An important preliminary phase of what could end up being a $500 million new dam and reservoir system may launch later this year in north central Colorado.
For years, officials in Aurora and Colorado Springs have been talking about building a massive dam and reservoir system roughly 300 miles to the west of both of those cities.
The project would go up near the Holy Cross Wilderness Area, which is a designated U.S. Wilderness Area, and would see the construction of, at minimum, a 20,000 acre-foot reservoir.
Both cities, with significantly growing populations needing more water resources, would tap into the water from the new reservoir through a complicated system of tunnels and pipelines for eventual residential use.
Earlier this summer comments were accepted by the U.S. Forest Service regarding the possible approval of a drilling initiative, a preliminary geophysical and subservice survey seeing the drilling of ten 150-foot deep bore holes at three sites on federal land.
That drilling project, in turn, will determine the feasibility of building the new dam and reservoir system.
The larger dam and reservoir project has sparked the opposition of a number of environmental groups including the Sierra Club and the Wild Earth Guardians. Those groups have raised concerns about the negative impact on fish and wildlife that may be caused by building a new dam and reservoir.
The driving force behind the project, say Aurora and Colorado Springs officials, is the unprecedented growth of both cities, which have seen their combined populations jump from 637,000 two decades ago to 857,000 today.
By Garry Boulard
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