St. Vrain State Park
Client: Colorado Department of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Water Resources Engineering - New Water Rights, Operations Modeling, Water Demand Analysis, Water Rights Yield Analysis, Water Rights Evaluations
St. Vrain State Park, formally named Barbour Ponds, has approximately 50 acres of land and 80 acres of water split between Barbour Ponds, Blue Heron Reservoir, and eleven smaller ponds. SWE has assisted State Parks in water supply planning and adjudication of new water rights for the Park, and provided water rights evaluation and appraisal services for purchase of new water rights for the Park.
The work SWE performed included: developing a demand schedule for all the facilities listed in the master plan for the Park; estimating the water yield from the water rights associated with the Park; estimating the amount of additional water supplies and water storage that may be needed to meet the water demands of the Park; and assisting State Parks staff and legal counsel in drafting water court applications for meeting water demands. The water rights applications included a storage right for Blue Heron Reservoir and a plan for augmentation to allow water uses at the Park.
The work performed for the Blue Heron Reservoir included the development of a daily stream flow model to evaluate the physical water availability of Parks' junior water rights and an analysis of daily "river call" records to evaluate the legal water availability of the junior water rights.
SWE also developed a water management plan for the Park to assist in the conceptual planning and design of water features and facilities to allow for conveyance of water to and within the Park as needed. SWE designed and installed monitoring wells in order to better understand the occurrence and movement of ground water underlying the Park and to monitor potential leakage from the lined ponds.
In order to assist State Parks in securing additional water supplies for the Park, SWE also performed a market valuation of water rights being considered for purchase by State Parks. The market valuation consisted of a determination of the consumptive use volume and a firm and average-year yield evaluation for the various water rights considered by State Parks. In addition, an operations plan to optimize the use of the water rights was prepared and utilized to evaluate the cost/benefit of potential purchases.