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Gross Reservoir Mitigation Fund
Top of Gross Reservoir Dam

Gross Reservoir Community Impact Mitigation Fund

Public Meeting: Gross Reservoir Community Advisory Working Group
Tuesday, May 16 | 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

VIRTUAL meeting. Interested parties are invited to attend and view the meeting via Zoom.

Click Zoom link to watch/observe the meeting.

Community Advisory Working Group

The purpose of the Gross Reservoir Community Advisory Working Group is to weigh different scenarios, interests, and collective impacts from both a scientific and subjective standpoint and make recommendations to Boulder County about what the community feels is the most equitable and fair way to distribute money from the Gross Reservoir Community Impact Mitigation Fund.

Working Group Meeting Schedule – CCCIA (31528 CO-72, Golden, CO 80403)

  • PAST – Thursday, April 6, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. In-person and via Zoom
  • PAST – Tuesday, April 25, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. VIRTUAL only via Zoom
  • PAST – Monday, May 8, from 4:30-5:30 VIRTUAL only via Zoom
  • Tuesday, May 16, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. VIRTUAL only via Zoom (meeting link)
  • **Save the date** Thursday, June 1, 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 1 is being held as a date for a potential additional/final working group meeting. Details will be forwarded if/when that date is confirmed.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the working group meetings to observe and provide written comments during working group meetings. The facilitation team will capture all comments in the meeting summaries. At the request of the working group members, the meetings will be held in person when possible.

We understand that many community members are unable to attend the meetings in person for a variety of reasons, so we will continue to provide a virtual option for accessing the meetings. If you have the option, we encourage community members to attend in person for the best observational experience. The quality of the meeting webcast is limited given the interactive nature of the working group discussions and the community hall’s open environment.

Working Group Documents

Thursday, April 6 – Gross Reservoir Working Group Advisory Working Group

Tuesday, April 25 – Gross Reservoir Working Group Advisory Working Group – 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 16 – Gross Reservoir Working Group Advisory Working Group – 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Pinyon Environmental, Inc.’s report* analyzing the air, noise, and visual impacts of Denver Water’s Gross Reservoir Expansion operations is available for review and comment. Please use the Pinyon Report comment form to submit your input. Comments will be shared with the Gross Reservoir Community Advisory Working Group.

*The Pinyon report used the best available data for its findings. If your address was not included in the list of households analyzed (and you believe it should have been), please send a message to to investigate the matter. Thank you.

We Want to Hear From You — Take Our Survey

The Boulder County Commissioners welcome your feedback, questions, and comments on the Denver Water Gross Reservoir settlement fund (see below for details). By participating in the Gross Reservoir Community survey, you help determine the outcome of the $5 million mitigation fund.

2023 Overview

The first nine months of 2023 will be dedicated to determining the amount and distribution of the first round of funding from the $5 million Denver Water Settlement Agreement. An estimated timeline is provided below and available in PDF format here. (For most recent updates, please read the April 2023 e-newsletter.)

List of dates and tasks to complete Phase I of community impact mitigation funding

Brief Background Summary

In July 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an Order amending Denver Water’s hydropower license that permitted Denver Water to proceed with the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project. With this Order, Denver Water was able to claim that FERC has “complete authority” over the project and was able to avoid County review of the largest construction project in Boulder County history. In addition, Denver Water sued Boulder County to make sure the County’s local land use (1041) authority was preempted (denied) by federal regulation.

In November 2021, Boulder County reached an agreement with Denver Water to resolve the federal lawsuit by Denver Water v. Boulder County. The settlement directed Denver Water to pay more than $12.5 million to Boulder County to mitigate the impacts of the dam expansion project, including $5 million for a fund to be distributed to area residents to help mitigate noise, light, and air impacts to households near the Gross Reservoir Dam Expansion project. Read more about the settlement agreement…

For More Information:


Boulder County Commissioners’ Community Meetings*

  • In-person: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022 (5:30-7 p.m.) at the CCCIA Community Center
  • Virtual: Monday, June 13, 2022, to discuss plans for determining how the $5 million Denver Water Mitigation Settlement Fund will be distributed to impacted community residents.

*To discuss plans for determining how the $5 million Denver Water Mitigation Settlement Fund will be distributed to impacted community residents.

Open Houses:

Location: CCCIA Community Center
Thursday, Aug. 18 – 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Wednesday, Aug. 24 – 5:30 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.
Note: Nederland area date TBD

Gross Reservoir Dam Expansion Settlement FAQ

Denver Water had a strong legal case and the Boulder County stated that it was not going to be able to use its local permitting authority to stop the expansion project. This raises the question of why Denver Water would settle with Boulder County rather than simply waiting for a judgment from the court. In pursuing the expansion project, Denver Water reached agreements with other cities and counties, citing its preference to work with communities rather than have an adversarial relationship. For example, numerous western slope counties, cities, irrigation districts, water authorities, and conservation organizations decided to support the expansion project because of the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement (“CRCA”). Similarly, the City of Boulder and the City of Lafayette agreed to support the expansion project after Denver Water committed to establishing an environmental pool to enhance stream flow in South Boulder Creek during low flow periods. In addition to its preference for working with other Colorado communities, Denver Water was concerned about financial impact that potential delays caused by protracted litigation would have on the expansion project. The settlement removed the uncertainly related to the timeframe of the litigation.

Denver Water made numerous commitments related to the expansion project in the settlement agreement, including a $5 million resident mitigation fund, $50,000 per year for park rangers and other measures during recreation closure, easements for recreational trails, $5.1 million for use in acquiring new County open space, a transfer of 70 acres of Denver Water property to Boulder County for open space, $1 million for a habitation restoration project, $250,000 for a program aimed at minimizing the carbon impact of forest waste, and $1.25 million for a climate innovation/impact fund. The full settlement agreement is here.

All of Denver Water’s commitments are contingent upon Denver Water’s awarding a construction contract and the project proceeding to construction. Denver Water is required to fulfill most of its monetary commitments when Denver Water begins construction on the dam raise portion of the project (anticipated 2024). Boulder County has received the funding for the $5 million-dollar resident mitigation fund and will be working with Pinyon Environmental and the Gross Reservoir community to determine how best to distribute those funds directly to the impacted community.

The $5 million dollar mitigation fund its intended for use of households near the expansion project who will experience noise, light, and air impacts. The County will hire a third-party contractor with expertise in this area to work with the community to determine impacts, mitigation strategies, and make recommendations regarding fair distributions of the funds. The Commissioners have committed to a transparent process which will include community input into the distribution process.

Once the County has been able to assess all impacts and the County’s contractor has completed its evaluation of impacted households, the Commissioners will determine the process for distribution of funds. While no decisions about the specifics of this process have been decided, it is anticipated that fund distribution would begin in the spring of 2023. For updated information on this process, please sign up for the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project news list.