Big rewards or big impact?

By Douglas CrowlLoveland Connection

Loveland officials say the proposed Chimney Hollow Reservoir could add enough to the city’s water supplies to guarantee coverage during a 100-year-drought at least until 2030.

But detractors wonder at what cost a 90,000-acre-foot reservoir filled with Windy Gap water will have on the already struggling Colorado River.

“We feel that Windy Gap is digging this hole deeper and not helping figure out the problem,” David Nickum, executive director of Colorado Trout Unlimited, said before a recent public hearing on the project.

Many people concerned about the proposed reservoir wanted to extend the public comment period for the Windy Gap Firming Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement, so they could review the 600-page document to see if it addresses Western Slope water concerns.