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Chatfield Reallocation Study, Denver, CO

Chatfield dam and reservoir are owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps leases 5,381 land and water acres to the State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation to operate Chatfield State Park.
Chatfield Dam and Lake
Chatfield dam and reservoir are owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps leases 5,381 land and water acres to the State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation to operate Chatfield State Park.
Chatfield Lake lies on the South Platte River at its confluence with Plum Creek, near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 25 miles southwest of downtown Denver. The lake is 2 miles long and has an average depth of 47 feet. The lake drains an area of approximately 3,018 square miles. The 1,479-surface-acre lake has a storage capacity of 27,046 acre-feet.
Chatfield Dam and Lake
Chatfield Lake lies on the South Platte River at its confluence with Plum Creek, near the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 25 miles southwest of downtown Denver. The lake is 2 miles long and has an average depth of 47 feet. The lake drains an area of approximately 3,018 square miles. The 1,479-surface-acre lake has a storage capacity of 27,046 acre-feet.
Chatfield Dam was the second of three dams built to reduce flooding risks in the Denver area. Located southwest of Denver on the South Platte River, construction of the dam was begun in 1967 and was completed in 1975. The dam measures approximately 13,136 feet in length with a maximum height of 147 feet from the streambed to the top of the dam.
Chatfield Dam and Lake
Chatfield Dam was the second of three dams built to reduce flooding risks in the Denver area. Located southwest of Denver on the South Platte River, construction of the dam was begun in 1967 and was completed in 1975. The dam measures approximately 13,136 feet in length with a maximum height of 147 feet from the streambed to the top of the dam.

The published documents regarding the Chatfield Reservoir Storage Reallocation Project have been placed in a collection with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Library. 

Project Scope: The Corps of Engineers, with local sponsorship from the Colorado Water Conservation Board, is investigating the feasibility of reallocating storage from the flood control purpose to joint flood control-conservation purposes in the Chatfield Reservoir under the authority of - Section 808 (Water Resources Development Act of 1986); River and Harbor Act of 1958.

These joint purposes include water supply storage, recreation opportunities and fish and wildlife habitat protection. The Corps and CWCB are coordinating closely with water providers and various stakeholders.

The scope of the Chatfield Reallocation Study focuses on natural and cultural resources within the existing Chatfield Reservoir and how the proposed action and alternatives could affect those resources. Much of the analysis will focus on the effects of water levels in the reservoir, including the increase in elevation and the fluctuations associated with regular operations. The analysis of the proposed action and alternatives for this project varies by resource but generally identifies the key concerns identified during the scoping process for each resource. For example, the analysis will include parameters such as:

  • the acreage of upland and wetland habitat inundated or otherwise impacted;
  • an assessment of the effects on recreational activities (e.g., boating, fishing) and facilities (e.g., boat ramps, picnic tables); and
  • the effects of water levels on aquatic habitat.

Socioeconomic resources are considered on a regional basis and include the impact of change to Chatfield State Park, concessions operating within it and the socioeconomic effects of water storage within and outside of Chatfield Reservoir. The analysis also identifies mitigation measures aimed at avoiding or minimizing impacts to particular resources.