Colorado River – 15-Mile Reach


Seeing an emerging pattern of low flows caused by low snowpack and warmer temperatures on this important reach of the Colorado River, Colorado Water Trust was able to identify an opportunity to partner with local organizations to implement one of our most ambitious projects to date.


Reservoir Releases

During the first year of this project, Colorado Water Trust leased water from Ruedi Reservoir for hydropower generation. The water flows down the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork Rivers before entering the Colorado River near Glenwood Springs. It then flows down 130 miles of the Colorado to the hydropower plant and is then released into the 15-Mile Reach where it boosts flows for endangered fish species including the Colorado Pikeminnow, Bonytail, and Razorback Sucker. At times, the water from this project has accounted for up to half of the water in the 15-Mile Reach


Grand Valley Water Users Association, Orchard Mesa Irrigation District, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery Program, Coca Cola, Intel Corporation, Coors Selzer, Major League Baseball, Walton Family Foundation, Western Colorado Community Foundation, Town of Palisade, Lyda Hill Foundation, and Caerus Oil & Gas LLC


Through 2023, the 15-Mile Reach Project has restored over

Billion gallons

Acre-feet of water to the Colorado River.


2019 - Present