Send Email: Boulder County Should Stop Gross Dam Expansion! About You First Name (required) Last Name (required) Your Email (required) Address City State/Region/Province Postal/Zip Code Phone Subject: Boulder County Should Stop Gross Dam Expansion Dear Boulder County Commissioners, I respectfully request that you use all of your administrative, regulatory, and legal powers – including “1041 power” granted to counties by the state – to help stop Denver Water’s expansion of Gross Dam and Reservoir for the following reasons: 1. The Gross Dam/Reservoir expansion – which would increase the height of the concrete dam by 130 feet and inundate a substantial area of forest lands – would cause extraordinary negative impacts to many Boulder County residents. It would be the biggest construction project in Boulder County history, last 5 years, and involve the large-scale use of explosives and thousands of semi-tractor/trailer trips along the curvy mountain roads up to the dam construction site. Importantly, the project would require a clear-cut of over 200,000 trees, turning the reservoir area into a denuded wasteland with fluctuating water levels. All of these impacts would have a significant negative impact on the home values and quality of life of nearby residents. Further, the project would be hugely disruptive for the many Boulder County residents and visitors who recreate on the existing lake, in the surrounding Boulder County Open Space and National Forest lands, and along South Boulder Creek. The project would mar Boulder County’s reputation as an environmentally pro-active and responsible community and recreational paradise. 2. Denver Water doesn't need the water – despite claims in the Final Environmental Impact Statement that water demand will increase, Denver Water's actual water use has decreased over the last several decades. All across the West, past assumptions linking increased population growth to increased water demand have been proven wrong as people begin to appreciate the connection between water use and their environment. There is no reason to anticipate a different outcome in the Denver Metro area where environmental consciousness is high and water conservation strategies have been put into place. 3. The Gross Dam/Reservoir expansion would cost over $400 million but won't provide meaningful benefits. In fact, despite the high cost and devastating impacts, the expansion of Gross Dam/Reservoir is not sufficient to meet the laundry list of needs that Denver Water proposes to address with the new Colorado River water. Other alternatives, such as increased water conservation spending and outreach, are dramatically cheaper, faster, easier, and make much more sense. 4. The Gross Dam/Reservoir expansion, by diverting an additional average of 5 billion gallons of water per year, would increase the negative impacts on the health of the Fraser and Upper Colorado rivers in Grand County, Colorado, both of which have been nationally recognized as ecological important and imperiled from decades of diversion to the Denver area. The Colorado River – from its source in Grand County all the way to the Gulf of California, 1,500 miles downstream – is the lifeblood of the West but is facing perilous threats from misguided development and climate change. The Gross Dam/Reservoir expansion is just one of several new projects threatening to drain the Colorado River at the exact time that we should be protecting and restoring this keystone river. Thank you for protecting the citizens and environment of Boulder County!