While the expansion of the Gross Reservoir will have a great impact on Boulder County over the next seven years or longer, the extra drinking water supply created from the expansion will exclusively serve Denver Water customers at the expense of Boulder and surrounding areas.
The project was intended to address an expected water shortfall that would have hit in 2016. However, due to conservation efforts, that shortfall never happened. Sustainable water management practices are required in this era of drying climate. Expanding Gross Dam is using 20th century technology to solve a 21st century challenge.
Rather than spending $380 to $450 million (and maybe more) on a dam expansion project that threatens our local environment, we should concentrate our efforts on continuing water conservation efforts in the Denver area and look for ongoing, sustainable solutions to support a growing population in a world affected by climate change. Climate scientists tell us that by the middle of this century there will likely not be enough water to fill even the existing reservoir, let alone a larger one. This ill advised project, should it proceed, may well result in Denver Water "building" a big, dry hole.
The timeline below features downloadable resources to follow the process from its origin to where we are today: