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Colorado’s Historic Water Projects 2024 Calendar

Request your FREE copy of our collectible calendar today.

This calendar, featuring the work of photographer Richard Stenzel, is the 20th 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 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 1800s. Applegate Group is pleased to share the 2023 Colorado’s Historic Water Projects Calendar with you.

If you enjoyed this calendar, Applegate Group encourages you to contact the Colorado State University Water Resources Archive if you have a collection of water related documents or photographs that you believe should be preserved for historical purposes and research. They can be contacted at:

Water Resources Archive
Colorado State University, Morgan Library
501 University Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80523

2024 Calendars are in and available for pickup at our offices.

Please visit our contact page for our office locations and phone numbers to contact us to reserve your copy for pickup. We are open Monday thru Thursday from 8am to 5pm.  


What’s Inside

December 2023

Pastorius Reservoir SWA aka Florida Canal and Reservoir

Florida Mesa Reservoir Company owns the Pastorius Reservoir which was originally constructed in 1903. The reservoir is located nine miles southeast of Durango, Colorado. The water stored in the reservoir is used for irrigation and domestic uses and has a 1.3 mile trail around it. The State Wildlife Area (SWA) is owned by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The SWA allows fishing, wildlife viewing and hunting and allows float tubes and craft propelled by hand or electric motors. The reservoir has a storage capacity of 970 acre-feet and a water surface area of 47 acres.

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January 2024

A-Frame Dams & Reservoir

Applegate Group was retained by Boulder County Parks and Open Space to rehabilitate the dams for A-Frame reservoir after it was breached when St. Vrain Creek was partially rerouted through the historical gravel pit reservoir as a result of the historic September 2013 flooding. The project focused on modernizing the facilities to current dam safety standards. Project components included design and construction oversight for the dam embankment, low-level outlet, and emergency spillway. The historical emergency spillway overflowed 61st Street, which resulted in a breach of the street during the September 2013 floods. The new emergency spillway included a 115-foot-long concrete weir that spills into a box culvert that runs underneath 61st Street. This spillway can convey storm flows under 61st Street to minimize the potential for future stormflows over the road.

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February 2024

Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Farm and Ranch Enterprise Sprinkler System

The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Farm and Ranch Enterprise has 110 center pivots that irrigate 7,700 + acres of land which are located southwest of the City of Cortez. The enterprise grows crops like alfalfa and artisan corn and raises over 700 head of cattle. The corn that is harvested from the farm is ground at the onsite mill and distributed through the Tribe’s Bow and Arrow Brand. Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Farm & Ranch Enterprise’s source of irrigation water is the McPhee Reservoir, Colorado’s second largest man-made reservoir. Irrigation water travels 40 + miles in the open canals of the Towaoc Highline Canal and through siphons to reach the Farms property. The water is then guided through underground pipes to the center pivot sprinklers. By 2024, the tribe will have 10 hydropower plants capturing the energy from the underground pressurized pipes, which drop in elevation from the nearby Towaoc Highline Canal.

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March 2024

Noecker Reservoir and Dam

This high-hazard off-channel dam in Western Colorado was originally constructed in 1903 and is currently owned by the Highland Meadow Estate Homeowner’s Association (HOA). The reservoir is situated in a natural topographic saddle with water delivered to the reservoir through the Oelsen Ditch diverting from nearby Eby Creek. The Colorado Dam Safety branch identified serious dam safety concerns associated with deteriorated conduit conditions observed during an internal camera inspection of the outlet works. The HOA retained Applegate Group in 2017 to evaluate the feasibility of several rehabilitation options for the dam. Based on the conclusions of this feasibility study, Applegate provided design and construction services for the HOA to rehabilitate the dam with a cut-n-cover replacement of the outlet works that will serve the users for another 100 years. Construction of the rehabilitation design was successfully completed in 2021.

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April 2024

Grand Valley Irrigation Company aka GVIC

Since 1882, GVIC has operated nearly 100 miles of irrigation canals in the Grand Valley of Western Colorado. Applegate Group has been assisting GVIC for over 15 years with an extensive canal lining program funded by the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Project administered by the Bureau of Reclamation. Nearly 11 miles of canal have been lined with a PVC and shotcrete liner system which has significantly reduced seepage losses from the canals, eliminated the negative impacts of such seepage on nearby buildings, all while reducing salt loading to the Colorado River system. GVIC has utilized their own staff in conjunction with a shotcrete contractor to make the best use of funding for these projects which continue to this day.

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May 2024

Husko Dam & Spillway

Applegate Group was retained by the owner of Husko Dam to design a new open-channel spillway that replaced the historical piped spillway. The new open-channel spillway will provide a higher capacity to pass flood flows through the reservoir relative to the historical piped spillway. The new spillway also reduces the potential for debris partially or fully blocking the spillway and minimizes the potential for storm flows to overtop the non-jurisdictional dam. This work was completed to address Colorado Dam Safety Branch concerns raised with the property owner regarding the historical piped spillway. We provided design and construction engineering for the spillway improvement project.

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June 2024

Cache La Poudre River Gage

The first Cache La Poudre River gage was installed June 20, 1881, and was operated through August 5, 1881. The gage was discontinued until re-establishment May 4, 1883. It was discontinued again July 4, 1883, until it was replaced by a timber rating flume 8 ft. high, 32 ft. long, and 103 ft. wide which was constructed in the fall of 1883 by the State Engineer, E. S. Nettleton. The gage was officially re-established March 13, 1884, and a weekly recorder was installed. The recorder was installed in a standpipe having an intake at the elevation of the floor of the flume. All subsequent gage-height records for this station have been obtained from water-stage recorders located at approximately the same location and datum since June 20, 1881. This gage is believed to have the longest record in history at the same river location in the United States.

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July 2024

Tomichi Valley Ditch and Outcalt No. 2 Ditch Headgates Structure

Historically the Gunnison Tomichi Valley Ditch and the Outcalt No. 2 Ditch each had their own gravel wing diversion in the Gunnison River which required constant maintenance and often interfered with each other due to their close proximity. In 2021, Applegate Group designed a combined headgate diversion system that eliminated the lower wing dam, and improved fish and debris passage while increasing flows in the main river channel. Funding for the project was provided by the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, the Colorado River District’s Community Partnership Program, and the Ditch Owners.

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August 2024

Greeley No.2 Canal Headgates

New Cache la Poudre Irrigating Company hired Applegate Group to complete a feasibility study to assess alternatives to modernize the Greeley No. 2 Canal headgates, and then design and provide construction engineering for the recommended alternative headgate improvement project. The objectives of the project were to modernize and automate the diversion structure to maximize New Cache’s ability to divert their decreed rate while maintaining minimum flows in the Cache la Poudre River. Automated sluice gates were selected because of their sediment transport capacity, flexible location within the canal, and ability to tie into the existing flow measurement system. The new gates, as well as the existing radial and Obermeyer inflatable river check dam gates were all automated with actuators. The addition of a programmable logic controller allowed the system to automatically regulate the gates to maintain a specified flowrate at the existing measuring flume.

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September 2024

Sheep Mountain Augmentation Facility

The Huerfano County Water Conservancy District constructed the Sheep Mountain Augmentation Facility as storage to help operate the District’s Regional Augmentation Plan for the Huerfano River Basin. The 48 acre-foot lined reservoir is located about 1,800 feet from the river and was designed to store and release augmentation water. The facility includes a water intake and release structure at the river. A diversion dam, intake structure, pump station, and an 8-inch pipeline were designed for filling the reservoir. The facility was designed to use the same pipeline for releases from the reservoir back to the river when augmentation supply is needed. Applegate Group was hired to complete operational accounting and projections for operating the District’s Regional Augmentation Plan and the Sheep Mountain Augmentation Facility. Applegate Group is also providing engineering design input to the District regarding repair of the reservoir’s liner ballast material that has sloughed off due to damage from high winds at the facility.

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October 2024

Johnnie Johnson Reservoir aka Rio Blanco Reservoir

This Rio Blanco Reservoir was originally constructed by the Colorado Game and Fish Commission in 1964 for recreation and fishery uses. The reservoir is located off channel and is filled by a ditch that diverts water from the White River. In 2022, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) retained Applegate Group to evaluate the existing outlet pipe for potential improvements. Upon draining the reservoir it was discovered that there were a significant number of animal burrows in the upstream dam face with some extending up to 10 feet into the embankment. Applegate assisted CPW with the design and construction management of the rehabilitation project, including a Cast-In-Place-Pipe (CIPP) liner installed in the existing outlet conduit, a new slide gate and operator, a new outlet structure, and remediation of the animal burrows in the embankment.

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November 2024

Gibralter Ditch Headgate

The Yampa River in Northwestern Colorado experienced the first formal water rights call in 2018. As a result of the water right call, increased scrutiny was put on many ditches in the area which did not have sufficient infrastructure to adequately control and measure water, which included the Gibralter Ditch. Inundation from high river flows and debris loads has historically plagued the ditch due to the lack of a formal headgate structure. The owners of the Gibralter Ditch retained Applegate Group to design and oversee the construction of a headgate structure and new measuring flume. Funding for the project was provided by the Ditch Owners, the Colorado River District, National Resource Conservation Service, and the Yampa River Fund. The project was online during the high runoff experienced in 2023 during which it performed well and was a significant benefit to the owners as well as the stream system.

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December 2024

Groundhog Dam & Reservoir Outlet Structure

A new intake structure for the outlet conduit was designed by Applegate Group to allow for future repairs and maintenance on the control gates without draining the lake. The Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company owns and operates the dam and reservoir for irrigation purposes in southwest Colorado. The reservoir is located 32 miles north of Dolores via Forest Road 526/Road 31. Three hydraulically operated slide gates were installed along with a trash rack , a hydraulic pressure unit for the gate control, improved conduit ventilation system, and construction of 10 foundation piles. Montezuma Valley Irrigation Company is a mutual ditch company that operates and maintains a storage system that provides irrigation water to its members located within Montezuma County. It has the most senior water rights on the Dolores River. Thanks to a heavy snowpack in the winter of 2022-2023 the reservoir was able to fill to its full capacity of nearly 22,800 acre feet by July 2023.

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