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Environmental benefits

What is the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project? Environmental benefits

This project goes beyond securing our customer’s water future. It also helps secure the future of the natural environment for all Coloradans.  

In addition to environmental commitments Denver Water has made to communities surrounding the project, agreements are in place that tie this project directly to protecting South Boulder Creek, as well as the Fraser, Williams Fork, Blue and Colorado rivers.  

Through these various agreements and settlements, Denver Water has committed to more than 60 different mitigation and enhancement projects on both the West and East slopes with a total cost of more than $30 million. Denver Water will be collaborating with numerous stakeholders to preserve the aquatic environment on a cooperative basis. Some of these projects include:

  • Establishing a 5,000-acre-foot environmental pool, in partnership with the cities of Boulder and Lafayette, which will enhance stream flow in South Boulder Creek during low flow periods. 
  • Working collaboratively with Grand County through Learning By Doing to “maintain, and, where reasonably possible, restore and enhance the conditions of the aquatic environment in Grand County.” 
  • Participating in significant water improvement and stream restoration efforts, such as the Williams Fork River restoration project
  • Committing $50,000 to stream channelization improvements on the Fraser River. 
  • Monitoring stream temperatures, water quality, aquatic insects and channel stability in numerous streams on both West and East slopes. 
  • Partnering with the Colorado Department of Transportation, Grand County, the Town of Winter Park and the U.S. Forest Service to modify Denver Water’s diversion structure on the Fraser River to remove road sand to improve stream quality and trout habitat on the Fraser River. 

In short, because of this project, these waterways are better protected now than they were yesterday.