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Groups sue to prevent Colorado dam expansion

Project would drain river, imperil endangered fish

December 19, 2018

Guardians and allies filed suit today in federal district court seeking to protect flows in the Colorado River by halting Denver Water’s Moffat Collection System Project.

The project calls for diverting water from the headwaters of the Colorado River, piping it across the Continental Divide, and releasing it for storage in the Gross Dam and Reservoir. It will triple the storage capacity of the reservoir and make the dam the tallest in Colorado’s history. It will also hurt the 40 million people who depend on the Colorado River as a resource, and—by diverting more water out of small headwater streams—further imperil an endangered lineage of cutthroat trout. And that’s not even considering its negative impacts on Boulder County, one of the most pro-environment communities in the country.

The project advances even as states in the basin are working to address falling levels in Lake Mead and Lake Powell due to extensive drought and climate change. “The Colorado River is in crisis,” said Guardians’ Jen Pelz. “The most obvious solution to sustain our namesake river is to start living within our means, not doubling down on what got us here in the first place—more reckless dams and diversions.”

Read the press release.

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