For Immediate Release 2/28/2024 Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The World's Rivers, 970-218-8310 Save The World's…
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310
Save The Colorado Lawsuit Against Denver Water Escalates Climate Fight Around Colorado River
Upper Colorado River, CO: Yesterday, Save The Colorado and co-plaintiffs filed the opening brief in the long-awaited lawsuit against Denver Water and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for permitting the massive expansion of Gross Dam in Boulder County, a project that would also divert a new 5 billion gallons of water out of the Upper Colorado River every year. (the 70-page opening brief is posted here)
The litigation has been mired in controversy for years, initially “dismissed” by a federal district court judge in Denver, a decision that was later overturned by the 10th circuit court of appeals. Now back in federal district court, the Gross Dam project and the Upper Colorado River will finally have its day in court.
The essence of the brief, argued by Save The Colorado and co-plaintiffs (STC et al.), is two-fold against the “Purpose and Need” for the project. First, STC et al. argue that the Army Corps of Engineers completely failed to consider that climate change would undermine the “purpose” of the project, which is to divert more water out of the tributaries of the Upper Colorado River in Grand County to send the water to Denver. Specifically, STC et al. claim that climate change will diminish streamflows such that the purpose of the project cannot be met.
Second, STC et al. argue that Denver Water doesn’t “need” the water. In fact, Denver Water routinely bragged publicly about how their water use was going down, not up, which legally undermines the need for the project. (see Denver Water tweet here)
“Climate change is real and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must stop ignoring it,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Colorado. “This project is ‘climate denial on the Colorado River’ and we will stand up for science as well as hold Denver Water accountable for wasting over a half-billion dollars of money on a project that isn’t needed.”
The U.S. Dept of Justice (DOJ) is defending the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in federal court. DOJ’s response to the STC brief is due on November 6.
“Although this crazy dam project is still being constructed in Boulder County, we are committed to stopping Denver Water from further draining the Colorado River,” said Wockner. “Save The Colorado is a law enforcement organization and the Upper Colorado River in Grand County will get its day in court.”