Colorado River Cooperative Agreement outstanding issues: Operating the Shoshone power plant and Green Mountain Reservoir

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From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):

Two major issues, the administration of Green Mountain Reservoir and the Shoshone power plant in Glenwood Canyon, remain to be resolved. They are the same issues that parties acknowledged early on would be difficult but not insoluble. “It’s painfully slow,” Colorado River District General Manager Eric Kuhn said, “but we’re making a lot of progress.”[...]

The two issues closest to the Western Slope are joined, with the Green Mountain question needing to be dealt with first, Kuhn said. Agreement on the administration of Green Mountain Reservoir, which was built as part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, “fundamentally sets the stage for moving ahead on Shoshone,” Kuhn said. “A lot of issues have arisen over the years on Green Mountain Reservoir” that boil down to making sure the reservoir fills and that the demands of Denver Water and Colorado Springs are met, said Mark Hermundstad, a Grand Junction water attorney who represents several Grand Valley water users…

Colorado River water spins turbines in the Shoshone plant, and downstream users have long counted on Shoshone’s call on the river to make sure water is sent downstream through the Grand Valley rather than diverted eastward. There is a rub, though, and it concerns the times that Shoshone’s turbines are idle and the plant, therefore, is not drawing its 1,250 cubic feet per second of water from the river. The short-term answer is what has become known as the Shoshone outage protocol, in which upstream diverters agree to allow the river to flow as though Shoshone were operating. Part of that formula, however, depends on how Green Mountain Reservoir, which is owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, is managed.

More Colorado River Cooperative Agreement coverage here.

One Response to Colorado River Cooperative Agreement outstanding issues: Operating the Shoshone power plant and Green Mountain Reservoir

  1. [...] State Engineer’s office and the State Attorney General’s office, which could take awhile. Read Coyote Gulch’s coverage from the Grand Junction Sentinel for [...]

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