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unnecessary expansion of Gross Reservoir and draining of the Fraser River.

Gross Reservoir / Moffat Expansion

Gross Reservoir is a Denver Water storage site. Colorado residents and tourists alike enjoy its beauty, waterfalls, and hiking and bike trails. The reservoir expansion proposed by Denver Water would remove over 30,000 trees, interrupt elk migration routes and disturb habitats for other treasured creatures, which would be affected by 5+ years of heavy construction.

Video Overview of Proposed Gross Reservoir / Moffat Expansion
video clip excerpted from the film No Water To Waste

Gross Reservoir was completed in 1954 and named for Denver Water former Chief Engineer Dwight D. Gross. It was built for water storage for municipalities in the Greater Denver area.  The utility company Denver Water diverts a significant portion of the headwaters of the Colorado River, west of the Continental Divide, through the Moffat Tunnel to be stored in Gross Reservoir over 20 miles away, east of the Divide.  During the summer months, when municipal water usage is significantly higher due to landscaping (over 50% of Denver Water’s total water consumption goes to this purpose), Gross Reservoir feeds into Denver Water’s supply system, contributing roughly 5% of the overall quota.  During the fall, winter and spring seasons, Gross Reservoir is shut down for recharging.

Presently, Denver Water is proposing to increase the height of Gross Dam from 340 feet to 465 feet, nearly tripling the reservoir’s storage capacity from 41,811 to 114,000 acre-feet.  The utility claims that the $140M+ expansion, dubbed the Moffat Collection System Project, would help resolve three major water supply challenges: the risk of a near-term water supply shortfall; the risk of running out of water in the north end of Denver Water’s system during a single dry year; and a serious imbalance in Denver Water’s water collection system.

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