CCWCD Stores water in Chatfield Reallocation Space
Denver— June 3, 2021—CCWCD (Central Colorado Water Conservancy District (Central) is announcing the District’s water rights have filled 4,274 acre-feet of space in the Chatfield Storage Reallocation Project (CSRP), enabling irrigation users in Central’s groundwater augmentation plan to utilize Chatfield water for the 1st time.
“Central’s Board of Directors in 1983 appropriated the water rights necessary for the concept of storing water in Chatfield Reservoir. The intent in 1983 was to convert or reallocate flood control capacity in the reservoir to active water storage. Starting in about 1996, coordinated efforts of interested water providers along with non-profit organizations including The Greenway Foundation, Capitol Representatives, State of Colorado, United States Army Corps of Engineers and many others have led us to where we are today.” said Randy W. Ray, Central’s Executive Director.
Impact of Chatfield Reallocation
In addition to Central, six (6) other water providers benefit from water storage in the 20,600-acre-foot reallocation storage pool in Chatfield Reservoir. Central, a Water Conservancy District located in Greeley, CO, owns just over 20% of the reallocated space. The average annual groundwater withdrawals allotted to Central’s agricultural water users is 65,000 acre-feet.
“Having water storage located upstream of the Central District enables us to efficiently manage our water stored in Chatfield. We benefit from the on-stream nature of the reservoir in which large amounts of water can be stored in a short period of time. For example, on May 31st, the inflows to storage resulted in 558-acre feet. The recent precipitation events we have experienced this spring allow the project participants to store water which otherwise would have flowed down the river and into Nebraska.” said William Mihelich, Central’s District Engineer.
(CSRP) is a project which took decades to accomplish. The project consisted of recreational and environmental mitigation at a cost of $171 million. Highlights of the effort included stabilization of Plum Creek which flows into the reservoir from the south, establishment of an environmental pool to manage low flows in the South Platte River below the Chatfield Dam and new recreational facilities at Chatfield State Park, including the new marina.
Central Colorado Water Conservancy District was created to develop, manage and protect water resources for Northeast Colorado, Central has been in operation since September of 1965. The district stretches along the South Platte River from Commerce City to Fort Morgan. Policy and goals are established by a fifteen-member Board of Directors who are appointed by a district judge. Since its beginning, the Board of Director’s goal has been to advocate and support the development of water resources within the South Platte River basin.