Colorado’s Historic Water Projects 2023 Calendar
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This calendar, featuring the work of photographer Richard Stenzel, is the 19th 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
2023 Calendars are in and available for pickup at our offices.
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St. Charles Mesa Reservoir Numbers 2 and 3
St. Charles Mesa Reservoir Number 2 Reservoir, in the foreground, and St. Charles Mesa Reservoir Number 3 in the background are located south of Pueblo near Stem Beach, Colorado. They were originally constructed in 1900 to supply industrial water for Colorado Fuel and Iron Company which is now known as EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel Company. Reservoir Number 2 provides industrial water to the steel mill and water levels are maintained by releases from Reservoir Number 3. The combined storage amount for both reservoirs is limited to 9,300 acre-feet. Water is supplied to the two reservoirs from the Arkansas River through the nearly 45 mile long Minnequa Canal and the St. Charles Flood Ditch which diverts from the nearby Saint Charles River.
Ish Reservoir AKA Boulder and Larimer County Reservoir
Ish Reservoir was constructed in 1905, is located between Berthoud and Longmont, and is owned and operated by the Ish Reservoir Company. There are two dams that create Ish Reservoir: the East Dam and the Main Dam. The reservoir can be seen on the east side of Highway 287 near the Larimer Boulder County line. The Ish Inlet Ditch diverts water from the Little Thompson River into the Ish Reservoir. The reservoir stores 7,158 acre-feet of water which is used to irrigate 5,000 acres of farmland serviced by the Old and New Ish Ditch Companies. Water is also delivered from Ish Reservoir into the Little Thompson River in accordance with the plan for augmentation for the Big Elk Meadow Lakes.
Brown Lakes #1 and #2 SWA AKA Troutvale Reservoirs #1 & #2
Brown Lakes #1 & #2 State Wildlife Area is in Hinsdale County approximately 25 miles west of the town of Creede. Brown Lake #1 has a storage capacity of 510 acre-feet and was completed in 1911. The reservoir was decreed for irrigation purposes at a rate of 2.5 cubic feet per second (c.f.s). Brown Lake #2 was completed in 1940 and decreed for fish propagation, fur-bearing animals, waterfowl habitat, and recreational use. The storage capacity of Brown Lake #2 is 435 acre-feet.
Daigre Reservoir is located approximately one mile east of the town of La Veta directly northeast of Wahatoya Lake. The reservoir was constructed in 1900-1901 and decreed in 1921 for irrigation. The City of Walsenburg purchased the reservoir in 1956 and applied for a change to municipal use in 1958. Walsenburg subsequently applied for an enlargement decree for the reservoir in 1965. The reservoir is part of the Wahatoya Lake State Wildlife Area (SWA), which allows fishing. picnicking, hiking, wildlife viewing and non-motorized boating. Water stored in the reservoir is diverted at the headgate of the Francisco-Daigre Mill Ditch #1 then through the lateral ditch known as Francisco-Daigre Lake Ditch. The water stored in the reservoir can then be released to Walsenburg Reservoir (aka City Lake) via pipeline and ultimately to the City of Walsenburg when needed. The reservoir has a combined decreed storage capacity of 164.4 acre-feet and has decreed uses of municipal, domestic and irrigation purposes in the City of Walsenburg.
Ward Creek Reservoir
Ward Creek Reservoir is located 30 miles east of Grand Junction on the south side of the Grand Mesa and is accessible by State Highway 65. Ward Creek Reservoir has a storage capacity of 284 acre-feet and was constructed in 1957. The reservoir is part of the Ward Creek Kiser Creek System which is operated by the Grand Mesa Water Users Association. Water stored in this reservoir is released, measured, and accounted for as storage water released into Ward Creek. This water may be diverted by water users on Ward Creek or diverted at the Big Ditch aka Surface Creek Ditch headgate and delivered to Kiser Creek. Any water released to Kiser Creek is measured and may be diverted by irrigators located further downstream on Kiser Creek. The released water could also be diverted by an extension of the Big Ditch and be released to Surface Creek near Cedaredge for irrigation use in the orchards and hay fields located in the vicinity of Cedaredge from Surface Creek. The reservoir is a popular fishing destination and is regularly stocked by the State. In the wintertime, the site serves as the primary trailhead for the Ward Lake cross country ski trails.
Constructed in 1913, Standley Lake is located on the western edge of Westminster and has a storage capacity of 42,000 acre-feet. Standley Lake Regional Park is owned and operated by the City of Westminster. While the public has access to the park land and recreational use of the lake, the water rights are jointly owned by the cities of Westminster, Thornton, Northglenn and the Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Company (FRICO) stockholders. FRICO is the owner of the dam, outlets, and spillway. The water from Standley Lake is used as a municipal water supply for the Cities of Westminster, Northglenn, and Thornton. Water is also used for agricultural irrigation by FRICO, recreation and wildlife habitat. In addition to hiking, bicycling, camping, wildlife viewing and other park-based recreational activities, the lake offers visitors with opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and standup paddleboarding. Activities such as swimming, power boating and jet skiing are not allowed. Ninety-six percent of the water in the reservoir comes from Clear Creek via the Church Ditch, Farmers’ High Line Canal and the Croke Canals. The remaining water comes from Woman Creek and adjacent drainages.
Goose Pasture Tarn aka Goose Pasture Reservoir 6
Goose Pasture Tarn, located in Summit County, is two miles south of the town of Breckenridge. The dam and reservoir were originally completed in 1965 and are owned and operated by the Town of Breckenridge. The storage capacity of Goose Pasture Tarn is 800 acre-feet, and the lake surface area is 68 acres. The portion of the water stored in the lake is the result of a change of use of 1 cubic foot per second (c.f.s) of the Lusher Ditch originally diverted from the Blue River for irrigation use. The Lusher Ditch water right was changed in water court to allow storage in Goose Pasture Tarn and be used for irrigation, municipal, domestic, and industrial uses including snowmaking at the Breckenridge Ski Area Pump Plant and Pipeline. Later an additional 6.4 c.f.s of the Lusher Ditch water right was also changed to storage in Goose Pasture Tarn for subsequent use for irrigation, municipal, domestic, and industrial uses including snow-making purposes at the Breckenridge Ski area. Water levels have been lowered as part of an extensive rebuilding project that is scheduled to be completed in 2023.
Home Supply Ditch and the City of Loveland Diversion Structure
The Home Supply Ditch diversion structure on the Big Thompson River, located approximately 5.5 miles west of the City of Loveland, is owned by the Consolidated Home Supply Ditch & Reservoir Company (CHSD). The CHSD delivers water for agricultural purposes through its system of ditches and reservoirs which are located on the south side of the Big Thompson River in Larimer and Weld Counties. The combination of ditches and reservoirs irrigates approximately 17,000 acres and is the water supply for the Town of Johnstown. The dam has a maximum height of 70 feet. The huge sandstone blocks that are part of the dam were cut to fit the upstream arch design. It is among the oldest dams of its type in the West, and in 1985 was designated a Colorado Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The arch design transfers the water pressure on the dam into the canyon walls on either side. The aerial view of the Home Supply Diversion Structure shows the dam and diversion structure for the Home Supply Ditch on the left abutment of the dam. The aerial photo also shows the current inlet structure that delivers water to the water treatment plant owned by the City of Loveland near the right abutment of the dam.
Highland Ditch White River AKA Highline Ditch
White River Highline Ditch Company owns the Highline Ditch White River. The ditch diverts water from the south bank of the White River east of Meeker and was originally constructed in 1886. The decreed diversion rate is 249 cubic feet per second (c.f.s) for the irrigation of 2,861 acres of land located on the south side of the White River in the vicinity of Meeker, Colorado.
Grizzly Reservoir stores 600 acre-feet of water and is owned and operated by the Twin Lakes Reservoir and Canal Company and is part of the Independence Pass Transmountain Water Diversion System. The dam is somewhat unique as the upstream embankment is covered in steel plating. The Independence Pass Transmountain Water Diversion System delivers water from Grizzly Reservoir and the New York Collection system and the Roaring Fork Component to Twin Lakes Reservoir. The four mile long Twin Lakes Tunnel is the final part of the Independence Pass Transmountain Water Diversion System, built in the 1930s by the sugar beet farmers around Ordway who needed West Slope water. The tunnel delivers water stored in Grizzly Reservoir to Twin Lakes. Water stored in Twin Lakes is delivered to the Colorado Springs Utilities water supply system, Aurora, Pueblo West, and Pueblo who own almost all the shares in The Twin Lakes Reservoir and Canal Company along with irrigators located near Ordway.
Eggleston Lake is located 32 miles east of Grand Junction on the south side of the Grand Mesa and is accessible by State Highway 65 and County Road 121. Eggleston Lake has a storage capacity of 2,555 acre-feet and was constructed in 1949. The lake is part of the Ward Creek Kiser Creek System which is operated by the Grand Mesa Water Users Association. This water may be diverted by water users on Kiser Creek or Ward Creek. Any water released to Kiser Creek is measured and diverted by irrigators located further downstream on Kiser Creek or Ward Creek. The water could also be diverted by an extension of the Big Ditch and be released to Surface Creek near Cedaredge for irrigation use in the orchards and hay fields located in the vicinity of Cedaredge from Surface Creek. Colorado parks and wildlife regularly stocks the reservoir with a variety of trout species. The dam outlet was rehabilitated in 2016 with a Cast-In-Place-Pipe which should extend the life of the outlet well into the future.
Joe Moore Reservoir aka Big Pine Reservoir
Summit Reservoir & Irrigation Company owns the Joe Moore Reservoir aka Big Pine Reservoir. The dam was constructed in 1907 and is located five miles north of Mancos, Colorado. The Summit Reservoir and Irrigation system includes two major direct flow diversions namely the Turkey Creek Ditch and the Summit Ditch. Turkey Creek Ditch diverts from Turkey Creek, a tributary of Lost Canyon Creek, which in turn is a tributary of the Dolores River near the town of Dolores. Turkey Creek Ditch delivers water to Joe Moore Reservoir, which has normal storage capacity of 259 acre-feet. Water from Joe Moore Reservoir is delivered to Summit Reservoir and A.M. Puett Reservoir for storage. Water stored in Summit Reservoir is released through its outlet works for delivery to the irrigated lands under the system or to the turnout that serves as the inlet ditch to the A.M. Puett Reservoir. After the Summit and A.M. Puett Reservoirs are filled, stored water and direct flow water are delivered for irrigation purposes in the upper reaches of the McElmo Creek drainage. During this period, water stored in Joe Moore Reservoir is either released for storage or released to irrigate lands between Joe Moore Reservoir and Summit Reservoir. Colorado Parks and Wildlife operate the surrounding area as a State Wildlife Area providing fishing, waterfowl hunting, and wildlife viewing for the general public.
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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