Apple Gate

Halligan Reservoir, Photo by Richard Stenzel

2011 Calendar

2011 Applegate Calendar

This calendar is the seventh 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 2011 Colorado’s Historic Water Projects Calendar with you.

Rampart Reservoir
Rampart Reservoir is located 12 miles northwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado within the Pike National Forest. Rampart Reservoir holds water that is delivered from Homestake Reservoir, which is located northwest of Leadville. The water from Homestake Reservoir is delivered by a tunnel to Turquoise Reservoir. When the water is released from Turquoise Reservoir it is pumped up 750 feet through the Mosquito Mountains where it is delivered to the South Platte River Basin. That water is then stored in Montgomery Reservoir located near Alma, Colorado where it is ultimately piped to Rampart Reservoir. Rampart Reservoir is a 500 surface-acre lake which was completed in 1969. This water supplies 70% of the domestic drinking water for the City of Colorado Springs. The reservoir is a popular recreation area for boaters, mountain bikers, and hikers.
South Delaney Butte Lake
The South Delaney Butte Lake was constructed by the ranchers located west of Walden, Colorado in 1922. The Division of Wildlife (DOW) subsequently acquired lands that surround and include the lake in 1940. During the irrigation season water diverted from the Roaring Fork River and its tributaries is stored and released to irrigate lands served under the Wolfer Ditch system. The DOW acquired conservation pool easements from the previous and current owners that require minimum amounts of storage be maintained to sustain fisheries and recreation. The DOW also acquired ownership interest in the water rights that were historically stored for irrigation and subsequently changed the shares they owned to allow for additional uses of the storage water that included piscatorial, wildlife and recreation. In addition, the DOW has its own decrees for additional storage rights in the lakes that include piscatorial, wildlife and recreational uses.
Williams Fork Reservoir
Owned and operated by the Denver Water Board the Williams Fork Dam & Power Plant was constructed to provide mitigation to west slope water users whenever Denver diverts water during periods of downstream senior river calls from either the Blue River near the City of Dillon and stores the water in Dillon Reservoir or water is diverted from the Williams Fork and Fraser River collection system for delivery through the Moffat Tunnel. The water stored in Dillon Reservoir is ultimately delivered to the City of Denver through the Roberts Tunnel. The Williams Fork Dam is a concrete arch that stands 217 feet above the Williams Fork River streambed and can store nearly 97,000 acre feet of water. Williams Fork Reservoir's surface area is 1,860 acres with a shoreline of 15.8 miles. Releases made from Williams Fork run through a 3.65 mega-watt hydroelectric power plant at the foot of the dam. The dam is located southwest of the town of Parshall, Colorado on the Williams Fork River about three miles above the confluence of the Williams Fork River with the Colorado River.
McPhee Reservoir
McPhee Reservoir is located in Montezuma County west of the Town of Delores. It is the second largest reservoir in Colorado. It was constructed and is operated by the United States Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Dolores Project, and impounds water from the Dolores River. The water that is stored is used for irrigation, municipal and industrial uses, recreation, fish and wildlife, and hydroelectric power. The water provided for irrigation water is used in Montezuma and Dolores counties and in the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation. Construction of the McPhee Dam began in 1980. When completed in 1986 irrigators in Montezuma Valley, the Ute Tribe and Dolores Project farmers finally had a long term, dependable supply of water. The main water rights associated with the Dolores Project include a 585 cfs right for the McPhee Reservoir Inlet and a 750,000 acre-foot storage right.
Carter Lake
Carter Lake, located west of the City of Loveland, Colorado, is one of the two main project storage reservoirs in the East Slope distribution system for the Colorado Big Thompson Project. Completed in 1952, water is diverted and stored from the Colorado River near the town of Grand Lake and ultimately is delivered through the Adams Tunnel and a system of pipes to Flatiron Reservoir where the water is pumped up into Carter Lake. Water stored in Carter Lake is used for irrigation deliveries to the Little Thompson River, St. Vrain Creek, Boulder Creek, and the South Platte River or for return to Flatiron Reservoir for use in the Big Thompson or Cache la Poudre Valleys, or for hydro-electric power generation. Municipal supplies are delivered through the Southern Water Supply Pipeline as far south as Superior and to the east to Fort Morgan. Originally, nine communities had allotments totaling 44,950 acre-feet. Eleven communities now receive full or supplemental supplies. Each year, as urban population increases, irrigation allotments are transferred to domestic purposes. Carter Lake Reservoir is formed in a natural basin in the foothills by a 214-foot-high earth fill dam and two smaller dams across low saddles in the surrounding hills. The reservoir has a total capacity of 112,230 acre-feet.
Jackson Gulch Reservoir
The natural flow of the Mancos River during summer and early fall months was very low, and inadequate for irrigation. To alleviate the shortage in 1937, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation came to the conclusion that an off-stream location for the Jackson Gulch Reservoir would be necessary for a storage basin to furnish an adequate water supply. The project was approved by President Roosevelt on October 21, 1940. Construction began in July 1941. Jackson Gulch Dam was dedicated on July 3, 1949. The first irrigation water was released from Jackson Gulch Dam on July 29, 1949. The off stream reservoir is fed by the 2.6 mile-long Inlet Canal from the Mancos River. The Mancos Water Conservancy District assumed operation and maintenance for the project in 1963. Jackson Gulch Reservoir supplies water to the town of Mancos, the Mancos Water Conservancy District, and the Mancos Rural Water Company. The reservoir is also the sole source of municipal water for Mesa Verde National Park. The reservoir supplies water to 13,746 acres of agricultural land. The Mancos State Park and the recreation on Jackson Gulch Reservoir are managed by the Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation under agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation. The reservoir is located 5 miles north of Mancos, Colorado.
Upper Blue Reservoir
Approximately 7 miles southwest of Breckenridge, at the foot of Quandary Peak sits the Upper Blue Reservoir. At an elevation of 11,660 feet, it is the highest asphalt faced dam in the United States. Completed in 1966 as part of Colorado Springs Con-Hoosier water system, it has a capacity for 2,140 AF of water that it collects from the headwaters of Monte Cristo Creek. Water is released from Upper Blue Reservoir and then transported through the Hoosier tunnel under the Continental Divide to Montgomery Reservoir, which is located near the town of Alma. Water stored in Montgomery Reservoir is then delivered through the Blue River Pipeline and travels 70 miles to North Catamount Reservoir.
North Slope System
The North Slope System of Pikes Peak contains three reservoirs, two of which were built during the Great Depression. They are Crystal Reservoir (shown on the left side of the calendar photo) – completed in 1935 with a capacity of 3,479 AF and South Catamount Reservoir (shown to the right of Crystal Reservoir) – completed in 1937 with a capacity of 2,604 AF. North Catamount Reservoir (shown on the right side of the calendar photo) was completed in 1960 with a capacity of 12,031 AF with the primary purpose of handling water delivered by the Blue River Pipeline. The pipeline delivers water released from Montgomery Reservoir which is located near the Town of Alma. North Catamount Reservoir can also provide water from the Blue River Pipeline to both South Catamount and Crystal Reservoirs. In addition all three reservoirs can also store water from streams that flow into them. The water stored in the three lakes provides water for Colorado Springs and surrounding municipalities. Two pipelines transport the water released from the three reservoirs southeast to Colorado Springs and the towns of Cascade, Green Mountain Falls and Chipita Park. The two pipelines also power two hydroelectric plants.
Smith Reservoir
Smith Dam and Reservoir was constructed by the Trinchera Irrigation District in 1914. The reservoir is located south of Blanco, Colorado and has a capacity to store 5,000 acre feet of water. The company owns both the Smith and Mountain Home Reservoir which is used to irrigate approximately 14,000 of farm land in the northern half or Costilla County. The Colorado Division of Wildlife has acquired an agreement with the company that allows for fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing at the lake.
Terrace Reservoir
Terrace dam was built with private money in 1905 by the Terrace Power and Reservoir Company. The construction methods used were innovative and designed to get the dam constructed as fast as possible. Large amounts of material were moved hydraulically to the Terrace Dam. Following the example of sluice mining, water was taken out of the Alamosa River upstream of the dam site, funneled into flumes and pipes for up to 5 miles. The powerful force of water washed soil and rocks into long sluices that collected and directed the fine soil to the core of the dam. The coarser rocks were then placed on the upstream and downstream faces of the dam. When the dam was constructed, it was the highest of its type in the United States. The reservoir has a capacity of 15,180 acre feet and is currently owned by the Terrace Irrigation Company. The water released from the Terrace Reservoir is used to irrigate over 8,000 acres of land west of the Town of La Jara Colorado.
Lake Otonowanda
Otonowanda Reservoir is decreed for 746 ac-ft of storage with an appropriation date of June 1, 1890 and an appropriation date of August 2, 1905. The reservoir is filled by water delivered through the Ridgway Ditch. Otonowanda was constructed as a water supply for the Town of Ridgway and is not accessible to the public.
Halligan Reservoir
In 1909, Halligan Reservoir was constructed on the North Fork of the Poudre River. For 94 years, this historic concrete arch dam has supplied 6,400 acre-feet of water to the shareholders of North Poudre Irrigation Company (NPIC). In 1989, Fort Collins Utility (FCU) and NPIC completed a study to enlarge Halligan Reservoir in order to increase water supply reliability, especially during drought years. In 1993, FCU signed an agreement with NPIC to acquire rights to the existing reservoir and the potential enlargement project. The enlargement of Halligan Reservoir is among the alternatives being evaluated for long term storage to meet the City of Fort Collins need for drought protection. In November 2003, City Council approved a resolution to exercise the City's option with the NPIC to proceed with enlargement of Halligan Reservoir.
Gross Reservoir
Named for Denver Water former Chief Engineer Dwight D. Gross, the reservoir was completed in 1954. It serves as a combination storage and regulating facility for water that flows under the Continental Divide through the Moffat Tunnel from the Williams Fork Fraser River Collection system. Standing 340 feet above the South Boulder Creek streambed, Gross Dam contains some 627,559 cubic yards of concrete. Gross Reservoir has a surface area of 440 acres and 10.9 miles of shoreline. It provides 41,811 acre-feet of storage for Denver’s water supply system. The reservoir has a 7.6 mega-watt hydroelectric power plant that generates green energy. Gross Reservoir is currently being considered for enlargement as a part of Denver Waters efforts to increase water supplies for a growing front range population.