Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement
Current Reservoir Use
Chatfield Reservoir and Dam were built in 1975 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) at the confluence of the South Platte River and Plum Creek, to provide flood protection for the greater metropolitan area.The reservoir currently has the ability to store 350,676 acre-feet (AF) of water.
A majority of that storage space is reserved for flood control, but the reservoir also provides storage space for conservation (a.k.a. “multipurpose”) water, which is used for municipal, industrial, agricultural and recreational uses, as well as for maintaining fisheries and wildlife habitat.The property around Chatfield Reservoir is leased from the Corps and managed by Colorado State Parks as one of Colorado’s major recreational destinations.
Currently, Chatfield Reservoir storage is distributed into four pools with designated storage purposes (i.e., inactive/sediment, multipurpose-conservation, flood control, surcharge water).Each pool is defined by specific pool elevations (feet above mean sea level), limiting the volume of water for that purpose that is allowed in the reservoir.
(feet above mean sea level) (acre-feet)
Maximum Surcharge/ 5,500 to 5,521.6 116,469 Spillway Design Flood Pool:
Flood Control Pool: 5,432 to 5,500 206,779
Multipurpose/Conservation Pool: 5,385 to 5,432 27,405
Inactive/Sediment Pool: 5,377 to 5,385 23 (From bottom of reservoir)
Denver Water Storage Rights Currently, Denver Water is the only provider with rights to store water in Chatfield’s multipurpose-conservation pool.Denver Water’s use of the pool is subject to certain conditions for maintaining water levels for recreation and conservation. Releases of Water Releases from Chatfield Reservoir are coordinated by the State Engineer’s Office, based on Colorado water law and the demand for water supply, while minimizing water level fluctuations during the recreation season (Memorial Day to Labor Day).Once the pool rises above 5,432 feet m.s.l., the Corps is responsible for the release of water from the flood control pool.