In the early 1970s a water diversion was constructed as part of the Colorado River Compact. This diversion takes water from the Blanco and the Navajo Rivers, and transfers that water to the Rio Grande watershed. The Blanco River below the diversion has seen a very limited quantity of water each year since the diversion was constructed. Riverbend’s goals for this project are to improve conditions in the river, making the best use of the remaining water in the channel. Riverbend’s design provided for a narrower channel to convey flows, as well as pool complexes to provide cooling. Restoration of this stretch of the Rio Blanco River was the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s first CWA section 319-funded project aimed at addressing hydrologic modifications. In the last 15 years over 12-miles have been restored so the stream channel now matches the altered flow regime, and the landowners have been educated.
15 June 2011