Environmental Pool / Minimum Stream Flow


The pledge drive announced last August will add 500 acre-feet of environmental storage at Chatfield Reservoir through a community coalition. Denver Water committed nearly $2 million to fund the purchase of 250 acre-feet of storage space in Chatfield — if The Greenway Foundation could raise the funds necessary to match that amount. The Greenway Foundation had set a one year target for lining up funding for 250 AF, and we met our goal two months early!

The 500 acre-feet of water will be added to the 1,600 acre-feet for an environmental pool (“EP”) being developed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Water Conservation Board through the Chatfield Reallocation Project, for a total of 2,100 feet of storage. The EP will be set aside for releases of water that will provide environmental and water quality benefits to the South Platte River below Chatfield during low-flow periods of the year when additional stream flow levels are critically needed. Key partners include the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District (CCWCD) and Denver Water.

View the press release from Denver Water here.

The project has received support from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. Innovative partnerships and the EP’s multiple benefits make it a potential model for use throughout the Colorado River basin, and other basins.

A special thank you to all donors who helped secure this victory for the environment, including:
• City and County of Denver
• Walton Family Foundation
• Adams County
• Arapahoe County
• Weld County
• Gates Family Foundation
• City of Englewood
• City of Littleton
• Mile High Flood District
• South Suburban Parks and Recreation
• The Greenway Foundation
• The Colorado Parks Foundation
• The Shoemaker Family
• Denver Trout Unlimited
• City of Sheridan
• Columbine Valley
• South Metro Land Conservancy
• Capitol Representatives
• Evan and Kim Ela

“Contributions to the environmental pool are a one-time only cost for environmental, water quality, and recreational benefits that will last for generations,” said Devon Buckels, Director of The Water Connection.

Releases from the environmental pool will flow through the Denver metro area providing environmental, recreational and water quality benefits, and will then be used by CCWCD for agriculture. Every drop of water in the environmental pool will provide multiple benefits.

Thanks to all who have supported this endeavor, and stay tuned as we take next steps to continue to make the Chatfield Environmental Pool a reality!

Contact Devon Buckels, Director, The Water Connection, devon@thewaterconnection.org or Jeff Shoemaker, Executive Director, The Greenway Foundation, jeff@thegreenwayfoundation.org for more information.