Project's support and benefits
Support for the project
- Colorado Wildlife Commission recommends project — The Colorado Wildlife Commission — Colorado’s foremost authority on fish and wildlife — has unanimously recommended Denver Water’s mitigation plan and significant enhancement plan for the Moffat Project. Wildlife commissioners and local officials have stated that Denver Water’s plan will make the Fraser and Colorado Rivers better off with the Moffat Collection System Project than it is today without it.
- Colorado Water Conservation Board adopts mitigation plan — The Colorado Water Conservation Board — Colorado’s lead agency for conserving, developing, protecting and managing Colorado’s water — also has unanimously adopted Denver Water’s mitigation plan for the Moffat Project.
- Environmental groups list Moffat as an acceptable project — In the report, “Filling the Gap: Commonsense Solutions for Meeting Front Range Water Needs,” Western Resource Advocates, Trout Unlimited and the Colorado Environmental Coalition list the Moffat Project as one of their acceptable planned projects, if implemented according to “smart” principles.
- Rivers will be benefit from project — Denver Water is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of our watersheds, the properties and public amenities of our system, and the environments we affect. That’s why we are committed to going beyond mitigating the impacts of the Moffat Project to make South Boulder Creek and the Fraser, Williams Fork, Blue and Colorado rivers better than they are today.
- Mitigation plan offsets impacts — We have collaborated with others committed to the environmental health of our state to develop a mitigation plan to offset the identified environmental impacts of the Moffat Project. And, through the landmark Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, Forests to Faucets program with the U.S. Forest Service and other collaborative efforts, we are taking unprecedented steps to enhance our watersheds and the communities within them. A few examples include:
- Providing water for current and future West Slope environmental and consumptive use needs.
- Protecting river flows and water quality from the headwaters of the Fraser and Blue rivers at the Continental Divide all the way to the Utah state line.
- Earmarking $25 million for projects on the West Slope such as decreasing nutrient loading, enhancing aquatic habitat, constructing the Berthoud Pass sedimentation pond to improve water quality, future environmental projects, and an innovative permanent cooperative effort in Grand County, called Learning by Doing, which will put the flexibility of Denver Water’s collection system to use to protect the stream environment into the future.
- Making available 1,000 acre-feet of water each year from Denver Water’s Fraser River Collection System for environmental purposes in Grand County, at times and locations requested by Grand County. Denver Water also will release an additional 1,000 acre-feet from Williams Fork Reservoir under specified conditions at the request of Grand County.
- Partnering with Northern Water and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife to restore a portion of the Colorado River below Windy Gap Reservoir.
- Providing $16.5 million for the Forests to Faucets partnership, to be matched by the U.S. Forest Service (total of $33 million), for forest health initiatives in our watersheds.
- Landmark proposal dedicated to environmental health and cooperation — Through the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, there are more than 40 partner entities and collaborators — from water providers to local governments, the ski industry and more — dedicated to protecting the environmental and economic vitality of the state. Leaders from Summit, Grand and Eagle counties, Denver Water, the Colorado River District, and Colorado River water entities from the headwaters to the state line threw away old notions about how water should be managed to chart a new course for Colorado’s water future. This course values conservation, avoids confrontation, rewards collaboration and cooperation, and enhances the environment. This landmark proposal changes the way water is developed and managed in the state. We believe the health of our rivers is a responsibility to be shared. Through the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement and Learning by Doing process, we are providing real enhancements for the benefit of our entire state.
Commitment to conservation and recycled water
- Project complements conservation and recycled water efforts — The Moffat Project is a responsible, thoughtful approach to balancing our system and ensuring a reliable water supply for the future. We’re doing it alongside our continuing commitment to water efficiency, conservation and the expansion of our recycled water system. Our efforts, and those of our residents and businesses, are working. Denver Water customers are using 20 percent less water than they were 10 years ago — and there are 10 percent more of them. Impressively, there are almost 50 percent more people in Denver's service area since 1970, but water use has increased by only 6 percent. And Denver Water’s recycled water distribution system currently frees up enough drinking water to serve roughly 15,000 households. Once expansion is complete, that number increases to almost 45,000 homes.