The Rio Grande Infrastructure, Recreation, and Habitat Improvement Project is a multi-purpose project to improve the function and reduce maintenance needs for four irrigation diversion structures, improve stream function, and enhance boat passage. The Anaconda, Independent #2, Ehrowitz, and Billings ditches each require significant maintenance by water users, which can adversely affect river aquatic habitat and water quality due to the frequent use of heavy equipment in the river channel. Additionally, with the exception of the Billings Ditch, each ditch presents a navigational hazard for recreational boating. The Anaconda, Independent #2, and Ehrowitz ditches are located within the Rio Grande’s Gold Medal waters and both wade and float fishing are popular activities within this reach, shown on the map to the left. During low flow conditions, watercraft, especially dories and drift boats, have difficulty navigating these structures due to the lack of a defined low flow channel or other boat passage design feature. These navigational hazards reduce the number of boatable days on the Rio Grande between South Fork and Del Norte, particularly during dry years.
Project activities will address these issues through the replacement of the each ditch’s diversion structure with new structures that includes fish and boat passage while also allowing the ditch’s water users to divert their full water right at all flows.
Needs Identified: The diversion dam, river headgate, and ditch control gates were in poor condition. The site streambanks were unstable and riparian and aquatic habitat was adversely affected by frequent maintenance required to upkeep the ditch.
Needs Identified: The diversion dam and river headgate are in poor condition and present a boating hazard. Frequent maintenance of the feeder ditch results in in adverse effects on water quality and riparian and aquatic habitat. Debris build-up at the headgate inhibits water flow and presents a constant maintenance challenge.
Needs Identified: The diversion dam and river headgate are in poor condition and present a boating hazard, especially at low flows. The water users have difficulty accessing water for irrigation, especially at low flows. Additionally, frequent maintenance of the diversion results in adverse effects on water quality and riparian and aquatic habitat.
Needs Identified: The diversion dam and river headgate are in poor condition and present a navigational hazard for boats, especially at low flows. Water users have difficulty diverting irrigation water at low flows and must maintain the diversion regularly. Frequent maintenance of the diversion results in adverse effects on water quality and riparian and aquatic habitat. Trash build-up at the site inhibits water flow.
623 4th Street, Alamosa, CO 81101
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