July 17, 2012--New reservoir coming to the region? (Cortez Journal)

In an effort to keep local control over local water issues, the Dolores Water Conservancy District has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a preliminary permit to study the feasibility of a large water project on Plateau Creek, a tributary of McPhee Reservoir. The paperwork filed by the local water district is a competing proposal, a response to a similar application filed by Bellevue, Wash., engineering firm INCA Engineers. DWCD’s permit application, filed on May 10, seeks “municipal preference” for feasibility studies over the out-of-state company, which filed application paperwork with FERC on Nov. 30, 2011. At the heart of the contest is a pumped storage project on Plateau Creek which would include two reservoirs. The project would comprise an upper reservoir with a total storage capacity of 8,000 acre-feet and a surface area of 275 acres and a lower reservoir with a total storage capacity of 9,500 acre-feet and a water surface area of 200 square acres. The purpose of the project would be hydroelectric capabilities with 500 megawatts of generating capacity and a 7-mile-long, 230 kilovolt transmission line. An acre-foot of water is the equivalent filling the surface of a football field to the depth of one foot. DWCD hopes its historic water rights and involvement in local water issues will win the day when permits are awarded, according to district manager Mike Preston.

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