park Project consists of the Silver Jack Dam and Reservoir and an irrigation distribution system. The dam and reservoir, shown in the center of the photo above, sits on Cimarron Creek about 20 miles above its junction with the Gunnison River. The project developed flows in Cimarron Creek, a tributary of the Gunnison River, for irrigation and recreational purposes. The project provides full and supplemental irrigation water to approximately 5,608 acres of land in the Bostwick Park Water Conservancy District. The Silver Jack Reservoir holds a total of 13,520 acre-feet of water.
October
Vega Dam and Reservoir
Vega Dam is near the Grand Mesa in western Colorado, about 10 miles east of the town of Collbran. Vega Dam was constructed across the channel of Plateau Creek, forming a reservoir with a total capacity of 33,800 acre-feet and an active capacity 32,980 acre-feet. The reservoir stores surplus flows of Plateau, Leon, and Park Creeks. The Vega Dam and Southside Canal provide water for the supplemental irrigation service to 22,210 acres of project lands. The Vega State Recreation Area is administered by the Colorado State Division of Game, Fish and Parks.
November
Stevens Reservoir
Stevens Lake is located 4 miles north of Pagosa Springs and is owned by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD). The reservoir was originally constructed in 1948 to a capacity of 635 acre-feet. A dam enlargement was completed in 2008, which nearly tripled the storage capacity to 1,775 acre-feet. It is privately owned and serves as a municipal water supply for the 6,000 customers of the district including downtown Pagosa Springs.
December
Stillwater Reservoir No. 1
Stillwater Reservoir No. 1, located approximately 14.5 miles southwest of the town of Yampa, is the most upstream of the major reservoirs in the Yampa River (Bear River) drainage. It is owned by the Bear River Reservoir Company and is used to provide supplemental irrigation water supplies to a number of individuals served by several of the major direct flow structures in the upper Bear River. The reservoir has a decreed capacity of 6,392 acre-feet and carries an appropriation date of January 9, 1935, making it one of the most senior storage decrees in the Yampa River basin. Water stored in the reservoir is delivered into the Stillwater Ditch. Approximately 58 percent of the water delivered goes to Yampa River drainage and 42 percent goes to the Colorado River drainage.