Arkansas River Diversion Project

 Arkansas River Diversion Project

Arkansas River Diversion Project
Project Overview / Background
The Homestake Project is a trans-mountain raw water collection, storage, and delivery system co-owned and operated by the cities of Colorado Springs and Aurora, Colo. 

The Homestake Arkansas River Diversion (ARD), between Granite and Buena Vista, Colo., was constructed in 1964 as the original intake for the Otero Pump Station. Water is now primarily withdrawn from Twin Lakes, however the ARD remains an alternate point of diversion. The ARD has deteriorated and requires repair. The ARD was not originally designed as a navigable facility. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) manages the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) which includes the site of the ARD. CPW expressed interest in partnering with Springs Utilities on a rehabilitation project to include a boat chute for downstream navigation as this location is currently considered the only non-navigable reach of the Arkansas River between Leadville and Canon City, Colo. 

The Upper Arkansas River is both one of the most heavily used rivers in the United States for whitewater recreation and is a Gold Medal Trout Fishery. The river is managed to support multiple objectives including water supply and delivery and outdoor recreation. 

The cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs are constructing a rehabilitation project that will replace the intake and diversion, provide a boat chute for downstream navigation, and provide upstream fish passage for spawning of brown and rainbow trout. The project also included improving river safety for recreational users and providing whitewater boat portage. User safety was an extremely important design consideration.

Construction ScheduleA physical model was constructed to test and refine hydraulic elements to optimize performance, maximize user safety and meet design guidelines for recreational whitewater for all three components: boat chute, fish passage and the new intake structure. 

The $9 million construction cost of the project is being jointly funded by the cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs. $1.2 million in grants is coming from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Water Conservation Board through grant funding to support the Colorado Water Plan (Water Supply and Demand Gap and Environmental and Recreation Grant Programs). The Pueblo Board of Waterworks is donating the easements necessary to construct and maintain the diversion. 

Project Partners
Aurora Water
Colorado Springs Utilities

Pueblo Water
Arkansas Headwater Recreation Area (Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
Colorado Water Conservation Board

Deere & Ault Consultants
Recreation Engineering and Planning
Northwest Hydraulics Consultants
SG1 Water Consulting

Tezak Heavy Equipment Co., Inc
Important Information for River Users
·       A portage route will be provided around the work area throughout construction. All downriver traffic must portage. 
·       Clear Creek North River Access is closed to the public during the project

·       Clear Creek South River Access will remain open during the project
·      Minor increases in turbidity may occur during portions of the work

Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding as we work to improve this area for the benefit of the whole community!