Water levels in the Colorado River have been dropping continuously over the past few weeks largely due to the current drought happening throughout Colorado. On Wednesday, the City of Grand Junction closed off the River Park at Las Colonias from the main channel to protect the ecological habitat in the main channel of the river. Sandbags were placed at the entrance to the River Park in order to keep the water in the main channel to the benefit of the endangered fish present in our river.
The River Park channel was developed first and foremost as an ecological enhancement to create additional aquatic and riparian areas and recreation was a secondary factor. In accordance with requirements of the River Park’s federal permit, any time the Colorado River flows below 810 cubic feet per second (cfs), the River Park channel must be cut off from the main channel of the Colorado River to protect critical habitat for wildlife. The Colorado River has historically dropped below 810 cfs through this reach approximately 10% of observed years. Due to drought conditions throughout Colorado, the Colorado River reached these flow levels on July 14th.
The River Park channel is still open for use, but the experience is very different from when the River Park opened for public use. Dogs are still not allowed in the water of the River Park as the water volume in the River Park channel is greatly reduced. A section of the Dog Park at Las Colonias is planned to open soon.
The City of Grand Junction will continue to monitor flows and look to undam this channel to increase water flow into the River Park channel as soon as flows permit. This is a very popular amenity and we appreciate the community’s embrace of it.
Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager 970-244-1557 or firstname.lastname@example.org