Apple Gate

Upper Black Lake, Photo by Richard Stenzel

2015 Calendar

 This calendar is the elevnth 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 2015 Colorado's Historic Water Projects Calendar with you.

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 a Transbasin project because is supplies irrigation water to both the Yampa and Colorado River drainages. 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.
Taylor Draw Dam and Kenney Reservoir
The Taylor Draw Dam and Kenney Reservoir are located five miles east of Rangely, Colorado on the White River. The Taylor Draw Dam and Kenney Reservoir were completed in October 1984. A small 1.6 Megawatt hydropower plant, installed in 1993, is maintained and operated by the Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District. In addition to the electrical power generated, Kenney Reservoir offers a wide variety of recreational facilities. The reservoir stores approximately 13,800 acre-feet of water.
Joe Wright Reservoir
Joe Wright Reservoir is currently the only storage facility owned by the City of Fort Collins as one of its sources of water supply. The reservoir is located approximately 60 miles west of Fort Collins on the Cache la Poudre River near Cameron Pass. The reservoir has a storage capacity of about 6,500 acre-feet and stores transmountain water delivered through the Michigan Ditch from Michigan Creek, which is a tributary of the North Platte River. Joe Wright Reservoir is used primarily to regulate the Michigan Ditch flows and has limited carryover capacity to provide drought protection for the City.
Bison Park Reservoir aka Big Bison and Victor Reservoir Number Two
Bison Park Reservoir is shown in the foreground and is located on Bison Creek. Victor Reservoir Number Two, as shown, is located just north of Bison Park Reservoir on the East Fork of West Beaver Creek. The City of Victor draws its water supply from these two reservoirs in addition to obtaining water directly from West Beaver Creek via the Altman Intake Pumping Station. The City also purchases ground water from Cripple Creek Well No. 5. The West Beaver Creek Watershed is a tributary to the Upper Arkansas River basin and lies within the South Pikes Peak Watershed area. Bison Park Reservoir has a capacity of 1,043 acre-feet, and Victor Number Two Reservoir has a capacity of 209 acre-feet. Water is delivered from these two reservoirs by a water transmission pipeline system to the Victor water treatment plant.
Skaguay Dam and Reservoir
Skaguay Dam and Reservoir are located 6 miles southeast of Victor, Colorado on West Beaver Creek. Skaguay Dam was the first steel-faced rockfill dam in the world. Engineer Robert Mills Jones designed the dam, pipeline and hydroelectric powerplant and he also supervised all of the construction. Skaguay Dam and Reservoir were constructed to provide water by way of a 4-mile-long, 30-inch-diameter redwood stave pipeline, through two tunnels, and then down a steeply inclined steel penstock pipeline to the Skaguay Powerplant to generate AC electricity. The powerplant provided electricity to the towns of Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado and the Gold Coin Mine beginning in May 1901. The power company was known as the Pikes Peak Power Company. A flood in 1965 caused the failure of two small dams located upstream of Skaguay Reservoir and resulted in the overtopping of the Skaguay Dam but it did not fail. As a result of that flood two miles of the redwood stave pipeline below the dam was clogged with sediment and another ½ mile of the pipeline was destroyed. The pipeline was never repaired and the power plant was abandoned. The powerplant was not damaged and all of its four Pelton water wheels and General Electric turbines are still in the building. The dam and reservoir are now owned by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife and the water stored in the reservoir is decreed for recreational purposes including fishery and wildlife.
Vallecito Dam & Reservoir
As early as 1906, the development of the Vallecito Dam began with a need to supply the Pine River Valley, which is located approximately four miles northeast of Bayfield, Colorado, with late season irrigation water. The project was transferred from the Indian Irrigation Service to the Bureau of Reclamation for construction in August 1936. On February 11, 1937, the name of the dam was officially changed from Pine River Dam to Vallecito Dam. Vallecito Dam is 162 feet high and 4,010 feet long. Vallecito Reservoir has a total water storage capacity of 129,000 acre-feet. The surface area of the reservoir at maximum capacity is 2,720 acres. Distribution of project water is through a series of privately owned ditches and canals, all of which were constructed prior to the construction of Vallecito Dam. Most of the ditches and canals divert water directly from the Pine River. There are nearly 200 miles of ditches and canals, and 150 miles of laterals throughout the region that are served by project water.
Overland Reservoir
Overland Reservoir is located 22 miles north of Paonia near the divide between the Grand Mesa National Forest and the Gunnison National Forest. The Overland Ditch and Reservoir Company was founded in 1903 as a mutual ditch company for the purposes of serving agricultural farmers primarily in the Redlands Mesa area of Delta County, Colorado. The Company owns the 6,200 acre-foot Overland Reservoir, which is located on US Forrest Service land on the east end of Grand Mesa. The 1917, 1921, and 1954 storage right decrees for the Overland Reservoir were derived from the Muddy Basin Drainage of the North Fork of the Gunnison River. The conveyance ditch is 28 miles long and traverses very rugged and remote terrain beginning at the 10,000 foot elevation of Overland Reservoir and terminates on the Eastern Rim of Redlands Mesa. The Company supplies water to 120 shareholders for irrigation of 5,000 acres of agricultural farm land.
Continental Reservoir
Continental Reservoir is located about 20 miles southwest of the Town of Creede and is operated in conjunction with the Santa Maria Reservoir. The Santa Maria Reservoir Company owns both reservoirs. The Company provides irrigation water to approximately 70,000 acres in Rio Grande, Saguache, Conejos, and Alamosa Counties in the San Luis Valley. Santa Maria Reservoir receives regulated discharges from Continental Reservoir through a century old conveyance system comprised of a pipeline, siphon and an open ditch. Continental was constructed in 1910 with a design storage capacity of 27,000 acre-feet. However, due to seepage and spillway deterioration, for the past 20 years it has been limited by the State Engineer’s Office to a storage capacity of 15,000 acre-feet. Santa Maria Reservoir was also constructed in 1910 and has a design capacity of 43,500 acre-feet. Santa Maria Reservoir stores irrigation water, Rio Grande compact water, San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District water, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife water, transmountain water, and provides flood control.
Juniata Reservoir and Hallenbeck Reservoir Number One (aka Purdy Mesa Reservoir)
In 1955, Grand Junction acquired water rights in the Hallenbeck Number One Reservoir (now Purdy Mesa) and Juniata Reservoir on Grand Mesa, and the direct flow water rights to fill the reservoirs. Juniata Reservoir is shown in the foreground of the photo above and Hallenbeck Reservoir Number One is shown in the background. Both reservoirs are located about eleven miles southeast of Palisade, Colorado. The Hallenbeck Reservoir has a storage capacity of 650 acre-feet and the Juniata Reservoir has a storage capacity of 7,204 acre-feet.
Fortune Reservoir
Fortune Reservoir, located in Arvada Colorado, is also known as Welton Reservoir. It is an off-stream reservoir located in Jefferson County and is owned by the Consolidated Mutual Water Company. Applegate Group was the Engineer of Record for all design, permitting and construction management of the project. The Consolidated Mutual Water Company service area is comprised of parts of Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Golden and unincorporated portions of central Jefferson County. Water is diverted from Clear Creek through the Agricultural Ditch and Consolidated’s Welton Pipeline (from the Agricultural Ditch to the reservoir). The original capacity of Fortune Reservoir was 9,803 acre-feet. An enlargement raised the spillway elevation approximately 4.5 feet and increased the capacity to approximately 11,000 acre-feet. The surface area of the reservoir at high water line is approximately 169 acres. The height of the dam is 110 feet.
Clinton Gulch Dam and Reservoir
Clinton Gulch Dam and Reservoir is located 6 miles south of the Copper Mountain Ski Resort. In 1992, the Clinton Gulch Reservoir was sold by Climax Molybdenum Company to the Clinton Ditch & Reservoir Company, which includes among its shareholders Summit County, the Towns of Breckenridge, Dillon and Silverthorne, and the Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone and Winter Park Ski Areas. The reservoir has become an increasingly critical resource for business and recreation in the two counties as well as for Lake County and for people throughout Colorado. Climax Molybdenum Company built the dam in 1977 as part of their mining operations. The reservoir storage capacity is 4,447 acre-feet and its water source is Clinton Creek. The water is retained by a rock fill dam approximately 170 feet high and 1,500 feet long. The water in the reservoir is used primarily for municipal, irrigation and snowmaking purposes.
Flaming Gorge Dam and Reservoir
The Flaming Gorge Reservoir is mainly in southwest Wyoming and partially in northeastern Utah. The northern tip of the reservoir is just 10 miles southeast of Green River, Wyoming, 14 miles southwest of Rock Springs, Wyoming, and 43 miles north of Vernal, Utah. Construction on the dam began in 1958 and was completed in 1964. The reservoir stores 3,788,900 acre-feet and is an integral part of the Upper Colorado River Basin Storage System. The Upper Colorado River Basin Storage Project authorized in 1956 made the water resources of the Upper Colorado River Basin available for the purposes, among others, of regulating the flow of the Colorado River and storing water for beneficial consumptive use. The Colorado River Storage Project makes it possible for the States of the Upper Basin to utilize water consistent with the provisions of the Colorado River Compact the apportionments made to and among them in the Colorado River Compact and the Upper Colorado River Basin Compact. The project also provides for flood control and for the generation of hydroelectric power, as an incident of the above purposes.
Lemon Dam & Reservoir
The Lemon Dam is 284 feet high with a crest length of 1,360 feet and stores water from the Florida River. The dam and reservoir are located approximately four miles northwest of Bayfield, Colorado. Lemon Reservoir is approximately one-half mile wide and three miles long with a maximum water surface area of 622 acres. Both the Lemon Dam and Reservoir were completed in December 1963. The water released from Lemon Reservoir is used by the Florida Canal and Florida Farmers Ditch for the irrigation of 12,500 acres of land. Several other small ditches also take delivery of the water for the irrigation of 1,250 acres of farm land.