Here’s a in-depth report from Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. Click through and read the whole article. Here’s an excerpt:
A corridor master plan Friday was combed over by the citizens advisory group to the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District board. The panel could not agree on whether a dam or series of dams is needed to protect projects that beautify the creek with trails and parks on Fountain Creek, a normally gentle stream prone to occasional violent floods. There also was no consensus on whether water quality should be improved before or after people are encouraged to enjoy the water…
The corridor plan addresses just the area in the flood plain between Pueblo and Colorado Springs, and is aimed at projects that will fit within the $50 million the district expects to receive five years from now. The district also needs to have projects that could convince voters to approve a mill levy when the time comes, said Larry Small, general manager of the district…
A dam on Fountain Creek could require moving railroad tracks and Interstate 25 or acquiring private land. A series of dams could be built on any of 21 tributaries along Fountain Creek and would be easier to clear as they periodically filled with sediment, Ready said. “You need a greenway so the creek can meander to slow down the water,” [Tom Ready, a Pueblo member of the committee] said. “You need to keep construction away from the creek. But no big dam will ever work.”[...]
[Larry Howe-Kerr of Better Pueblo] questioned the wisdom of drawing people to the creek if the water quality remains impaired. Small, Ready and others on the committee said the corridor plan does recommend actions that would improve water quality. They said recreation on the creek would get people to care about it, and does not necessarily mean coming in contact with the water…
The district is awaiting information from a U.S. Geological Survey study of the impact dams would have on Fountain Creek. In addition, Colorado Springs is developing a stormwater criteria manual which the district wants other communities to consider as well. It won’t be finalized until 2013. A white paper that looks at a comprehensive stormwater plan for El Paso County communities also is being drafted and should be presented to the district in the near future.
Meanwhile, two technical advisory committee meetings are on the horizon to discuss dam proposals and water rights issues on the creek, according to Chris Woodka writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. From the article:
The technical advisory committee of the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District will discuss the U.S. Geological Survey study of Fountain Creek dams at 10 a.m. Nov. 30 at the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments office, 15 S. Seventh St., Colorado Springs.
The committee will have a panel discussion of water rights by experts from various organizations at 1 p.m. Dec. 7 at Fountain City Hall.
The USGS study is looking at the impacts of putting dams at various points along Fountain Creek to control floods. The study would not design or recommend dams, but is designed to measure the effectiveness of single projects or combinations of projects. The study is expected to be ready for review late next year and completed in 2013. The study is funded, in part, by $300,000 from Colorado Springs Utilities as a condition of the Pueblo County 1041 permit for the Southern Delivery System.
The water rights discussion is needed as the district and its partners develop demonstration projects for Fountain Creek, said Dennis Maroney, chairman of the technical committee.