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U. S.-DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS-BULLETIN NO. 134.
A. C. TRUE, Director.
STORAGE OF WATER ON CACHE LA POUDRE
AND BIG THOMPSON RIVERS.
C. E. TAIT,
ASSISTANT IN IRRIGATION INVESTIGATIONS.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
OFFICE OF EXPE ENT STTI
OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS.
A. C. TRUE, Ph. D., Director.
E. W. ALLEN, Ph. D., Assistant Director.
ELWOOD MEAD, Chief.
C. T. JOHNSTON, Assistant Chief in Charge of Central District.
SAMI'EL FORTIER, Irrigation Engineer in Charge of Pacific District.
C. G. ELLIOTT, Agent and Expert in Charge of Drainage Investigations.
R. P. TEELE, Editorial Assistant.
C. E. TAIT, Assistant in Charge of Maps (and Illustrations.
. C ...... .
..... .... ;;;;; N.;
.... .. .. ... .. ... .. ..
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS,
Washington, D. C., August 1, 1903.
SiR: I have the honor to transmit herewith and to recommend for
publication as a bulletin of this Office a report, on the storage of water
on the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson rivers in northern Colorado,
prepared under the direction of Prof. Elwood Mead, chief of irriga-
tion investigations, by C. E. Tait, assistant in these investigations.
A. C. TRUE,
Hon. JAMES WILSON,
Secretary of Agriculture.
. : ... ... ".
""' :" "
"" :: '" .
". ". .. .... : "
':i '": E .
A *ibi .4
LETTER OF SUBMITTAL.
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS,
Washington, D. C., August 1, 1303.
SIR: I have the honor to submit for publication a report on the
storage of water on the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson rivers,
prepared by Mr. C. E. Tait, assistant in irrigation investigations. The
ground covered by this report has been partly gone over in previous
reports of this Office, but the supply of some of these reports has
been exhausted and, moreover, considerable progress has been made
since their publication; it has, therefore, seemed advisable to issue
a bulletin showing the results of a more thorough study of these val-
leys with reference to the storage of water and the use of the stored
water in irrigation, going more fully into methods and details of con-
struction than in the former bulletins, and giving much new data
regarding the crop returns which are directly attributable to the use
of stored water.
Northern Colorado is one of the most advanced agricultural sections
in the arid region, and the value of water has led to the construction of
reservoirs to store all the water the streams supply in ordinary years,
and also of what may be termed "flood reservoirs," to catch the
occasional floods which visit the valleys. This work has all been done
by the farmers living in the valleys and has been extremely profitable,
as is shown by the report. As development proceeds similar condi-
tions will arise in other parts of the West, and the experience gained
in Colorado will be suggestive and helpful to irrigators in the newer
Respectfully, ELWOOD MEAD,
Chief of Irrigation investigations.
Dr. A. C. TRUE, Director.
" .,E, .E .,.' ...,' : :|i|
CO) INTENT S.
Introduction -. ............ ......... ....... ..........-... .---------- ...---11
Character of the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson rivers ..---- -..-..-.--- 12
The necessity for storage........--- --....---....---..------------------.. ....--- 16
Reservoirs on Cache Ia Poudre River................-----------------....... ...--------18
Cache la Poudre Reservoir--.... -..---- ...............---- .....------- 18
Larimer and Weld Reservoir.---------...... ..---...............------ 22
Windsor Reservoir ............---....--.....-----------------------.-------- 25
"Water Supply and Storage Company's system .--..---.......--.-... --.. 28
Rocky Ridge Reservoir .......---.......------..---------------------- 29
Reservoirs Nos. 2 and 3..........-------.......---------........--------- 31
Reservoir No. 4 ---------....---...------.-------------------.---- 31
Long Pond Reservoir ---.....----.--... -----.----.------ .---------. 31
Lindenmeier Lake-----.....----...-----..-....-------...--------------... 32
Curtis Lake ....-------...................-----------------...-- ..----------.. 32
Chambers Lake ----.............-------------------------...----. 32
Operation of the system -.....-.....---- ...---- .-----...-- ......--. 33
North Poudre Irrigation Company's system-..-......................... 37
Reservoir No. 1 .................-----....--............................ 38
Reservoir No. 2 .....---.----------------------------....- .... 38
Reservoir No. 3 ---...-..----......----------......--......---------... 39
Reservoir No. 4 .......---.--...--..-...- ..--.................-- 39
Reservoir No. 5 ..------.--..----------..........--------------- 39
Reservoir No. 6 .....-----........---------------------....-----........... 40
Reservoirs Nos. 7 and 8-..---------.. -- -----------------......... 40
Reservoir No. 9 ...--- ..-----..-.. -------------....... ...........- 41
Reservoir No. 11 --.....--..-.........-- ..................--.---- 41
Coal Creek Reservoirs .--....--...------..............--.....-- .. 41
Reservoir No. 15 ...-........-.................-..-.... ... ........ 41
Fossil Creek Reservoir--- -----........................ .............. 41
Operation of the system----..........................-.........-.. 46
Douglas Reservoir......................................-----..-...... 49
Warren Lake Reservoir ...............................------.......... 51
Claymore Lake Reservoir-..---.................................-....-. 51
Windsor Lake Reservoir .....- -...---............... ................. 51
Wood Reservoir -...--- ....-............ .............................. 52
Lake Lee ..-..--................. ............--------------..--...... 52
Proposed reservoirs---....------..---..........................---...-. 53
Poudre Valley site...--------------.... .... ........-.............. 53
Link Lake sites ..-----.......---- ..-.... ..--- ................... 54
Sand Creek site ----....-..--------.....--........................ 54
Nun Creek site -............-. ..-........................ .... ..... 54
Seeleys Lake site -........-........-............................ 54
Reservoirs on Big Thompson River ..---.........-......................... 55
Lake Loveland..--...------------.............---------------.................. 55
Consolidated Home Supply Ditch and Reservoir Company's system...... 62
Lone Tree Reservoir ..-.....- ..........................-......... 62
Mariano Reservoir................................................ 64
Home Supply Dam -...---- ...................................... 65
Operation of the system.......-.. ............................... 67
Reservoirs on Big Thompson River-Continued. "ge.-
Seven Lakes Reservoir-.......-....... -.... ..- ...----.. -- ...--..--- .....
Loveland Lake Reservoir ....----..................... ............... 72
Welch Reservoirs .....------......-....-------..........--................. 73
Big Cut Reservoir ....... ...----------------------.. ......... ......... 75
Lawn Reservoir .......-..---------..-- ..........--------..-- ........ 75
Little Thompson Reservoir-.............-............................. 76
Ish Lake Reservoir -....------..----------.....------------.. ............... 78
Other reservoirs on the Big Thompson ---....---.......------........ --78
Ri~t Reservoir--.... -...... ........... ...--....................... 79
Reservoirs filled from Handy Ditch................................ 80
HIumnmel Reservoir ...--..................................... 80
De France Reservoir...----..- ------------................... 80
Beaslev Reservoir ....-----------------------------------------80
Welch Lake Reservoir-----------------------....................................... 81
Hupp Lake Reservoir .---..--...........-------.......... .... 81
Smith-Welty Reservoir -...........----.................--- -.. 81
Fagan Reservoir..--...-... ......--.--.-----.-------.--.....-- 81
Vogl Reservoir ...........---------..-------......-----...... .. 81
M'Coy Reservoir ..........---------------------------------- 81
Jansen Reservoir----- -..--......----...-- -----....--....-- ... 81
Wilson Reservoir-........ .................. 82
~Vison Reservoir-, ~--------------------------------------82
Wilson-Strever Reservoir ..---------------------------------_ 82
Loveland Lateral Reservoir --...--........................... 82
Kee Reservoir...........---------------------.... -------.... ... 82
Huppe Reservoir --....--...---------...------......--------....------- 82
Reservoirs filled from Louden Canal--.-------.----..-.............. 83
Airport Lake Reservoir ------------------..------. -----.---- 83
Big Thompson Reservoir.--........------.---..-----------..--. 83
Nelson Reservoirs Nos. 1 and 2 ............................ 83
Benson Reservoir..----..... ---------------------...........-------. 84
Bental Reservoir .........---.---.---.---.---------------- 84
Darrough Reservoir .--..-------.----......-..--- ...----.-- ... 84
Reservoirs filled from Loveland and Greeley Canal ----------------. 84
Dawkins Reservoir -..-----------.......- ..-----..------- .. 84
Steele & Phillips Reservoir----------..----..------------------ 84
Sheep Draw Reservoir ---...--.......---------------------------- 84
Bartel Reservoir..................----------------------......................... 84
Reservoirs filled from Home Supply Canal..-....-- ......-----.. ... 85
Shay Reservoir.........- ---.. ---..-.. ----------.....-- ...---.. 85
Chapman Reservoir....--.. ...........--..--------------.---- 85
Reservoirs along the Little Thompson .----..-.... ......----- .----.. 85
White-Butler Reservoir. ----.-----------------.---------.--- 85
Culver Reservoir...........-------..------....--.......------- 85
Knaus Reservoir ........-----..----- ..---.......-------...---- 85
Proposed works...........------.----.......-----------------------.- 86
Boyd Lake site------...................----..---------................ 86
Willow Park site.....................----------------................-- 87
Four Lakes site ..........--------.-------------------..-------- 87
Mud Lake site ...--..------- ................--- ---------------- 88
Other proposed sites.......................................----------------- 88
Construction work ....--....... ... .. .. ......... ................---------- .. 89
Laws governing storage and exchange of water ......-...-----...- ..-- ------ 93
Summary of results-. -. ..-------------------------- ---------------- 94
Conclusions ....... ... ..................... .............................. 100
PLATE I. Map showing reservoirs on Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson
rivers ---........---------.......------ ....------ ..--- Frontispiece.
II. Fig. 1.-Piling and riprapping on embankment of Cache la Poudre
Reservoir. Fig. 2.-Masonry gate well, Larimer and Weld
Reservoir .................................................... 20
III. Fig. 1.-Outlet and brush riprapping on embankment, Windsor
Reservoir. Fig. 2.-Head works of Poudre Valley Canal, inlet to
Douglas Reservoir ..................................---....-.. 28
IV. Wasteway and outlet gates of Chambers Lake, east end of embank-
ment at extreme left --.......................................... 32
V. Dam and upper end of outlet, Fossil Creek Reservoir .............. 44
Cross section of masonry arch outlet of Cache la Poudre Reservoir...
Design of gate used at Cache la Poudre Reservoir ..................
Design of outlet of Rocky Ridge Reservoir.........................
Cast-iron pipe outlet of North Poudre Reservoir No. 2, with concrete
bed and collars --..............................................
Design of dam and outlet of Fossil Creek Reservoir ................
Design of dam and outlet of Lake Loveland ........................
Design of lifting apparatus used at Lake Loveland and Mariano reser-
voirs --........- ......- ........-- ............................-
Design of Home Supply Dam ..-.....................-.......-....
Cross section of dam of Lawn Reservoir ...........................
Cross sections of earthen embankments in Cache la Poudre and Big
Thompson valleys ...........................................
'STORAGE OF WATER ON CACHE LA POUDRE AND
BIG THOMPSON RIVERS.
By C. E. TAIT,
Assistant in Irriyntion Ii'nestagtions.
The purpose of this report is to show the success and value of
storage works, constructed by private capital and operated as private
enterprises, and to describe the methods employed in their operation
in order to encourage and aid the further extension of this form of
With the exception of the fruit districts in southern California,
probably in no place is there as scientific and profitable a use of the
water available for irrigation as in parts of Colorado. A study has
been made of the storage on two streams in the north-central portion
of the State-the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson rivers-where an
advanced stage of development has been reached. At present nearly
all the water of these two streams not used for direct irrigation is
stored, and if progress continues for a few years practically all of it
will be used. This has been effected by the construction of numerous
reservoirs, comparatively small or medium in size, entirely with pri-
vate capital, by the irrigators themselves, who now control and oper-
ate their own works.
The aim of the report is to show how the farmers proceeded and to
present the faults and merits of their plans as brought out by the test
of usage, that their experience may benefit others in similar under-
takings. The more general and popular questions of storage have
been much discussed, but with little reference to the details of con-
struction and operation. An attempt, therefore, was made to collect
information regarding all the details of construction, the dimensions of
dams and outlets, the efficiency of the works, and the legal conditions
of storage, which might be of value to those unfamiliar with such
The results in agricultural products for the seasons of 1901 and 1902
are reported. The crops of the former year were slightly above the
average, while those of the latter were below it on account of one of
the smallest water supplies of which there is any record, and other
12 ... ..1.:
unfavorable conditions. When considered together, the results of the
two seasons give at least a conservative idea of the value of the reser- 6
voirs of northern Colorado.
Only the larger and more important reservoirs on the Cache la
Poudre are described, but all on the Big Thompson, regardless of
size, were included in the investigation. While the small reservoirs
owned by one or more farmers are not specially interesting studied
individually, when considered together they show the great extent to
which they are used and how they serve the needs of the irrigators.
That practical irrigators should use this only partially satisfactory
means of securing late water where there are no suitable sites for
larger reservoirs supplementing the whole system is in itself convinc-
ing evidence of the value of stored water.
CHARACTER OF THE CACHE LA POUDRE AND BIG THOMPSON
The Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson rivers are the most impor-
tant tributaries of the South Platte River. They drain a portion of
north-central Colorado. The former drains about 1,000 square miles
in the mountainous region east of the Medicine Bow and Laramie
ranges and the latter about 600 square miles between the foothills and
the Continental Divide. In the mountainous district the main streams
are made up of innumerable streams, but there are few tributaries of
importance east of the foothills. The headwaters of the Cache la
Poudre are divided into three large branches-the Middle, North, and
South forks. What is known as the Big South Poudre is an impor-
tant stream entering the Middle Fork. below Chambers Lake. The
Big Thompson is formed by the North and South forks, the latter
receiving Fall River. The Little Thompson enters the Big Thompson
a few miles above where the latter enters the South Platte and is prac-
tically an independent stream as regards irrigation, for there are no
ditches of importance below the junction. The Little Thompson is
small and no measurements are made on it by the State. Its flow dur-
ing the summer is made up mainly from seepage from the lands
irrigated from the Big Thompson.
Both rivers, receiving their waters from the snows in the mountains,
are, like all streams of this character, subject to great fluctuation.
The following tables give the average daily discharges of the two
streams for the years 1901 and 1902 and the average monthly dis-
charges for the years 1895 to 1902, inclusive. The measurements for
the years 1901 and 1902 were furnished by the water commissioners
on the streams, while the average monthly discharges for former years
were obtained from the reports of the State engineer.
Discharge of Cache la Pondre Rirer in 1901.
15 .................. 80
8 .................. 108
9 ............. --..... 110
10 .................. 110
11 .................. 95
13 .................. 100
14 .................. 100
17........... ...... 101
20........... ....... 106
21 .................. 106
24 ................. 101
26..... ............ 102
27 ................. 112
28 ................. 112
31 ........... .. ... 127
Cu. fject Oii. feet
per se'. per see.
649 1 1,870
The flow for December, January, and February is estimated at 75
cubic feet per second.
Discharge of Cache la Poudre River in 1902.
2 .. ..... .. .. .
31 ........ .....
Cu.fl. Cn.ft. CO.fl
per sec. per see. per see.
115 63 I 50
Average. 79 78 79 152
C,.ft. Cn. fl.
per sec. per see.
1, 302 743
Cu.fq. OC.fl. ('u.ft.
per sec. per sec. per sce.
3281 147 155
Octo- No- De-
ber. vem- cenm-
ber. ber. ber.
Cu. f. C(t. f. Cu. ft.
per se. per sec. pr r se.
215 127 94
229, 132 M
226 102 89
228 103 87
200 102 117
194 107 127
199 102 127
187 105 117
183 123 127
183 125 132
162 120 129
162 120 120
168 133 115
163 134 115
163 123 120
210 128 120
210 128 107
177 137 122
171 137 120
167 139 122
170 137 115
170 131 140
170 115 140
168 126 125
170 96 110
147 101 135
154 121 125
152 126 130
147 108 112
132 84 87
132 ....... 92
178 119 116
Se tem- I Novemn-
Ter. October. ber.
Cu. fret Cu. fd Cut. fedt
per sce. per sre. per srr.
256 106 111
242 103 i11
242 101 112
237 104 103
220 106 111
174 98 101
179 108 113
199 109 110
183 130 110
184 149 110
179 136 105
173 144 106
169 138 100
168 116 95
154 106 95
125 109 95
127 109 97
136 109 95
135 110 92
136 114 78
121 118 75
131 111 81
120 104 83
125 112 95
113 111 101
118 109 101
113 110 98
106 111 91
106 105 90
109 112 85
....... 109 .........
159 113 98
A1 rerjge montidhl dislharge of Cache Ia Poudre River, 1895-1902.
Year. March. April. May. June. July.
Cu. fert Cu. feet 0C. feet Cu. feet CH. feet
Slpr .ee.. per se. per see. pe e.r e. p see.
1895................................. 1,437 2,497 1,130
1896......................................... 773 458
1897 ......................... 727 2,105 1,739 749
1898......................... 306 671 1,330 481
19................ ......... ......... 1,486 2,632 1,441
191) ........................ 1,376 2,809 2,942 721
1901 ................ 103 292 1,829 1,954 682
1902 ................ 79 153 983 1,152 328
Average..... 91 571 1,617 1,877 749
Average discharge ;
in acre-leet...... 5,595 33,977 99,426 111,689 46,055_
Se m- October. Novem-
C0. feet Ca. feel Cu. fee
per see r t. per sec.
224 ....... .........
292 ......... .........
212 117 ........
149 132 ........
159 113 98
155 178 119
181 1201 109
10,770 7,379 6,486
Discharge of Big Thompson River in 1901.
Day. June. July.
eCu. ft. ('u.ft.
per sf per sec.
1 ....................I 975
Au- Sep Octo-
gust. ber. ber.
C. ft. Cu.ft. C. ft.
per see. per see. per see.
255 110 45
255 110 45
251 I 95 45
Cu. fl.' OC.ft..
per see. per see.
per sec. per sec.
Dhislharqe of Big Thompson Rirr in 1902.
Day. April. May.
('u. fcrt r'. f'ct
per frt'. per ,e
1 ............... ..........
2 ................... .......... 8
3 .................. .........
4 ....................... ...... .
6 ................... .......... 11
8 ...................'.......... 18
9 ................... .......... 22
9 .................. .. .......... 22(
10 ............................. 22
11 ............................. 26
12 ............................. 30
13 ................... ......... 40
14 ................. ............ 50
15 ................... .......... 50
17 ............... .... .. ....... 55
1..................... ......... 55
221 .................. .......... 182
23.......... ................. 14
21 ------------------- ---------- 22(
24. ................. ......... 14
25 ................... 35 14
26 ................... 35 14
27.......... ........ 35 40
28.................. 35 6.5
29 ................... 35 45
30................... 35 65
31.................. ......... 71
Average ....... 35 30
Average monthly discharge of Big
Thompson Rirer, 1895-1902.
in acre-feet .......
39,867 22,566 11,129
per eCC. JIr srse.
C. fect (. fcet
prr see. per F'r.
t 'u. feet
THE NECESSITY FOR STORAGE.
The first ditches on the Cache la Poudre were constructed about
1860. The Union Colony came to Greeley in 1870 and the first of the
larger canals were constructed about this time. At first grains and
hay only were raised, but after several experiments it was found that
potatoes, when rotated with alfalfa and the cereals, were especially
adapted to the soil in the valleys, and on account of the greater profit
in them they soon became the crop on which the farmers depended
for their cash returns. One by one the canals were constructed until
the flow of the rivers failed to meet the demand and there was no
water for the later ditches after the middle of July.
As long as wheat was the main crop all was well, for it required the
water early in the season when there was an abundance of it, but
since the vegetables and alfalfa have become the main crops water is
needed at a time when the floods in the streams are over. From
October 1, the end of the irrigation season, to May 1 the comparatively
small flow of the streams remains nearly constant. The streams then
begin to rise and the greatest discharge of the year comes with the
first warm days in May or June, when the snows in the mountains
are melting. After the few days of the flood season the discharge
of the streams rapidly decreases until by the middle of July, the time
for the first irrigation of potatoes, the ordinary low stage is reached,
and the flow seldom if ever increases during the irrigation season.
Potatoes require water from the middle of July to September, and the
preceding tables show how the streams fail during that time.
On July 15, 1901, the Cache la Poudre River furnished 657 cubic
feet per second and its discharge gradually decreased throughout the
rest of the irrigation season; but on June 15, one month before, the
river had furnished 2,127 cubic feet per second, and on May 15 its
discharge was 1,590 cubic feet per second. The daily discharge from
May 11 to July 4 was over 1,000 cubic feet per second, and on June
22 it reached 5,100 cubic feet per second; but after July 15 it did not
on a single day reach 600 cubic feet per second. In 1902 it was found
that the same stream was flowing at the rate of only 200 cubic feet
per second on July 15, when it was necessary to irrigate potatoes and
sugar beets, while on June 15 the discharge was 1,159 cubic feet per
second. From May 11 to 20 and from May 27 to June 15 the dis-
charge did not fall below 1,000 cubic feet per second. The table
giving the average monthly discharge of the river for eight years
shows a striking contrast between the months of May and June and
In 1901 the discharge of the Big Thompson from June 8 to July 6
did not fall below 700 cubic feet per second, and on four days during
this time was above 1,000 cubic feet per second; but from July 15
to October 1 the discharge varied from 557 cubic feet per second to
44 cubic feet per second, and was over 400 cubic feet per second on
only seven days during this time. In 1902 there was less snow in the
mountains than usual to supply the streams, and the discharge at all
times during the year was far below the average. From May 28 to
June 18 the flow was not below 500 cubic feet per second, the highest
stage being on June 10, when the flow measured 810 cubic feet per
second. From July 15 to September 20 the flow exceeded 200 cubic
feet per second on four days only. The average for May in cubic feet
per second was 307; for June, 577; while for July it was only 208, and
for August only 86. The average discharge of the Big Thompson for
the past eight years in May is 445 cubic feet per second; in June, 670
cubic feet per second; while for July it is 367 cubic feet per second;
for August, 181 cubic feet per second, and for September only 83 cubic
feet per second. This means that the average amount furnished by
the stream in May is 27,362 acre-feet and in June 39,845 acre-feet;
while in July it falls to 22,566 acre-feet, in August to 11,129 acre-
feet, and in September it is only 4,937 acre-feet.
With these conditions the farmers soon found that no matter how
much water the streams furnished in the early part of the season it
was of no benefit to them in maturing their valuable crops, which
require water in the latter part of the season. They saw the floods in
May or June and their crops suffering for want of water in July and
August. The necessity of storage confronted them in a most realistic
manner, and the first ventures were made in 1881, when a reservoir
was constructed in each of the valleys under discussion. From that
time the development in storage, and with it the wealth and prosperity
of the country, has progressed steadily until at present the valleys are
dotted with numerous reservoirs, varying in size from the smallest
pond furnishing water to a single farm, to the large reservoirs of the
cooperative companies of farmers irrigating thousands of acres. Pota-
toes, cabbage, and onions, were raised with great success, and recently
sugar beets, which are very similar to potatoes as regards their require-
ments for water, have been introduced and have added greatly to the
demand for stored water.
Progress has not been delayed even by the unusual season of 1902,
when the supply of the streams failed to fill the reservoirs already
constructed, and works are now being built which their owners expect
to fill only every two or three years, knowing from experience that
their investments are safe.
The map (frontispiece) gives a better idea of the great number of
these reservoirs than can be obtained in any other way.
688-No. 134-03- 2
... "':. "
RESERVOIRS ON CACHE LA POUDRE RIVER.
CACHE LA POUDRE RESERVOIR.
The Cache la Poudre Reservoir Company was organized in 1892 and
its reservoir was constructed the same year. In organizing this corn-
pany the stockholders were limited to those owning stock in the Cache
la Poudre Irrigating Company and land under its canal, the Cache la
Poudre No. 2, and those owning land that could be irrigated from
the reservoir. It was specified that only one share could be taken
in the reservoir company for each share in the canal company.
While the reservoir and canal companies are entirely distinct organi-
zations, the stockholders are nearly identical excepting a few in the,:.
reservoir company who are irrigators under the Lake Canal. There
are 3,000 shares of stock in the Cache la Poudre Reservoir Company
and 375 rights, 8 shares constituting one 80-acre water right.
A certain number of shares of stock in the reservoir companies in
the valley is taken as being equivalent to one water right. This num-
ber is determined in the following manner: The average farm consists
of 80 acres, and as one right is intended to serve each farm the rights
are known as 80-acre water rights. The reservoir water is almost
always used on vegetables, and as 20 to 30 acres is the usual area
planted in these crops on an 80-acre farm, the amount of water for 20
to 30 acres of vegetables is taken as the amount that it is desirable for
an 80-acre water right to represent. The right usually represents
1,000,000 cubic feet, or about 22 acre-feet of stored water. The num-
ber of these rights is then limited by the capacity of the reservoir.
Finally, the number of shares of stock to each 80-acre right is deter-
mined from the total number of shares in the capital stock.
The reservoir is situated 4 miles north of the canal and its outlet ditch
runs almost directly south, entering the canal 1j miles below the head
gate. The basin of the reservoir was not a natural one originally con-
taining some water, as was the case with those of so many in the valley,
but was formed by constructing two embankments, one 2,000 feet long
and 16 feet high along the southwest side, and the other one-half mile
long and 36 feet high, along the south side. The latter crosses a nar-
row part of the shallow valley in which the reservoir is located. It
settled 4 feet the first year after construction, but allowance had been
made for at least as much settling. The outside slope of these dams is
2 to 1 and the inside slope 3 to 1. If the inside slope were continued
to the top the dams would be only 4 feet wide on top, but a row of
wooden piles was driven along the inside slope near the top and these
planked up to form a support for the rock and earth which were filled
in behind. This fill makes the dams 16 feet wide on top. The piles
were driven 10 feet into the dam and extend 4 feet above, and as the
high-water line is 6 feet below the top of the dam this makes an excel-
lent protection against the wave action during high winds when the
reservoir is full. (P1. II, fig. 1.) The inner faces of the dais were
covered with gravel 2 feet thick, and then stone was laid on this 1 foot
thick. The waves have disturbed the riprapping in places and the
slope is now irregular. Before building the larger dam a trench 8
feet wide, 6 feet deep, and 1,000 feet long was dug along the lowest
portion of the line where the dam was to be constructed. The trench
was then refilled with fresh material as a protection against seepage
under the dam.
The outlet is through the larger dam below its highest point. The
ground being marshy it was necessary to make a very solid founda-
tion. A cut 9 feet deep was made and filled 2 feet deep with cobble
stones, which were packed by pounding with mauls. This layer was
slushed with mortar, and rubble
masonry was built up 51 feet
higher, all the openings being
filled with mortar (fig. 1). This
foundation for the outlet is 14 t 4
feet wide on the bottom, except 5 F
at the two ends, where it is 20 2 y-
feet wide. This outlet is a stone
arch 5 feet high and 5 feet wide, ,W E MASONRY
with side walls 21 feet thick,
and has two collars built around
it. The arch was made of some
condemned curbstones, which o
were from 10 to 14 feet in length r
: and 2 feet wide. Winged retain- G. 1.-Cros section of masonry arch outlet of
and 2 feet wide. mrged retam-
Cache la Poudre Reservoir.
ing walls 3 feet thick were con-
structed at both the upper and the lower ends of the outlet. For a
short distance at the upper end of the outlet it is divided into two
conduits, each of which is covered by a patent cast-iron gate. The
mechanism is so arranged that when the gates are being operated they
do not slide against their frames, but are carried by small wheels,
which run on a track set at an angle of 200 from the vertical, and in
this way much of the friction due to the great pressure of the water is
obviated (fig. 2). Just before the gates reach their final position in
closing they are dropped into place, where they should fit tightly
against the frames at the upper end of the conduit. At the same time
the weight is taken from the wheels and they are lifted from the track.
This is accomplished by turning the shafts carrying the wheels, which
are slightly eccentric. In fig. 2 the gate is shown in its position when
closed, while the dotted lines indicate the position when the gate is
slightly lifted from the frame, the wheels are raised from the track,
and the entire mechanism is just ready to be run up the track. One ofi
the gates would not open the first year the reservoir was used, and aeft:
many expensive attempts to open it a professional diver had to 4:::
employed, with whose assistance the difficulty was overcome. The gates
have always leaked more or less, and in 1902 one of them could note
closed, the leakage for part of the time amounting to 29 cubic feet per.
second. While this water was not wasted, it is probable that the per-
sons who used it would rather have had it at some other time. Theo-
retically the design of the gate is good, for the power required to move
a gate running on wheels is much less than that required to move a
CROSS ECION LVATIO -
FIG. 2.-Design of gate used at Cache la Pondre Reservoir. 4
CRO55 SErCTION IC l l ::U.
similar one which slides on a frame.. However, the company has not '
found the gates to be practicable, and it is certain that any apparatus :
for the purpose should be simple, since it can not conveniently be
reached under water. The gates are raised by wire ropes extending
over the face and to the top of the dam, where a windlass gives multi-
plied power. They are closed by their own weight.
The reservoir is 600 acres in area and when full the water is 31 tot
deep at the outlet. Its capacity is 350,000,000 cubic feet, or 8,085 aetWI
feet, which gives 21.43 acre-feet to each water right. It is filled
entirely from the Cache la Poudre River through the inlet ditch, which
is 5 miles long and has a capacity of 140 cubic feet per second.
.:. .:..: y.. .:l ..'
found ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~. '",ae ob rciabe n ti eti ta n p~~c~p.,, .;'' i ("ii
U. S. Dept. of Agr., Bul. 134. Office of E'pt Stations. Irrigation Investigations PLATE II.
FIG. 1.-PILING AND RIPRAPPING ON EMBANKMENT OF CACHE LA POUDRE.
FIG. 2.-MASONRY GATE WELL, LARIMER AND WELD RESERVOIR.
- -*---- 1 ----- ~
S ............. .. ".
The reservoir has a decree dated March 12, 1892, entitling it to be
filled 27 feet deep, and another dated August 4, 1894, which adds 3
feet to this depth. The sum of these two gives 374,000,000 cubic feet.
The first of these decrees is preceded by those of the Windsor Reser-
voir and four reservoirs of the Water Supply and Storage Company.
Its inlet is the lowest on the river except that of the Fossil Creek
Reservoir, and the latter reservoir cones much the latest as regards the
privilege of storage, so that Cache la Poudre Reservoir is entitled to
Small the water reaching its head gate not needed for direct irrigation.
The gain in the river due to seepage is enough to increase the flow
below the next head gate a considerable amount, and this benefits the
a; reservoir. The seepage continues throughout all the seasons, and up to
: the present time has increased from year to year as the lands are becom-
ing more and more saturated with water. The water used for power
Purposes by the Mason & Hottel mill at Fort Collins has been one
of the main factors in filling the reservoir. The mill race is entitled
Sto 60 cubic feet per second, which is returned to the river above the
head of the inlet and below the head gates of all the large canals except
two, the Cache la Poudre No. 2 and the Cache la Poudre No. 3, so
that the reservoir company can use it for storage a part of the time.
This water has been a bone of contention on the river, as it has been
claimed by other canals and reservoirs. At one time it was used by
the canals above when not needed by the mill, but by a decision of
the State supreme court it must now be allowed to flow to the reser-
Svoir inlet continuously during the months of December, January,
and February. This gives the company a good chance of filling its
reservoir every year, and in 1902 it was the only one completely filled.
The decision was based on the claim that for years this water went
to waste during these winter months until it began to be stored by
the reservoir company. The water is used for late irrigation from the
middle of July to the last of September, and is measured by a weir
and an automatic register of gage heights in the outlet ditch just below
the dam. Weirs are also used in the laterals for measuring out each
irrigator's proportional amount. The reservoir company pays the
canal company $10 per right per annum for delivering the water. All
the water is used through and under the Cache la Poudre Canal No. 2
except 35 rights that are owned by irrigators under the Lake Canal,
lying above the Cache la Poudre No. 2. Before the reservoir was
constructed the Lake Canal ran through what is now the reservoir
basin, and the reservoir company turned the course of the canal around
the south side through a deep and expensive cut. Before the gates of
the reservoir can be opened the owners of at least 25 rights must call
Sfor either all or a part of their proportional amount of the stored
.water, since it is required that no less than 25 cubic feet per second
can be turned out, and that each right shall receive water at the rate of
1 cubic foot per second. However, an exception is made in the case
E :. i' ". .: "...
rliSliiliiriliii. ..... ;; ;. ...,..,-,..
of those 35 rights under the Lake Canal whereby a minimum run to
them of one-half the specified amount is allowable. The reservoir
rights are worth $650 each and the value of all of them is $243,750. I
The original cost of the reservoir was $105,000, or $13.07 per acre-foot
of capacity, which includes the cost of the inlet and outlet ditches and
the purchase of land. The construction alone cost $81,000. The
expense of maintenance is $1,000 per annum.
LARIMER AND WELD RESERVOIR.
This reservoir is owned by the Larimer and Weld Reservoir Com-
pany, which is entirely distinct from the Larimer and Weld Irrigation
Company, owning and operating the Larimer and Weld Canal. The
canal was constructed many years before the reservoir. The stock-
holders in the canal company are the farmers using water from the
canal, and a number of these organized the reservoir company, in which
stockholders were limited to those of the irrigation company. How-
ever, not all of the stockholders of the irrigation company, took stock
in the reservoir company. At present 744 shares have been sold, mak-
ing 186 rights, 4 shares constituting a water right.
The reservoir was constructed in 1891 and enlarged to its present
capacity in 1894. It occupies what was formerly called Terry Lake,
a natural basin collecting seepage water from irrigated lands in the
vicinity. In utilizing this basin a cut 20 feet deep, in which to build
the outlet, was made through the rim of the natural basin at the south
side, and an earthen embankment 12 feet high and 14 miles long was
constructed along the same side. The dam is 15 feet wide on top, and
both the inside and outside slopes are 3 to 1. Before building the dam-
the ground was plowed, so there would be no distinct seam between
the dam and the original surface. The dam was constructed in layers,
each being well packed, and its inner face was riprapped with stone.
A long trench was dug at the base of the dam just inside the reservoir,
and then refilled with earth, thus closing any prairie-dog holes and
preventing seepage under the dam.
The outlet is 32 feet below the top of the dam, and the cut in which
it was laid was closed with earth and packed before building the dam
over it. The conduit for 65 feet from the upper end is a stone arch 5
feet high and 6 feet wide, which terminates in a masonry well at the
inner edge of the top of the dam. The arch is built on a concrete
base. The conduit below the well consists of two cement pipes 36
inches in diameter and 100 feet long, laid 8 inches apart, and having
8 inches of cement all around them. Stone collars were built around
the pipes at intervals of 20 feet to prevent the water from creeping
along the outside. At the extreme ends of the outlet retaining walls
with wings were built across the cut, which was left open beyond.
: .."! jji ,
-::. h 'N.
The wall of the gate well, just back of the gates, was extended for 50
feet on each side as a protection against seepage.. (PI. II, fig. 2.)
There are two wooden gates, 42 inches square and 4 inches thick,
which slide in wooden frames against the inner face of the lower wall
of the well, each covering an opening into the cement pipes. They
are controlled by iron stems reaching to the top of the well where the
power is multiplied by means of a nut and wrench. The gates leak
slightly during the irrigation season after they have been once opened,
but when the reservoir is emptied in the fall the gates are carefully
seated, and as the pressure increases with the filling of the reservoir
they soon become tight.
The area of the reservoir is 470 acres, and 31 feet in depth of water
is drawn off. The capacity is 300,000,000 cubic feet, or 6,887 acre-
feet, which entitles the holder of each water right to 37.03 acre-feet.
The reservoir cost $69,978.31, or $10.17 per acre-foot of its capac-
ity. The construction alone cost less than $25,000, the rest being due
to the purchase of the site, cost of surveys, attorney's fees, and mis-
cellaneous expenditures. In 1900 the price of a right was from $900
to $950; in 1901, from $1,200 to $1,300, and in 1902, from $1,200 to
$1,400. Using $1,300 as the value of one right, the value of the reser-
voir is $241,800. The expense of maintenance is $600 per annum.
The reservoir is located just above the Larimer and Weld Canal,
about 2 miles below its head gate, so that the stored water may be used
directly through the canal. The canal company charges the reservoir
company $1 per million cubic feet for carrying this water. When the
reservoir was first constructed the canal company refused to carry
the water from the reservoir through its canal, and litigation was
resorted to by the reservoir company. The result was that the canal
company was compelled to allow its canal to be used as a carrier upon
payment of a charge by the reservoir company. It was the opinion
of the court that new canals should not be constructed when an exist-
ing one would serve all purposes.
The inlet ditch from the Cache la Poudre River is 4J miles long. As
yet the reservoir has no decree, and other means of filling are relied
upon mainly. Dry Creek, a tributary of the Cache la Poudre, crosses
the inlet ditch just west of the reservoir, and while it is dry part of
the year, it is subject to floods at times which furnish a large supply,
and the water from seepage which filled Terry Lake before the reser-
voir was constructed helps to some extent.
The Larimer County Canal crosses Dry Creek above the crossing of
the reservoir inlet, and after the construction of the reservoir difficul-
ties arose regarding the rights to the waters of the creek. Suit was
brought by the company against the Water Supply and Storage Com-
pany, in which it was held by the court that the right of the Larimer
and Weld Reservoir Company to the waters of the creek was prior to
the appropriation by the Water Supply and Storage Company, and,
the former was allowed to divert water for filling and refilling the
reservoir. The Water Supply and Storage Company was restrained
from taking any water from the creek to the detriment of the reser-
voir, and if it diverted any when the reservoir was not full it was
compelled to return the same amount to the creek above the crossing
of the reservoir inlet, provided the amount did not exceed the capec-
ity of the reservoir inlet. The company has also used a part of the
excessive appropriation of the Little Cache la Poudre Ditch for filling
its reservoir, and while it may be said that the filling has depended
largely on chance, these sources never failed to supply enough until
the year 1902, when there were only 24 feet of water in the basin,
instead of the usual 31 feet.
The Little Cache la Poudre Ditch is one of the highest taking water
from the main river. It was given a decree of 60.08 cubic feet per
second, dated 1869, this being priority No. 31, and another of 20.42
cubic feet per second, dated 1873, making a total of 80.50 cubic feet
per second. Owing to the small capacity of the ditch and the small
area of land irrigated, only about 22 cubic feet per second is needed.
Of the 30 shares in this ditch 19 have been used for storage purposes
by the Larimer and Weld Reservoir Company, some having been pur-
chased and the use of others acquired by contract. In 1902 the water
commissioner refused to permit this use of the water, and a suit was
brought against that officer, into which a number of the irrigation
companies of the valley were drawn. The Larimer and Weld Reser-
voir Company asked for a decree to fill its reservoir from the Cache,
la Poudre River, Dry Creek, Little Cache la Poudre Ditch, and Round
Butte Ditch. The Cache la Poudre Irrigating Company claimed that
a part of the Little Cache la Poudre Ditch had been abandoned, and
that the Larimer and Weld Reservoir Company had no right to the
water not needed by the ditch, as it constituted an extended use of the
water, and that it should be returned to the river for those ditches
having old appropriations. The decision rendered was that the reser-
voir company had no right to use the shares held by contract and that
these contracts were void, but that title to those purchased was good.
It was specified, however, that the reservoir should receive no more
from Little Cache la Poudre Ditch than 1 cubic foot per second per
share owned in the ditch, and that this amount could not be used for
storage during the season of direct irrigation. This reduced the claim
of the reservoir company to 91 cubic feet per second. Originally the
company claimed only the waste, seepage, and flood waters of Dry Creek,
but in 1902 it was deprived of the latter during the irrigation season.
The company expects to have an additional source of supply for fill-
ing its reservoir next year. It has nearly finished the construction of
the Bob Creek Ditch, in the mountains 35 miles west of the reservoir,
which will divert water from Bob Creek, a tributary of Nun Creek,
which in turn is a tributary of the Laramie River, and carry it to
Roaring Fork, a tributary of the Middle Fork of the Cache la Poudre
River, and the water will finally be tak n from the main river by the
inlet ditch and stored in the reservoir. The completion of the ditch
will cost only $1,000, and it is expected that it will be ready for the
spring floods of 1903. The ditch has a capacity of 100 cubic feet per
second. It is estimated that the additional amount secured in this way
will vary from 20 to 100 cubic feet per second during the year.
The reservoir is partly filled during the winter and the supply is
completed with the spring floods. In 1901 the first run was com-
menced on August 3 and the last one ended September 10, when the
reservoir was empty. The water is measured over a weir in the out-
let ditch and then each shareholder's proportional amount is measured
to him at the head of his lateral. In 1902 the company bought
50,000,000 cubic feet of stored water from the Water Supply and
Storage Company, paying $100 per 1,000,000 cubic feet.
The Windsor Reservoir was constructed in 1892 and was the first of
the larger reservoirs in the Cache la Poudre Valley to be used. It
occupies two natural basins, and the work of construction consisted in
making a cut to join them and building the embankment along the
south side of the lower and southern basin to enlarge the capacity.
This dam is located on a small ridge and the reservoir can be further
enlarged by building the dam higher. The dam is one-half mile long
and 161 feet high, having slopes both inside and outside of 21 to 1.
It is 20 feet wide on top and is protected with brush weighted down
with stone, but if it is ever built higher stone alone will probably be
used. The dam was constructed in 1-foot layers, each-being packed.
A cut 171 feet deep and 8 feet wide in which to lay the outlet was
made through the ridge along the south where the dam was to cross.
The cut was through slate which was disintegrated near the surface.
The bottom of the cut was filled with concrete 1 foot deep and this
covered with 2 inches of cement on which were laid flagstones 6 inches
thick to form the floor of the outlet. This conduit is a stone arch 4 feet
wide and 5 feet high with walls 2 feet thick. The outlet required 500
wagonloads of gravel, 70 carloads of stone, and 364 barrels or 25,600
pounds of cement. A buttress or a wall with wings supporting it and
the bank on either side was constructed at the upper end of the con-
duit. The wall is 34 feet high and 24 feet thick, the wings being
stepped down to nothing and making a horizontal angle with the wall
of about 30 degrees.
The gate slides in an iron frame with flanges and has a wooden stem
8 by 10 inches extending to the top of the wall, where it is fitted with
an iron rod carrying a nut. The nut is set in a wooden frame so that
It can have a rotary motion only and is turned by a wooden lever 8 or
10 feet in length. (PI. III, fig. 1.) The wooden gate which was used
the first year swelled in the water and stuck in the frame, making it
very hard to operate. It was replaced by a malleable cast-iron gate
weighing 1,040 pounds.
The Windsor Reservoir is one of the two largest in the valley. Its
area is 700 acres, and 30 feet of water can be drawn off. The outlet is
34 feet below the top of the dam, thus leaving 4 feet for safety. After
the reservoir is drained some water remains below the level of the
outlet, which is the case with nearly all of those reservoirs having nat-
ural basins. Its capacity is 11,708 acre-feet and its construction cost
$50,000, making the cost per acre-foot only $4.27. Of the total cost
$10,000 was for enlarging the inlet and constructing the outlet ditch
and $20,000 for the purchase of land.
The reservoir is owned by the Windsor Reservoir and Canal Com-
pany, but prior to 1902 this ownership was ohly nominal, the reservoir
being practically owned by ex-Governor B. H. Eaton, who constructed
it. He had originally constructed the Larimer and Weld Canal to irri-
gate his own land lying under it. The reservoir is just below the canal,
near the halfway point of its length, and is too low to benefit most of
this land. However, it is above the Cache la Poudre Canal No. 2, and
from their relative positions it should naturally be used in connection
with this canal. The outlet ditch of the reservoir is 3 miles long and
runs almost directly south, joining Cache la Poudre No. 2 about 6
miles below the head gate, thus allowing the reservoir water to be.
used through the canal advantageously. It can be run to the Cache
la Poudre Canal No. 3, which is still lower and on the south side of
the river. Therefore an exchange has been effected by which the
lands above the reservoir are benefited by it. Water is run to one or
both of the lower canals in exchange for the same amount diverted
from the river above by the Larimer and Weld Canal, which covers
the land the reservoir company desires to irrigate. The two lower
canals are the only ones so situated that they can use water returned
to the river from the Mason & Hottel mill, a supply which is useful
in the exchange. It is sometimes necessary for the owner of the
reservoir to furnish the mill with coal for steam power in order that
the water may be diverted at the head gate of the Larimer and Weld
Canal above the mill.
The stock of the Windsor Reservoir and Canal Company is divided
into 1,000 shares, two of which constitute an 80-acre water right. In
the winter of 1902, when the reservoir was empty, 300 rights were
sold. Most of these were purchased by irrigators under the Cache la
Poudre Canal No. 2 and the Cache la Poudre Canal No. 3, 60 rights
to be used under the latter. A few of them were bought by people
who had nd land on which to use the water, but who intended to rent
the water annually as a source of revenue on their investment. The
price paid for this three-fifths of the reservoir was $100,000, or
$3.3.33 per right. The reservoir holds 23.42 acre-feet for each water
right. This transfer will probably eliminate in part the exchange
previously referred to.
The Windsor Reservoir is filled from the Cache la Poudre through
the Larimer and Weld Canal. When the reservoir was constructed
the canal was capable of carrying only about 750 cubic feet per sec-
ond, the amount of its appropriation, and so the canal was enlarged to
a capacity of 1,000 cubic feet per second from its head to the inlet
gate of the reservoir. There were formerly two inlet gates, but one
has now been taken out because the water dropping from it was cut-
ting away the bank, endangering the lower bank of the canal. The
construction of an inlet from the river to the reservoir, making it
possible to store the water returned to the river by the mill at Fort
Collins has been considered, but the plan has been dropped.
The Windsor Reservoir was given a decree dated July 8, 1890,
entitling it to be filled to a depth of 22.4 feet, and another dated
August, 1893, entitling it to be filled to a depth of 7.6 feet in addition.
The sum of the amounts is 510,000,000 cubic feet. The first decree
is preceded by those of Nos. 2, 3, and 4 and Chambers Lake of the
Water Supply and Storage Company, so that until these have been
satisfied the Windsor Reservoir can not be filled to the extent allowed
in its first decree. Before filling is completed the Cache la Poudre
Reservoir must be partially filled, as it has a decree antedating the sec-
ond decree of the Windsor Reservoir. The chances of filling the
reservoir are good, however, unless the year is an exceptional one, as
was 1902, when the water was only 23 feet deep, the amount stored
being 250,000,000 cubic feet, or 5,740 acre-feet.
The original owners of the Windsor Reservoir are constructing a
system of ditches in the mountains, about 47 miles west of their reser-
voir, which will greatly increase the supply available for storage. In
1902 they had completed and used the Sand Creek or Divide Ditch,
which is 1j miles long and has a capacity of 250 cubic feet per second.
It cost $1,500. The ditch diverts water from Sand Creek, a tributary
of the Laramie River, and carries it over the divide into Sheep Creek,
one of the small tributaries of the North Fork of the Cache la Poudre
River. In 1901 the flow of Sand Creek at this point was measured and
was found to vary between 6 and 240 cubic feet per second, and it is
expected to furnish a good supply for storage in the Windsor Reser-
voir every year.. In 1902, however, the Sand Creek Ditch did not at
any time carry over 31 cubic feet per second and the total amount sup-
plied by it was 60,700,000 cubic feet, or an amount equal to one-eighth
lll ~i l l *iw. :::...I;;..........
of the capacity of the Windsor Reservoir. Water .was run thr agt ii
the ditch from May 9 to July 10, inclusive,'and from Jdly 1 :to
This supply drawn from the Laramie River will be reinforces by
two other ditches, one of which, the Deadman Ditch, has been ......il!
pleted and will be used in 1903. It crosses Deadman Creek, a i.tasil
tary of the Laramie River, and several other small creeks .
catching the flow of all of them and carrying it over the divided!
Creek, the water finally being taken by the Sand Creek itS4j1 li
1903 the other of these ditches, called the Columbine Ditofh, tta r
constructed. It is planned to divert the flow of Columbine S i
tributary of Sand Creek, and discharge it into the North F Eok & o
Cache la Poudre River. It is 21 miles long and the Deadima :
5 miles long. It is estimated that these two will furnishh a)o;4stil
same amount as the Sand Creek Ditch each year. There are -oint ii
ests on the head waters of these streams in Colorado, and therefo''i.'
no objections to these diversions have been made in that State. iut
Laramie River and Sand Creek flow north ihto Wyoming, where: bothIa I
are used for irrigation. This plan of increasing the available amount
of water for storage in the reservoirs of the Cache la Poudre Valley at
the expense of the irrigation interests in Wyoming has been complained
of and a suit is now pending in the United States court.
Water is used from the Windsor Reservoir in runs of several days '
each, when each right receives its share at the rate of 1 cubic foot per
second, the aggregate number of days in the runs being determined :
by the amount of water in the reservoir. ::'
The reservoir not being full in 1902, Mr. Eaton found it .i ..::.
to purchase water for his lands. The Water Supply and Sto.aga .SI!
pany furnished 35,000,000 cubic feet or 803 acre-feet, and t.et1lft^i!,
Poudre Irrigation Company 10,000,000 cubic feet or 230 ".
The price paid in each case was $100 per million cubic feet a'r.i ..lii,
per acre-foot. .. ....
WATER SUPPLY AND STORAGE COMPANY'S SYSBTYiL ,
The Water Supply and Storage Company owns Chambers li'. ';
Rocky Ridge Reservoir, Reservofrs Nos. 2, 3, and 4, Long .o .i;ii
Lindenmeier Lake, and Curtis Lake. The company owns ala .i!J:...
Larimer County Canal, and the Laramie River, Cameron Paih ........
Grand River ditches. Chambers Lake and the three ditches arikiI
mountains at the head waters of the Cache la Poudre River. All '
other reservoirs, except Curtis Lake, are embraced in a chain begib%.
with Rocky Ridge Reservoir on the north and ending with I iAnd,;:i..i:
meier Lake on the south. Rocky Ridge Reservoir is located B-i
directly north of Fort Collins, and Nos. 2, 3, and 4 are to the south 'of'
...,.. :! ..": ii,
U. S. Dept of Agi., Bul. 134. Office of Expt. Stations Irrigation Investigations
FIG. 1.-OUTLET AND BRUSH RIPRAPPING ON EMBANKMENT, WINDSOR RESERVOIR.
FIG. 2.-HEAD WORKS OF POUDRE VALLEY CANAL, INLET TO DOUGLAS RESERVOIR.
it in the order named. They are closely connected and one discharges
into the other. The outlet ditch from No. 4 runs southeast about 2
miles and enters Long Pond, which discharges into Lindenmeier Lake,
one-half mile south of it. Curtis Lake, in Dry Creek Valley, is l1
miles west of No. 1.
ROCKY RIIGE RESERVOIR.
Rocky Ridge Reservoir, which is No. 1 of the system, is so called
by reason of its location near a small and rocky ridge in the valley.
It is just north but below the grade of the Larimer County Canal.
The only embankment required was across a draw at the southeast
end of the basin. This fill is 17 feet high, 60 feet wide on top, and
620 feet long, and the Larimer County Canal runs along the top of it.
Its upper face is supported by a masonry wall having a slight batter,
while the lower side is given a natural slope.
The outlet is a tunnel through the slight ridge along which the canal
runs on the southwest side (fig. 3). The tunnel is 179 feet in length,
and the 50 feet above the gate well is 3 feet wide and 4 feet high.
Below the well it is only 2 feet wide and 3 feet high. The floor of
the outlet was made of concrete, on which rest the walls which are 1
foot thick, and these are covered with flagging. Both the top and
sides were covered with a layer of concrete before the earth was
packed around them. Walls 3 feet thick were built at both the upper
and lower ends to support the earth filling. The gate well is of
masonry and is 32 feet deep, and 4 by 4 feet inside, with walls 2 feet
thick resting on a concrete foundation 3 feet thick. The gate is of
wood, faced with iton plates, and slides in a wooden frame at the outer
opening of the well. The wooden gate stem terminates in an iron rod
working in a stationary nut. The stem is braced by an iron collar.'
A concrete collar to prevent water following along the outside is
placed around the conduit 19 feet below the well. A peculiar feature
is a brick drain from the collar to the lower end of the outlet, the
purpose of which is to readily carry away any water that may find its
way past the collar and keep it from creeping farther through the
earth. The drain naturally collects the water since it offers the great-
est freedom of flow. It is placed along one upper corner of the conduit
and is about 3 by 4 inches in cross section.
In the fall of 1902 the southeast bank of the reservoir was riprapped
with stone in places for an aggregate distance of one-half mile as a
protection not to the reservoir but to the canal just above it.
The reservoir has an area of 226 acres, and 30 feet of water may be
drawn off. Its capacity is 4,726 acre-feet. The total cost was $12,000,
or $2.54 per acre-foot of capacity.
...........,A'.:,. ..... .. ......
X 4 In.
1 141 Opp r
I T] I I-
CO"s SECTOeN OF LOWER CONDUIT CLEMO Or OW
ze ,CROSS SECTION OF UPPER CONDUIT RETAINING WIII*
I.ARIMZR COt.NrY CANdAL.
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VETCA ETINO OTE
so *fii f~1P~r& C" AR
FIG.B.-Dsignof otletof Rcky idgeResevoir
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RESERVOIRS NOS. 2 AND 3.
Reservoir No. 1 discharges directly into No. 2 south of it. No. 2
has no regulating gate at its outlet, but is simply connected with No.
3 to the south of it by a cut, and so Nos. 2 and 3 are practically one res-
ervoir. No dams were necessary to form these basins. The outlet at
the south side of No. 3, which was placed in a cut, consists of a stone
conduit with a wooden gate working in a masonry well near the mid-
dle and is quite similar to that of No. 4, to be described later.
The area of these two basins is 128 acres, and the water is 11 feet
deep at the outlet when they are full. Their capacity is 1,026 acre-feet.
RESERVOIR NO. 4.
The only embankment necessary at Reservoir No. 4 was one about
5 feet high over the outlet. This was given a slope of 4 to 1 on the
inside and 1 to 1 on the outside. The inner face is riprapped. The
outlet works are similar in many respects to those of No. 1. There
Sis a stone conduit 96 feet long with walls 5 feet high at both ends.
The gate well, 4 by 4 feet inside and 21 feet deep, is nearly at the
middle of the outlet. Above the well the conduit is 2 feet wide by 4
feet high, but below the well the height is reduced to 3 feet. Its
walls are 1 foot thick, and the floor is formed by laying flagging on a
foundation of concrete. Two concrete collars were placed around the
outlet below the well and the earth filled in on top of the outlet was
puddled with water.
The gate is of wood faced with iron plates and the wooden stem, 8
by 8 inches, is braced by one guide. The stem terminates in an iron
rod carrying a nut which is turned by a wrench when the gate is
The basin is 83 acres in area and 19 feet deep over the outlet, and
S holds 996 acre-feet.
LONG POND RESERVOIR.
Long Pond is Reservoir No. 5 in the system, the name being given
because of its oblong basin extending northwest and southeast. No
dam was required, the basin being natural and containing some water
before it was used for storage purposes.
A cut 35 feet deep, in which to build the outlet, was made through
the small ridge on the lower side of the basin. The outlet is a stone
conduit 3 feet wide and 4 feet high. The bottom was made of 6 inches
of concrete and the masonry walls on each side are 18 inches thick at
the bottom and 1 foot at the top, the batter being on the outside. The
top of the outlet is made of flagging 6 inches thick. At both the upper
Sand lower ends a transverse wall was constructed to support the earth
filling, the lower one having wings supporting the earth at either side
of the open cut. This cut extends for several hundred feet below.
The gate well is near the upper end of the outlet. It is 3 by 4 feet
inside and has walls 2 feet thick. The wooden gate is faced with iron
plates and slides in a wooden frame. At the top of the gate ste lS a
nut turned by a wrench serves as a lifting apparatus.
The reservoir is 230 acres in area and 294 feet of water may be ~dra
off. It holds 3,922 acre-feet. The reservoir cost $12,000, Q $13.(
per acre-foot of its capacity.
LINDENMEIER LAKE. i
Lindenmeier Lake was originally a natural lake, and to utilize it as
a reservoir it was only necessary to make a cut to drain the water of.
This was made at the southeast corner and was used for several years::
with a wooden head gate in the open cut to regulate the discharge.
In the fall of 1902 outlet works similar to those of the other reser-
voirs in the lower system were installed. The stone outlet is 3 feet
wide and 4 feet high above the gate well, while below its height -is
only 3 feet. The floor is made of 4-inch and the top of 10-inch lg-
ging. The well is 34 by 4 feet inside, and 10 feet deep, and its walls
are 2 feet thick. The well rests on a foundation of 20 inches'of con-
crete, and the conduit on 6 inches of the same material. The length
of the outlet above the well is 161 feet and below 25 feet. Walls r i
supporting the earth filling were constructed at both ends. One on--
crete collar is placed around the outlet below the well. The gate and
gate stem are wooden, and the manner of operating. is similar to that
of the gates previously described.
Lindenmeier Lake is 106 acres in area and is filled to a depth of 8 :
feet over the outlet. Its capacity is 716 acre-feet. -
Curtis Lake, the latest acquisition of the Water Supply and Storage ..
Company, was a natural lake. It has no embankment and the outlet j
is of the same pattern as that of Lindenmeier Lake, consisting of: a
stone conduit rectangular in cross section and a wooden gate faced
with iron plates and operated in a masonry well. :.:
The area of Curtis Lake is 113 acres, the depth 9 feet, and the N
capacity 778 acre-feet.
Chambers Lake is one of the oldest reservoirs on Cache la Poude re
River and until recently was unique as the only mountain reservoir
in this section of Colorado and the only one where a dam was con-
structed across the channel of a natural stream. Its location is at
that point where Fall River, Joe Wright Creek, and Trap Creek join
to form the Middle Fork of Cache la Poudre River. This point is :i
35 miles west in a straight line and about 70 miles following the
WASTEWAY AND OUTLET GATES OF CHAMBERS LAKE, EAST END OF EMBANKMENT AT EXTREME LEFT.
.............. .... ....... ......... .
.....;; .ii; ihii : ... .. ::diiiiirn~ ~lr~ i ri'IIih :iii!ii
.:" i .! iiiiimi: :: I : Iiij i:i.:.' ". :":'
course of the river, from the head gate of the Larimer County Canal
through which the water stored in Chambers Lake is used. The ele-
vation of the reservoir is about 9,300 feet.
In 1885 the Larimer County Ditch Company, which was incorpor-
ated later as the Water Supply and Storage Company, constructed a
dam 17 feet high at the outlet of Chambers Lake, making its capacity
134,176,800 cubic feet. This dam was made by building up a crib of
logs to a height of about 8 feet, filling it in with gravel, and giving
the embankment the usual steep outside and flat inside slopes above
the top of the crib. The outlet through the dam was made of wood
and the gate placed at the upper end was operated from a platform
built out in the reservoir from the dam.
The waste way was a wooden chute set in a gravel bank at the north
end of the dam. In June, 1891, the water cut through the gravel
around the structure and the utility of the reservoir as well as of the
waste way was destroyed. The dam itself, while not as carefully
designed and constructed as is desirable in a dam to check the flow of
a stream subject to floods, has stood until the present time. The flood
in the river due to the accident destroyed some property along the
banks and suits were brought against the company, which paid for
The year following the accident a new waste way was constructed in
the same place; it is a well-made timber structure over which the sur-
plus water flows. (Pl. IV.) As it was built high enough to impound
water to a depth of only 11 feet the original dam is now much higher
than is necessary. The gravel on the lower side of the dam around
the lower end of the outlet caved in and the company, fearing that the
dam would eventually go out, abandoned and closed this outlet and
made a new one at the south end of the new waste way. This is similar
to the wooden head gates ordinarily used at the heads of the canals.
SThere are five gates each raised by a screw.
The company utilizes Lost Lake, Trap Lake, and Laramie Lake,
which are just north of Chambers Lake. Small dams have been con-
structed and channels cut connecting the basins with Chambers Lake.
The area of Chambers Lake is 180 acres, and its capacity is 1,259
OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM.
The appropriation of the Larimer County Canal of 469.8 cubic feet
per second was made in 1881, and it is No. 100 in order of priority. At
that time this appropriation was the latest of the large canals on the
river, that of the North Poudre Canal having been made in 1880, and
so it was only at a very high stage of water in the river that the canal
was entitled to divert any water. It was, therefore, necessary that
the company provide for an additional supply in some manner. Real-
izing the condition, the company has been ever active and at present
688-No. 134-03- 3
ki .... ......._ .,
it has one of the most successful and substantial irrigation systems in
this section of Colorado. Beginning with Chambers Lake the storage
system was gradually developed, the two large reservoirs, Rocky Ridge
and Long Pond, being improved in 1892.
Decreed priorities have been granted by the court for the reservoirs
Nos. 2, 3, and 4, dating from April 25, 1881, for a depth of 6 feet,
or 880,064,500 cubic feet; Chambers Lake, from July 12, 1882, 134,-
176,800 cubic feet, and Nos. 1 and 5, from 1893, 381,710,020 cubic
feet. The latter was at first given with that of Nos. 2, 3, and 4, but
later it was postponed and made junior to that of the Windsor Reser-
voir. The rights of Lindenmeier and Curtis lakes have not been
decreed. Nos. 2, 3, and 4 and Chambers Lake have the earliest pri-
orities given to any reservoirs on the river except Warren Lake
Reservoir which was given a decreed appropriation along with the
ditches when the rights to the stream were adjudicated. Reservoirs
Nos. 1 and 5 can not be filled until the Windsor and Cache la Poudre
reservoirs are filled.
The company has not only been progressive in the construction of
storage works, but has provided for a supply of water to fill them
in rather an unusual manner. Their methods, however, are now fol-
lowed by a number of the other companies. In 1893 they constructed,
at a cost of $90,000, the Laramie River or Sky Line Ditch, which
collects its supply from the head watei's of the Laramie River and
carries it over the divide to Chambers Lake. This ditch, after leav-
ing the west branch of the Laramie River, runs 1 mile northeast, -at
which point it tunnels through a rocky point and turns to the south,
following along the valley of another branch of the Laramie River
until it crosses the divide and enters Chambers Lake. Its total length
is less than 5 miles. In its course the ditch crosses many small creeks
of the Laramie drainage and catches the flow of each. To carry all
of this the capacity of th'e ditch had to be increased from 200 cubic
feet per second at the head to 350 cubic feet per second at the lower
end. The water carried to Chambers Lake is either stored there or
run down the Cache la Poudre River to the other reservoirs, or used
directly through the Larimer County Canal in the irrigating season.
The construction of the ditch was in many places quite difficult, cuts
having to be made through solid rock and on very steep slopes. The
company is allowed by a decree of the court to divert and carry over
the divide through the Laramie River Ditch, for storage in their res-
ervoirs, 500,000,000 cubic feet of water annually. In the season of
1902 the ditch was first used on May 15, when it carried 55 cubic feet
per second, and on May 28 the discharge had increased to 130 cubic
feet per second. The average for June was 150, for July 90, for
August 50, and for September 20 cubic feet per second. This is an
average of about 80 cubic feet per second for the four and a half
months and gives a total of about 950,000,00( cubic feet, or more than
enough to fill all the reservoirs of the company one and a half times.
The Cameron Pass Ditch is another ditch in the mountains owned
by the company. It diverts water from Michigan Creek, a tributary
of the Laramie River, and carries it over the divide through Cameron
Pass into Joe Wright Creek, a tributary of Chambers Lake. This
ditch has two decreed priorities, one dated 1882, for 10 cubic feet per
second, and another dated 1898, for 18 cubic feet per second more.
In 1902 the branch of Michigan Creek from which the ditch is taken
was very low. Its maximum flow was 7 cubic feet per second on June
8 and on June 30 it was dry, having carried water for only thirty days.
The company has also constructed that part of the Grand River
Ditch known as the South Ditch, and by the fall of 1903 expects to
have completed the lower 7 miles of the North Ditch. The two ditches
run along the western and southern slopes of the Continental Divide
and carry water from streams tributary to the Grand River over the
divide to the Cache la Poudre. Numerous streams which are crossed
by the ditches reinforce the flow. The two ditches meet and discharge
their waters through South Poudre Pass at the head waters of what is
commonly called the Big South Poudre, a stream which joins the
Middle Fork of the Cache la Poudre several miles below Chambers
Lake, but it is distinct from the South Fork of Cache la Poudre River.
The North Ditch will be 12 miles long when completed, and it is esti-
mated that the first 7 miles will furnish as much water as the Laramie
River Ditch. It is not expected that any trouble will arise over the
diversions from the Grand River, as its water supply is probably still
much in excess of the amount that can be used from it in its own
The Water Supply and Storage Company purchased 31 shares of
the Dry Creek or Jackson Ditch from the Larimer and Weld Reser-
voirCompany, which had secured a right to store the water supplied on
them at all seasons by a decision of the supreme court in a case between
the Cache la Poudre Irrigating Company and the Dry Creek Ditch
Company and others. In this case the storage of surplus water on the
excessive decrees of an old ditch is allowed by the court even during
the irrigation season. The water secured by these mountain ditches
from other drainage basins is stored throughout the irrigation season.
All the reservoirs of the Water Supply and Storage Company except
Chambers Lake are below the Larimer County Canal, which serves as
Their inlet from the river. Its capacity is 463 cubic feet per second.
Reservoir No. 1 receives water direct from the canal, and the basins
below receive their supply from No. 1. Curtis Lake is filled directly
from the canal through its own inlet.
The stock of the Water Supply and Storage Company is composed of
600 shares, each representing one water right, or one six-hundredth
part of the water in the reservoirs and the Larimer County Canal.
Each right is entitled to 22.37 acre-feet in the reservoirs, and in
1902 was worth $2,250. Seven years ago they were worth only $500
each. Chambers Lake cost $60,052, or $47.68 per acre-foot, while the
remainder of the system cost only $50,000, or $4.11 per acre-foot. The
latter low figure is due to the circumstance that the reservoirs required
no artificial dams of any consequence. The average cost of all the
reservoirs per acre-foot of holding capacity is $8.19. The annual
cost of maintenance of the company's property, including the canal, is
From the location of the reservoirs of the Water Supply and Stor-
age Company it is necessary that the water, with the exception of that
of Chambers Lake, be used by exchange. The outlet of Lindenmeier
Lake flows into Dry Creek and enters the river above the head gates
of Cache la Poudre No. 2 and Cache la Poudre No. 3 canals. The
outlet of No. 5 into Lindenmeier Lake flumes over the Larimer and
Weld Canal, and the water in No. 5 and in those of the system north
of it can be turned into the canal, or, together with that in Lindenmeir
Lake, can be run into the river. Curtis Lake discharges into Dry
Creek. The exchange is usually made by running the stored water
through the Larimer and Weld Canal, the same amount being given
to the Cache la Poudre No. 2 and Cache la Poudre No. 3 canals from
the Windsor Reservoir, and, finally, a like amount is taken into the
Larimer County Canal from the river. Since the lower canals have
rights senior to those of the Larimer County Canal, they are always
entitled to enough water to make the exchange. The first exchange
of water in the valley was made in 1892, when Reservoir No. 5 was
emptied into the Larimer and Weld Canal and a like amount from its
'share in the water of the river given to the Larimer County Canal.
The company has used its reservoirs to maintain a constant flow in
its canal, which further complicates the distribution. If the river is
high enough to entitle the Larimer Canal Company to water exceeding
the amount specified to be constant in the canal, the excess is turned
into the reservoirs. If. when the river recedes, the share of the canal
falls below this amount, water is turned out of the reservoirs to the
canals farther down the river, and they, having old rights, permit the
company to divert water into its canal to still maintain the constant
flow. Owing to the late priority of the rights of the canal the stored
water must be used throughout the entire season, although most of it
is used for late irrigation from about August 1 to 10. Wheat and the
first two crops of alfalfa are irrigated in the spring, and potatoes, sugar
beets, and the third crop of alfalfa in the fall. In 1902 Chambers
Lake was emptied at the rate of 100 cubic feet per second, commencing
August 23. In this year practically no water was secured on the decree
................................................... ....... =...
of the canal itself, although some was obtained by the use of rights in
the Pioneer Ditch.
In the distribution the plan formerly was to run water through the
whole canal all the time, but in 1902 alternate runs of four days each
were made to two divisions, the upper and the lower. This system
allows a greater amount of water to be run; the distance also being
shorter when supplying the upper division; the company has found
this to be an economical method, and has decided to continue it. The
company uses a weir in each lateral, and has also a large one in the outlet
ditch from Lindenmeier Lake where water is measured in exchanging.
The gate used at the heads of the laterals from the Larimer County
Canal is the Powell head gate. This is an iron gate covering an
iron tube extending through the canal bank and operated by an iron
rod extending to the top of the bank. The gate is not vertical, but
slopes with the bank of the canal.
During 1902 the Water Supply and Storage Company sold from its
Reservoirs 55,000,000 cubic feet of water to the Larimer & Weld
Reservoir Company and 35.000,000 cubic feet to Mr. B. H. Eaton, the
price being $100 per million cubic feet in each case.
NORTH POUDRE IRRIGATION COMPANY'S SYSTEM.
The North Poudre Irrigation Company was formerly known as the
SNorth Poudre Land, Canal, and Reservoir Company. The company
owns the North Poudre Canal, which heads in the canyon of the North
Fork of the Cache la Poudre River. It is the highest canal in the
valley and the only large one not having its head gate on the main
river. This company has also recently acquired part ownership in the
Poudre Valley Canal, through which a part of its reservoirs may be
filled. It is unfortunate for the canal that the North Fork is con-
sidered a part of the main river in the adjudication of rights, for, the
canal having the latest right among the large canals, it is often neces-
sary that its head gates be closed and the flow of the North Fork
allowed to pass by to reinforce the main river for filling the canals
having older rights. On the other hand, the North Poudre Canal,
from its location, profits nothing by a flood in the main river. The
decree of the North Poudre Canal was granted by the court in 1880
and that of the Larimer County Canal not until the following year,
but in 1893 the court decided that the former should be junior to the
latter on the grounds that the North Poudre Company had not used
proper diligence in constructing its canal.
The construction of the reservoirs of the company has therefore
Some from necessity and has been stimulated by a realization of the
value of reservoirs as a part of an irrigation system. The system has
been developed gradually since 1883, and at present the company owns
a greater number of reservoirs with a greater total storage capacity
than any company in this section of Colorado. The company believes
I that with the completion of the Fossil Creek Reservoir and the Poudre
Valley Canal the lateness of its right and all other difficulties have
RESERVOIR NO. 1.
Reservoir No. 1 was constructed in 1883. Three embankments
were necessary in its construction, two each 100 feet long and one 200
feet long, the greatest height of any of them being 10 feet. They are
14 feet wide on top, and the outside and inside slopes are respectively
3 to 1 and 2 to 1. All the dams are riprapped;
A The outlet is through two wrought-iron pipes 10 inches in diameter
laid in a cut under one of the dams and fitted with valves at the upper
end. The valves are operated from the top of a wooden bridge or
platform built out from the top of the dam.
The area of the reservoir is 80 acres, the depth 14 feet, and the
capacity 674 acre-feet. It cost $3,000, or $4.45 per acre-foot.
RESERVOIR NO. 2.
Reservoir No. 2 was commenced in 1884, but was not competed
until 1891. The dam is 2,000 feet long and its top is 35 feet above
CAST IRON P/PE
CROSS SECTION LONGITUDINAL SECTION
FIG. 4.-Cast-iron pipe outlet of North Poudre Reservoir No. 2, with concrete bed and collars.
the outlet. The outside slope is 2 to 1 and the inside slope 4 to 1.
The dam is 15 feet wide on top and its inner slope is well riprapped.
The outlet consists of two lines of 20-inch cast-iron pipe in sections
A12 feet long, flanged and bolted together. The pipes rest on concrete
; and a collar surrounds each joint (fig. 4). At each end the pipes pro-
!' trude through a heavy masonry wall constructed on a base of concrete.
The Chapman valves controlling the discharge are at the lower end of
Sthe pipe, a plan, however, which would not have been permissible if
i the outlet had been of stone. One advantage of this plan is that the
gate is always conveniently approached in case anything interferes
with its operation.
S;| The area of the reservoir is 300 acres and its capacity is 5,000 acre-
Ji H feet. Its cost was approximately $7,500, or $1.50 per acre-foot.
RESERVOIR NO. 3.
Reservoir No. 3 was commenced in 1884, but was not completed
until 1888. There is one embankment, which is 500 feet long, with
inside and outside slopes of 14 to 1 and 3 to 1, respectively. The
upper face of the dam is riprapped.
The outlet is a 20-inch cast-iron pipe, which is 31 feet below the
top of the dam. There are two lines of pipe of 12-foot sections bolted
together and laid in a bed of concrete 18 inches thick and 6 feet wide.
Masonry walls with wings were constructed at both ends, and a water-
works valve placed at the upper end regulates the discharge. The
valve stem extends to a wooden platform built out from the top of
The reservoir is 155 acres in area and 26 feet of water may be
drawn from it. Its capacity is 2,550 acre-feet. It cost $5,000, which
gives only $1.96 per acre-foot of its holding capacity.
RESERVOIR NO. 4.
Reservoir No. 4 was developed in 1890 by building a dam 500 feet
long. The dam is 15 feet wide on top, is riprapped with stone, and
the slopes are 2 to 1 on the outside and 4 to 1 on the inside.
The'outlet is a cast-iron pipe of 20 inches inside diameter, the joints
being bolted together. The pipe rests on a foundation of concrete
and the joints are surrounded by concrete collars. At each end the
pipe is surrounded by transverse masonry walls. The gate is a Chap-
man valve placed at the lower end, where the water discharged falls on
an apron of flagging.
The water is 15 feet deep over the outlet and the area of the high-
water surface is 147 acres. The reservoir holds 1,074 acre feet. The
cost of construction was $5,000, or $4.66 per acre-foot of its capacity.
RESERVOIR NO. 5.
The basin of Reservoir No. 5, which is entirely natural, is one-half
mile wide and over 1 mile in length. About 1884 a cut 22 feet deep
was made through the rim of the basin at the southeast end to drain it.
No outlet works were installed until 1892, when a temporary wooden
headgate capable of impounding 10 feet of water was put in. In this
condition the reservoir has been used since 1895, except during the
years 1898 and 1899. When finally perfected according to the plans
of the company, the outlet will consist of large vitrified pipes with
gates operated in a masonry well at the middle of the outlet, the whole
to be placed in the open cut, which will then be refilled.
When complete the reservoir will hold 20 feet of water, the surface
area of which will be 495 acres. Its capacity will be 5,740 acre-feet.
. a... .. .. .. -...... .. -
Up to the present time the cost has been approximately $2,000, and
when' complete the cost will be very small considering the amount it
will store. With an estimated total cost of $10,000 the cost per acre-
foot would be only $1.74.
RESERVOIR NO. 6.
This is one of the largest reservoirs of the North Poudre Company's
system. The basin is partly natural and is 2 miles in length from
northeast to southwest, with an average width of one-third mile.
The outlet works were placed in a cut through the rim of the basin
at the southeast end. The conduit is 3 feet wide and 4 feet high. Its
floor is 6 inches of concrete 6 feet wide, on which rest the side walls,
18 inches thick at the bottom and 1 foot thick at the top, the batter
being on the outside. Flagging 6 inches thick supports the earth
filled in on top. The conduit is 100 feet long, and walls 17 feet long,
9 feet high, and 2 feet thick are built around both ends. Beyond the
walls aprons 25 feet long were made by laying 2 by 4-inch lumber
flatwise and lengthwise. The masonry gate well is 40 feet from the
upper end, and is 4 by 4 feet inside and has walls 2 feet thick. When
the outlet was constructed in 1899 the well was only 18 feet high, but
in the fall of 1901 it was built up to 30 feet in height. At the same
time the original oak gate was replaced by an iron gate, which is
moved by means of a nut turned by a lever.
When complete, the reservoir will have an embankment at the out-
let which will impound water to a height of 12 feet above the natural
surface of the lake. This will require about 50,000 cubic yards of
earth, but the gate well is already completed to the full height. At
present the company is arranging for the completion of the reservoir.
The area of the reservoir is 572 acres, and nearly 30 feet of water
can be drawn off. Its capacity, when complete, will be 11,478 acre-
feet. The cost of construction to the present time is $3,000, and,
when complete, it is estimated that it will be $13,000, which will make
the cost per acre-foot $1.13.
RESERVOIRS NOS. 7 AND 8.
The sites for these reservoirs have been acquired by the company,
but they have not been improved. The basins are natural and it is
only necessary to make cuts to drain the water off. They will be
practically one reservoir, the water in No. 7 being run into No. 8
through an open cut, and there will be only one discharge gate, located
at the south side of No. 8.
No. 7 is 20 feet deep and 240 acres in area, and has a capacity of
2,399 acre-feet; No. 8 is 40 feet deep and has an area of 357 acres, and
a capacity of 8,400 acre-feet. No. 7 will hold more if furnished with
.. ,,,,F ",iii'
a head gate, and the capacity of No. 8 may be increased by connecting
a small basin on the southeast by an open cut. The estimated cost for
developing the two basins is placed by the company at $10,000, which
will give 93 cents as the cost per acre-foot.
RESERVOIR NO. 9.
An outlet cut has been made from this basin, but to complete the
company's plans it still requires outlet works and a small embankment
for impounding a greater depth of water. The area is 100 acres, and
its depth 30 feet. The basin will hold 1,722 acre-feet.
RESERVOIR NO. 11.
Reservoir No. 11 is a site just below the North Poudre Canal and
west of Box Elder Creek, consisting of what is commonly called
Stuchell Lake. It is small in capacity.
COAL CREEK RESERVOIRS.
These reservoirs were originally two natural basins known as Clark's
Lakes, which were developed in the summer of 1902 as reservoirs
Nos. 12 and 13 of the system. The two basins are connected, a cut
being made from No. 13, in which outlet works were installed.
The combined capacity of the reservoirs is 4,477 acre-feet, and their
area 175 acres. The cost was $6,000, which includes the expense of
extending the North Poudre Canal and of constructing an inlet from
Coal Creek. The cost per acre-foot was $1.34.
RESERVOIR NO. 15.
On account of the fact that so many of the company's reservoirs can
in the future be filled from the main river through the Poudre Valley
Canal the company now considers it feasible to construct a new reser-
voir to be numbered 15, above the North Poudre Canal and about 3
miles north of No. 1. A site has here been found which is above all
the land under the canal. It is proposed to use several miles of the
North Poudre Canal as originally constructed in running the water
from the North Fork in a northeasterly direction to a branch of Dry
Creek. After this stream reaches the plains a ditch 14 miles long
can be constructed to convey the water to the site. An outlet is
needed to turn the water from the basin into the North Poudre Canal.
The area of the site is 296 acres; the capacity claimed is 615 acre-
feet, and the total estimated cost is $22,000.
FOSSIL CREEK RESERVOIR.
The Fossil Creek Reservoir was constructed in the spring of 1902
and was partly filled and used during the same year. It is the only
large reservoir in the. valley south of the Cache la Poudre River, and
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is also distinctive as being completely isolated from the rest of the
North Poudre Irrigation Company's system. It is located in the bed
of Fossil Creek, a short distance above its junction with the river, the
dam being at a point where the shallow valley of the creek was narrow
compared with the portion above. While the dam could probably not
have been placed to make the plan any more feasible, it was an enor-
mous and expensive undertaking.
The embankment as constructed is one-half mile long, and varies in
several respects from the usual form employed in the valley (fig. 5).
The slopes on both sides are 2 to 1, while ordinarily an inside slope is
from 3 to 1 to 5 to 1. Water has a tendency to make the inner slope
of an embankment flat, and the company, realizing this, has covered
the entire inner slope of the dam with a riprapping superior in char-
acter to any other in the valley. The large rectangular stones used
were placed by hand, and give the riprapping the appearance of rub-
ble masonry (Pl. V). The width of the top of the dam is 12 feet,
which, considered absolutely, is small for the height of 50 feet, but
:since the-top of the dam is 12 feet above high-water mark this is not a
point that can be criticised. If without changing the base and slopes
. of the dam this additional height above the water surface were only 6
feet, &a height ordinarily considered sufficient, or supposing that the
upper 6 feet were cut off, then the width of the top would be 36 feet.
The thickness at the high-water mark is 60 feet.
The outlet is of stone, and is through the embankment below the
point of its greatest height. The well in which .the gates operate is at
the middle of the embankment, is 4 by 10 feet inside, and has walls 2
feet thick. There are three conduits, each 2j feet wide by 4 feet high
above the gates and 2 feet wide by 31 feet high below the gates. This
difference of size between the upper and lower ends of the conduits is
intended to increase the discharge, and is a feature of a number of the
reservoirs of the Water Supply and Storage Company. The founda-
tion and floor of the outlet is 8 inches of concrete. The two outer
walls are 14 feet thick, while the two forming partitions between the
conduits are 1 foot thick. The thickness of the flagging on top is
increased from 4 inches at the end of the outlet, where there is very
little pressure, to 10 inches at the middle, where the great weight of
the embankment is supported. The walls of the gate well above the
openings into the conduits are supported by six capstones, each 1 by 1
by 3t feet. The concrete foundation is extended to form aprons 20
feet above the outlet and 10 feet below it, and on these rest the wing
walls, 44 feet high and 2 feet thick. The three steel gates have wooden
stems, and in moving them power is applied by means of screws at the
top of the well or gate chamber.
The following is the amount of material used in constructing the
outlet: 78 cubic yards of concrete, 272 cubic yards of masonry, and
1,666 square feet of flagging varying in thickness. The riprapping of.
the dam required 7,174 cubic yards of stone, which was hauled from
quarries in the foothills 15 miles distant.
A distinctive feature of the reservoir is its waste way 600 feet wide.
It is over a natural hill on the southeast side of the basin and at a dis-
tance of one-fourth mile or more from the dam. Fossil Creek is sub-
ject to floods, and since the dam crosses the channel of the stream:it
is necessary that the waste way be large enough to carry all surpi
water and keep the water level from exceeding the limit of safety.
The reservoir is 705 acres in area and holds 11,478 acre-feet. It
cost, including the inlet and outlet ditches, was $160,000, or $18.94 per
acre-foot, the latter figure being exceeded only by that for Chambers
Lake among the reservoirs discussed. The dam alone cost $80,000.
The inlet ditch has a capacity of 400 cubic feet per second and runs
south from the Cache la Poudre River a distance of about 4j miles.
In running the grade line of the ditch it was found that the head in
the river would have to be a short distance above the moj of Box
Elder Creek, which enters the river from the north. iit of the
reservoirs of the company on the north side of the river cVe emptied
into Box Elder Creek making it serve as an outlet to the ribr. There-
fore, that the Fossil Creek reservoir might profit, by-Wfli Box
Elder Creek or figure in exchanges with reservoirs on the north side,
it was necessary for the company to change the course of Box Elder
Creek near its mouth. This was done by constructing a ditch which
turns the waters of the creek into the river just above the head of the
There are many differences of opinion regarding the amount of
water available for filling the Fossil Creek Reservoir. The company
proposes to fill it twice each year-once during the winter for early
irrigation and then again during the spring floods, which usually come
in June, for the late irrigation of vegetables.
Beside the supply received from Cache la Poudre River and Box
Elder Creek through the inlet ditch, the floods in Fossil Creek are
available for filling the reservoir. This creek, although nearly dry a
part of the year, at times has contained a great amount of water flow-
ing with great velocity to Cache la Poudre River, and the mouth
of Fossil Creek being not only below the head of any reservoir
inlet ditch but below that of any of the larger canals save one, the
Cache la Poudre No. 3, some of the water would be lost to the irriga-
tors in this valley. These floods soon recede, but the creek flowing
directly into the basin itself, there is, in this case, no limit to the rate
at which water can be stored as is the case with some, on account of the
limited capacity of their inlets. A storm occurred June 13, 1901,
flooding Fossil Creek, and it is estimated by those who saw this flood
that the water rushing past the place where the dam is now constructed
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.was 6,000 cubic feet per second, a discharge which would fill the res-
ervoir in twenty-three hours. These estimates are, doubtless, greatly
exaggerated, but there being no measurements on which to base a
reliable statement, it remains to be seen just what Fossil Creek will do
toward filling the reservoir. On March 3, 1903, the reservoir had
been filled to within 20 inches of the high-water line and the head gate
of the inlet ditch was then closed, as surface drainage was expected to
complete the filling even without the June floods.
After completing the reservoir in 1902 some water was secured
through its inlet, but it is claimed that this was mainly seepage water
which should not have been stored. However, it is probable that
nearly all the inlets in the valley are benefited by seepage water
entering them from irrigated lands above. The company's right to
the waters of Fossil Creek when storage is allowable is conceded, but
since the reservoir has no decree and its claim to water from the river
is one of the latest, it will probably not be entitled to water from the
river except during flood times. It is the intention of the company to
fill the reservoir twice each year, if possible-once from Fossil Creek
during the winter and a second time from the river through the inlet
ditch. This would be the most economical use of the water and
should be established on a legal basis. But if any reservoirs follow-
ing it in order of priority should be deprived of water for storage it
is probable that objections will be made, for water is becoming so
valuable that every possible means of increasing the supply is seized
The company claims the right next after the Cache la Poudre Reser-
voir to use the 60 cubic feet per second of water returned to the river
by the flouring mill at Fort Collins, because it is the first ready to
receive it; and if any of this is not used by the latter during the time
for storing, the Fossil Creek Reservoir will probably get it, as it is
the only other one with an inlet placed so as to receive it. It is said
that an inlet ditch may be constructed from a point in the river below
the tail race of the mill to the Windsor Reservoir, but the .early pri-
ority of this reservoir would certainly not be sufficient reason to
entitle it to precede the other two which already have their inlets
Fossil Creek itself joins the river below the head of the Cache la
Poudre No. 2, but the outlet ditch from the reservoir has less fall and
discharges into the river just above the head gate of the canal, so that
the water may be used through either this canal or the Cache la Poudre
Canal No. 3.
There are 300 of the first or preferred water rights in the reservoir,
each corresponding to 80 acres. After the completion of the reservoir
in 1902, 20,000,000 cubic feet of water was stored, and irrigators under
the Cache la Poudre Canal No. 2 purchased 150 of the rights for $300
each, but it is not the intention to sell any more. An assessment of
$4 per annum is made on each right for maintenance. When it-ia
considered that the common price of 1,000,000 cubic feet of water in
the valley during 1902 was $100 and in one case at least it was $150,
it is surprising that these rights entitling the owners to 1,000,000 cubic
feet annually, for all time, could be purchased for so low a price as
$300. The reason for this was the immediate need of funds to meet
the expenses of the company, it having invested large amounts in new
works which had not yet yielded returns.
OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM.
None of the North Poudre Company's reservoirs on the north side
of the river has been decreed a certain amount based on its capacity,
but the decree given the North Poudre Land, Canal and Reservoir
Company entitled it to 315 cubic feet per second from the North Fork
of the Cache la Poudre for the canal and for the filling of the first ten
reservoirs. The date of this priority is February 1, 1880, but it is
practically of little value. Testimony is now being taken for the
adjudication of reservoir rights in the Cache la Poudre Valley, and it
is expected that all of the company's reservoirs already constructed
will be decreed priorities. Nos. 1 and 3 will doubtless have very early
All of the company's reservoirs on the north side may be filled
through its canal. Reservoirs Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, and 13 are each
above at least some of the land under the canal, while Nos. 6, 7, 8, and
9 must be made to serve the needs of the company by exchange. No.
1 has its own inlet ditch from the canal 2 miles north of it. The water
may be used directly through the inlet ditch or may be run into Dry
Creek and to the river for exchange purposes. Six of the reservoirs
form a chain lying in the country between Dry and Box Elder creeks
on the east and west and between the North Poudre and Larimer
County canals on the north and south. An inlet ditch from the North
Poudre Canal enters Reservoir No. 2 at the north, and the others are
connected with No. 2. The main outlet at No. 6 enters the Larimer
County Canal 1 mile below it. In exchanging most of the water is
run through this outlet, in which a weir has been installed for meas-
uring the flow. Water can also be run from Nos. 7 and 8, when they
are finished, into the Larimer County Canal just below them. Another
inlet from the North Poudre Canal fills reservoirs Nos. 3 and 4. The
water in these two reservoirs is used directly through the ditch on
the company's lands. Reservoir No. 11 is to be filled directly from
Reservoirs Nos. 12 and 13 are on the east side of Box Elder and
Coal creeks, which unite several miles farther down the valley. In
1900 the North Poudre Canal was extended from its former terminus
at Box Elder Creek to these two reservoirs, and dams were built at
the crossings of both creeks so that the reservoirs may be tilled by the
floods in the creeks as well as by the canal. Thev are drained into
Coal Creek, making it possible to exchange with any of the several
large canals below them.
The North Fork of Cache la Poudre River being the main factor
in the filling of these reservoirs, the success of the system depends
largely on the amount of water it furnishes, and this is uncertain.
The company's reservoirs in the season for storing, like their canal
during the irrigation season, are sometimes deprived of even the waters
of the North Fork on account of the inadequate supply of the main
river to meet the demand for filling reservoirs with earlier rights;
while, if after these are filled there be any surplus in the main river,
it can not be conducted to reservoirs Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, or the Coal
Creek reservoirs, on account of their high location. The same has
been true of all the others in the past, but in the future they may be
filled from the main river by the Poudre Valley Canal. The six res-
ervoirs used prior to 1902 were successfully operated, and the unusual
season of 1902 was not a fair test. By the completion of the new res-
ervoirs the storage capacity has been greatly increased, and while
their utility remains to be proven it is believed by those who have
studied the situations that the system will be a success.
The location of the reservoirs is excellent for exchanging with any
other system in the valley, they being the highest, and any water
stored may always be used advantageously somewhere. But, after all
the company's reservoirs are full, the benefits to be derived from the
lands under its canal still depend in a measure on the flow of the
North Fork during the irrigating season, for the natural flow of this
stream would probably often be too small to permit an exchange.
The condition has been greatly improved, however, by the construc-
tion of the Sand Creek Ditch, which reenforces the flow of the Cache
la Poudre, and water may be turned out of the North Poudre reser-
voirs for use by the owners of the Sand Creek Ditch through the
Larimer and Weld Canal, while the North Poudre Company is receiv-
ing the water furnished by the Sand Creek Ditch from the head waters
of the Laramie River. The company has desired a consolidation of
these interests so as to insure such an exchange. It was proposed
also that the capital be increased to enable it to enlarge its canal from
a capacity of about 230 to 600 feet per second, and construct a
masonry dam in the canyon of the North Fork one-half mile below
the present head works, abandoning the expensive fluming and tunnel-
ing between these two points. The proposed dam would have to be
90 feet high in order to raise the water in the stream to the grade of
the canal at that point. It is similar in design to the Home Supply
Dam, in the Big Thompson River. No agreement has been reached,
but the exchange will doubtless be made each year, for while the
various companies in the valley never cease to advance their own
interests, they seem to be ready to enter into deals intended to benefit
their neighbors so long as they do not lose any advantage.
The exchanges made by the company may be some in which all the
systems in the valley are interested, and when this happens each of
the reservoirs is simply reenforcing the canal first below it, to which
it seems to properly belong. There being no reservoirs above the
North Poudre Company's canal, it must be repaid for the water
given from its reservoirs by water taken directly into its canal,
and the lower canals, having received stored water, must give this
from their share in the river. Thus all profit by the stored water,
provided the supply of the North Fork be sufficient to repay the
North Poudre Company. The Fossil Creek Reservoir, while above
only two of the large canals, greatly facilitates exchanges by the com-
pany, as it adds materially to the storage capacity of the system. The
completion of this reservoir and the acquirement of the right to use
the Poudre Valley Canal has greatly improved the situation for the
Recently the North Poudre Company became owners of 41 per cent
of the Poudre Valley Canal by the transfer of the Douglas Reservoir,
which was constructed in 1902 by the company as No. 10 of their sys-
tem, to the Poudre Valley Reservoir Company in exchange for $75,000
of the latter's stock, and by the purchase of $27,500 of additional stock.
The first 17 miles of this canal will be finished before the spring floods
of 1903, so that not only the Douglas Reservoir, but North Poudre
reservoirs Nos. 5 and 6, and Nos. 7, 8, and 9 when completed, may be
filled from the main river, leaving only those above the Poudre Valley
Canal to depend on the North Fork as heretofore. This will be ade-
quate for filling these upper reservoirs, and they will supply the com-
pany's lands, while those below the Poudre Valley Canal will be used
in exchanges, which will no longer be limited to the flow of the North
The North Poudre Irrigation Company owns about 20,000 acres of
land under its canal. This land, together with the water rights belong-
ing to it, is being sold to individuals. Twenty-five shares of stock are
sold with each 80 acres; therefore this amount of stock is equivalent
to an 80-acre water right. There are 320 water rights in the company.
The entire capital stock of the company is $400,000. At presents the
company furnishes water to fulfill the conditions of about one-half of
30 water-right contracts sold prior to the transfer of the system to the
North Poudre Irrigation Company. These old rights, which were
originally acquired for $25 per right per annum, are gradually being
surrendered in exchange for 20 shares of stock in the North Poudre
Company, which gives their owners a proper tion of tih' st(oredI water as
well as of that from the canal.
-In 1902 the company sold 10,000,000, cubic feet of water from their
reservoirs to Mr. B. H. Eaton for $l10 per million cubic feet.
The total cost of the nine reservoirs of the company already con-
structed is $201,50(), or $4.77 per acre-foot. The six reservoirs used
prior to 1902 cost approximately $3,500 for maintenance and operation.
The Douglas Reservoir is the property of the Poudre Valley Reser-
voir Company, having been purchased from the North Poudre Irriga-
tion Company, who constructed it in 1902 as Reservoir No. lo of its
system. It is located in Dry Creek Valley, where there are low hills
on the east side and the south end. The creek entering this basin at
the north turns to the southwest, passing through a break in a little
ridge on the west side. At this point an embankment 2,300 feet long
was constructed, its greatest height being 34 feet. It is 14 feet wide
on top, with slopes of 2 to 1 on both inside and outside. The dam is
not yet riprapped, but will be protected by stone.
The outlet consists of rectangular stone conduit 3 feet wide and
41 feet high, with a floor and top of flagging and side walls of masonry.
The stone gate well projects through the top of the dam at its inner
edge. There are two oak gates covering the opening of the well into
the conduit below it and sliding vertically in a wooden frame set against
the wall. They are raised and lowered by screws at the top of the
The basin is oblong in shape, with quite regular contours, and covers
586 acres. When the dam is riprapped it may be safely filled to a
depth of 30 feet. The reservoir is the only one in the valley having a
dam on the west side, and since the winds generally come from the
west in this locality, it will not be subject to the beating of waves as
much as it would were it situated on the east or south side of the basin.
The capacity of the reservoir is 10,547 acre-feet, and its cost, including
the land, was $50,000, or $4.74 per acre-foot. The cost of the dam
alone was $22,000.
The failure to entirely fill the Larimer and Weld Reservoir in 1902
* was a surprise to the irrigators under the Larimer and Weld Canal
depending upon it, but instead of becoming discouraged they immedi-
ately commenced preparations for additional storage works. This was
not done by either the Larimer and Weld Irrigation Company or the
Larimer and Weld Reservoir Company, but by an entirely new
organization, including largely the same parties interested in both
companies, and incorporated as the Poudre Valley Reservoir Company.
Their original plans, which are described fully in the description of
688-No. 134-03- 4
the Poudre Valley Reservoir site, were to construct storage works of
large capacity east of Box Elder Creek, and also an inlet canal fo
The capital stock of the company was $250,000, divided into 2,500
shares. The contract for the construction of the inlet was let for
$200,000, 121 cents per cubic yard being stipulated for the earth work,
34 cents for loose rock, and 99 cents for solid rock. The canal was to
be 30 feet wide on the bottom, 7 feet deep, and over 30 miles long.
Its carrying capacity was to be 600 or 700 cubic feet per second. The
company, not having sufficient capital for the completion of the work
as at first planned, abandoned the idea of constructing a reservoir and
instead made the arrangement, referred to above, with the North
Poudre Irrigation Company by which it acquired the Douglas Reser-
voir. The inlet canal was to run just around and above the Douglas
Reservoir, and water can conveniently be run into the reservoir from
it. An agreement between the two companies was finally reached
about March 1, 1903, by which the North Poudre Company agreed
to transfer the reservoir to the Poudre Valley Company for $75,000
worth of their stock. The North Poudre Company also purchased an
additional $27,500 worth of stock and became owners of 41 per cent
of the stock in the Poudre Valley Company. It being proposed to
enlarge the reservoir, the North Poudre Company also agreed to have
the reservoir surveyed for storing 10 feet in depth in addition to the
present capacity at the 30-foot contour.
This transfer will be an advantage to both companies, for the North
Poudre Company can well spare one reservoir from its large system
and will now be able to use the large Poudre Valley Canal for filling
reservoirs Nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 of its system from the main river.
The Poudre Valley Company could not at the time secure the capital
for the completion of its proposed work, but can now have a reservoir
large enough for its needs. The first 17 miles of the Poudre Valley
Canal has been completed, and it will supply enough water to fill the
Douglas Reservoir and the reservoirs of the North Poudre Company
referred to. In constructing the canal it was necessary to remove
much more rock than was at first expected, and the cost up to the
present has been $450,000. The canal will probably never be extended
as first planned. (Pl. III, fig. 2.)
The Douglas Reservoir may supply the Larimer and Weld Canal
without exchange by running the water down Dry Creek, although it
is possible that the water will be run to the Larimer County Canaland
the same amount taken from the reservoirs of the Water Supply and
Storage Company for the Larimer and Weld Canal.
The Poudre Valley Company was wise in constructing a large inlet,
for as it can expect to receive flood water only it must be able to take
large quantities in the short time the floods last.
The embankment of Douglas Reservoir is across Dry Creek, which
may furnish some water for filling the basin. The Larimer and Weld
Reservoir has the tirst claim on this water, but since the two reservoirs
are owned by practically the same interests no difficulties are likely to
rise in any case.
WARREN LAKE RESERVOIR.
The Warren Lake Reservoir is the oldest in the Cache la Poudre
SValley, and is the only one which was given a decree with the ditches
Si 1882. The decree, unlike those given to the other reservoirs,
:entitles it to be filled by a certain flow through its inlet instead of
Y allowing it a certain volume of water from the river, intended to be
equal to the capacity of the reservoir. The decreed right dates from
April 15, 1875, and is for 880 statute inches or 22.92 cubic feet per
second. The decree also states that this is based on its area of 110 acres
covered to a depth of 5 feet, which would be a volume of 23,958,000
cubic feet or 550 acre-feet. At present 8 feet of water can be drawn
off. It would require a little over twelve days to store the given vol-
ume at the given rate of flow.
The embankment is several hundred feet long and curves around
the northeast corner. It is 10 feet high and has a slope of l1 to 1 on
the outside, while its inner face is a rubble masonry wall almost per-
pendicular. The width on top, along which a public road runs, is 24
feet. The gate slides in a wooden frame against the inner face of the
wall and covers the upper end of the outlet conduit. It is raised by a
screw at the top of this frame. The reservoir is used in connection
with the Larimer County Canal No. 2, and is owned by the Warren
Lake Reservoir Company. It supplies only lands near the lower end
of the canal.
CLAYMORE LAKE RESERVOIR.
Claymore Lake is situated on the lower side of the Cache la Poudre,
just outside the foothills, and belongs to the Pleasant Valley and Lake
Canal Company. It is just above the canal and aids in the irrigation
of the land under the canal below the reservoir outlet. The reservoir
has a small embankment. The area of the high water surface is 69
acres, and its filing is for 39,000,000 cubic feet or 895 acre-feet, and
its capacity is claimed to be 1,148 acre-feet; but both of these are
probably too high.
WINDSOR LAKE RESERVOIR.
Windsor Lake is located at the town of Windsor and should not be
confused with the Windsor Reservoir 3 miles north of it. It is owned
..by a number of irrigators under the Cache la Poudre Canal No. 2, and
is between the canal and the river. These irrigators exchange their
rights in the canal for the right to fill the reservoir from the canal at
:the time of the spring floods, which allows them to use the water at
their convenience. The lake also receives considerable water from
The reservoir was originally a natural lake and was converted into
a reservoir impounding 6 feet of water covering 150 acres. Its capao-
ity is estimated to be 918 acre-feet. It irrigates 640 acres of land, the
entire potato crop of which depends upon it. Ten acres of fruit trees
are kept alive by running water to them until late in the fall, which
prevents them from dying during the winter.
The reservoir did not cost over $1,000, and it is valued at $15,000.
The cost of maintenance is about $25 per annum, and as there is plenty
of water, each irrigator uses water as he needs it without its being
The wooden head gate which serves as the outlet is placed in a flume
4 feet wide and 16 feet long, made of 2-inch plank. A slight embank-
ment made of brush extends for 75 feet on both sides of the head gate,
although the flume is placed in a cut. The gate is raised by a lever
turning a pinion gearing with a rack on the gate stem.
The Wood Reservoir is owned by A. J. Eaton. Seepage alone is its
source of supply. It is filled at least once each year and is kept fairly
well filled, except when the demand on it is heavy. Its area is 120
acres and its depth 8 feet. The basin is entirely natural and an outlet
made of 3-inch lumber Was the only construction work necessary. It
is the sole dependence of 600 acres, and in 1901 210 acres of this was
in potatoes, which received plenty of water, and at the same time a
neighbor was furnished water from the reservoir for 15 acres of
The outlet cost $200, and the total cost was not over $2,000. The
value of the water furnished annually by it is $2,000. The claim of
the reservoir is for 120,000,000 cubic feet or 2,755 acre-feet, but this
capacity is too large for the dimensions given. It is probable that
the capacity is something less than that given.
Lake Lee is a natural basin through which the Larimer and Weld
Canal runs. The only artificial work is a set of wooden gates in the
canal about 200 feet below the lake. The gates will hold a head of 8 feet
and by so doing the flow in the lower end of the canal is better regu-
lated. The owner of the reservoir is the Larimer and Weld Irrigation
Company, and it is utilized in an exchange with the Cache la Poudre
Canal No. 2. Water from the river belonging to the latter is taken
by the upper canal and held in Lake Lee, and is paid for from the
Windsor Reservoir. The head works consists of 5 gates of 3-inch
plank, placed in a wooden flume 24 feet wide and 35 feet long and
raised by a screw. Lake Lee is 67 acres in area and holds 321 acre-
feet of water.
POUIRE VALLEY SITE.
The Poudre Valley Reservoir Company, which recently purchased
the Douglas Reservoir, has only partially carried out its original plans
to construct an immense systeni of storage works which would furnish
water for their lands under the Larimer and Weld Canal. In brief,
the papers filed stated that it was the intention to divert water from
Cache la Poudre River by a canal or inlet ditch, to be constructed
with its head gate in se. 10, T. S N., R. 7 and to secure flood
waters from Dry Creek. Box Elder Creek, and all draws crossed by
the inlet ditch, for storage in three reservoirs to be constructed in
sees. 13, 14, 23, 24, 25, 26, and 36, T. S N., R. 6S W., and sec. 31, T.
8 N., R. 67 W. The company reserved the right to acquire, by pur-
chase, donation, or otherwise, rights of appropriations of water from
adjacent sheds and appropriations for other proposed enterprises sur-
veyed in the same location and to acquire the use of any canal under
The sites were surveyed, and the areas, depths, and capacities of
the basins are given, as follows:
Capacities of Poudre Valley IReherroir site..
Site. Area. Depth. Capacity.
I Acres. Frd. Cubic feet. Acre-feet.
No. 1............................................. ... 159 ,26 101,930,400 2,340
No. 2..................................... 73 19 33,105,600 760
No. 3................................................. 983 68 1,273,694,400 29,240
Total...................... ................. ..... 1,217 I........................ 32,340
No. 3 includes two basins. These basins are natural depressions,
and the reservoir as proposed was to have two embankments, one at
the north end of No. 3, about one-half mile in length, and another at
the southeast end of the basin, connected with No. 3, about 500 feet in
length. These sites, which compare in size with Boyd Lake, unlike
other large sites, have not been under consideration for many years,
but seem to have just recently come to the notice of the public. The
Poudre Valley Company originally stated that if after the reservoirs
were completed and successfully operated the conditions justified such
a measure, its canal would be extended to the east, crossing the Union
Pacific Railroad north of the town of Pierce, to cover much valuable
land above the Larimer County Canal.
LINK LAKE SITES.
A claim was filed in 1902 for the Link Lake and Ditch System, tge::'.
intention being to connect eight basins in the mountains as one system.
All of the basins are small, and the capacities claimed were given d.
No. 1.. --.. ........---.....------ 1,060 No. 6........................... 800
No. 2..--------... -----.. .....-. 1,400 No. 7 ........................... 44
No. 3........-- .....----- ..--.. ... 525 No. 8.-..-.--................. --2,000
No. 4.....-- ..-..--.-----..----- 500
Total --------------------- 69 e9%
No. 5........................... 700 Total -..,- 6,92
These sites are in secs. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, T. 8 N., R. 76 W. Nos. 1,
2, 3, and 4 are situated on Rawah Creek, a tributary of Laramie River.
It is the intention to discharge the water from one basin into another
successively. At No. 4 a ditch is to convey the water to the Laramie
River Ditch of the Water Supply and Storage Company. Nos. 5, 6,
7, and S are above the grade of the ditch at different points along its
line and are to be emptied into the ditch. The intention is to use the
Laramie River Ditch and the Cache la Poudre River in conveying the
water to lands on the plains outside the foothills. Rawah Creek
enters the Laramie River below the head of the Laramie River Ditch,
and therefore the scheme, if carried out, will not affect existing inter-
ests in Colorado.
SAND CREEK SITE.
In 1901 a filing was made by R. Q. Tenney and B. H. Eaton for a
reservoir located on Sand Creek with the ditch of that name, which is
now in operation. The capacity given was 448,394,457 cubic feet,.
The water stored would be taken from Sand Creek and used in the
Cache la Poudre Valley.
NUN CREEK SITE.
There is a proposition to construct a reservoir, to be known as the
Nun Creek Reservoir, which is to be filled from aditch from Nun Creek.
Nun Creek is a tributary of the Laramie River. The water would be
taken across the divide and discharged into the Middle Fork of the
Cache la Poudre. The proposed ditch and reservoir are to be located
in the vicinity of the Bob Creek Ditch owned by the Larimer and
Weld Reservoir Company.
SEELEYS LAKE SITE.
Seeleys Lake is located a few miles northwest of Greeley under the
Cache la Poudre Canal No. 2, and has been filed upon for a reservoir
for irrigation, its capacity being given as 90,000,000 cubic feet, or
2,066 acre-feet. At present it is a natural lake used for fishing and
boating and covers about one quarter section. It will probably be
developed in the near future.
RESERVOIRS ON BIG THOMPSON RIVER.
Lake Loveland is now the property of the Greeley and Loveland
Irrigation Company, which owns the Lovelan d and reeley Canal and
the Barnes Ditch. It was purchased with the rest of the system about
March 1, 1903, from the New Loveland and Greeley Irrigation and
Land Company. Before the transfer, farmers under the canal had
purchased all the rights in Lake Loveland except 6;5. Fifty-three of
Sthe remaining rights were bought by the farmers for $75() each. The
remaining 12 were reserved on account of a contract with the Love-
land Sugar Company. The price paid for the old company's interest
in the entire system was $48,500.
The Loveland and Greeley Irrigation and Land Company, which
developed this reservoir site, represented practically the same interests
as does the Colorado Mortgage and Investment Company of Ienver,
and was known locally as the English Company and its cIanal as the
"English Ditch." They originally purchased the old Larimer County
Irrigating and Manufacturing Ditch, commonly called, from its build de r,
the Chubbuck Ditch;and enlarged it, making it what is now the upper
end of the Loveland and Greeley Canal. The rights in the old ditch
are now known as the Chubbuck rights in the canal. The same com-
pany also purchased the Barnes Ditch, which they enlarged so that it
might be used as the inlet to Lake Loveland. In fulfilling conditions
of agreements in both these purchases the owners of the canal furnish
water free and for all time to the owners of the original rights in the
two ditches, but these do not extend to the reservoir, as it was not
constructed until 1896, several years after the agreement.
In 1891 parties filed papers of incorporation as the Farmer's Irri-
gating and Reservoir Company, intending to utilize what is now the
basin of Lake Loveland, and claimed over 500,00,0000 cubic feet of
water from the Big Thompson River to fill it. It was to be called the
Hays Reservoir. Again in 1893 it was filed on as the Peoples Reser-
voir, 566,715,512 cubic feet being claimed as the capacity. These
plans were not carried out and it was left for the Loveland and
Greeley Company to develop the site at a later date. The natural
lake was known as Kilburn Lake and it was ideally located for a
reservoir to be used in connection with the Loveland and Greeley
Canal. The capacity was greatly increased by the construction of an
embankment along the rim of the basin at the south side for a length
of 400 feet, the greatest height being 18 feet. It is 20 feet wide at
the top, along which runs a county road, and has an outside slope
of 1 to 1 and an inside slope of 3 to 1. The inner face is well riprapped
with loose, stone and when the reservoir is full there is only 15 feet of
Water against the dam. (Fig. 6.)
jii.r~i.:~iii~; ..... ....... .. ....
1.,5ER CV Sff/Of
TOWER a -
n..ruws S~L UACff OFn-n ~ ffas
r ,,,-'--- fV'. l'lV f O .4'0Vtf'tt-t~l-ft0VV'l'l-fftdd'ff't 09-f'ftttttft-ftlirtlV f
PROFILE OF OUTLET MC
T-. N R.B69W.
PLAT OF RESERVOIR
SECTION OF _TER CUSHION AS
-ECTION OF WATER CUSHION AB
SECTION OF TOWER AB
M L E
SECTION OF WATER
SECTION OF TOWER CD
CROSS SECTION GH
CROSS SECTION OF DAM
Fli. 6.-Design of dam and outlet of Lake Loveland.
-L- -1 -
The outlet, instead of being Imade through or below the dam, was
made through the natural Iank at the south side near the east end of
the dam. The conduit is a pipe of hard brick laid in cement. The
inside diameter of the pipe is 5 feet and it is about three-quarters of a
mile long, running under one end of the town of Loveland in a tunnel.
At the edge of the reservoir the outlet is 45 feet below the surface of the
ground, which slopes gradually toward the Big Thompson River, the
outlet being only 12 feet below the surface at the lower end. Below
this point the water is carried through an open cut for a distance of
about one-fourthof a mile until it joins the Lo(veand and (reeley Canal.
Unusual care was taken to prevent the water issuing from the conduit
from cutting out the ditch. An apron of concrete 2 feet thick was laid
extending 15 feet below the outlet and on this was built a transverse
retaining wall with wings extending out at angles, all of hard brick
and capped with stone. These walls are 2 feet thick and 1( feet high.
Near the lower edge of the concrete apron a low brick wall was placed
across the water channel between the ends of the wing walls so that
it would check the force of the water spouting from the outlet pipe.
This wall is 44 feet high and is 2 feet thick at the base and slopes to a
width of 13 inches on top. It is supported on the lower side by
concrete and its top is only 6 inches above the grade of the ditch
The upper end of the outlet extends into a tower of hard brick from
which the gates are operated and which is about 150 feet out from the
water's edge when the reservoir is full, making it necessary for the
operator to use a boat to reach it. The tower is built on a concrete
foundation 3 feet thick and is square for a height of 15 feet at the
base. For this distance it is 7 feet square inside. Above the tower
is round and is 8 feet in diameter on the inside. The wall is 3 feet
thick at the base and slopes to a thickness of 16 inches at the top, the
slope being on the outside. The total height of the brickwork is 51
feet. The tower is covered by a conical roof, and at a height of 42
feet above the base a wooden floor is placed around the outside like a
veranda and also on the inside. The gates are operated from this
floor or platform, which is 2 feet above the high-water mark. The
outlet pipe is enlarged at its opening into the well and tapers for a
distance of 16 feet until it becomes 5 feet in diameter. The water
enters the tower through two openings in the walls of the lower square
portion, one of which is at the bottom on the north side while the
other is 3 feet above the base on the west side, each being 2j feet
wide and 3 feet high. These openings are covered by both inside and
outside gates. The first inside gates were of oak, 3 inches thick, with
iron straps bolted to them, but these leaked and after being used two
years they were replaced by 2-inch cast-iron gates backed by 21-inch
oak. The outside gates were one-half inch thick and worked in brass
grooves in a frame placed against the brick wall, and were strenhi:i
ened by 2-inch oak bolted to the iron. After being used two gyeal
one of these gates was crushed in with a head of 40 feet of water owi
it. The total pressure on the whole area of the gate was 18,00:
pounds. The inside gate held, however, and no water was washed
from the reservoir. These gates were replaced by 1-inch cast-itbo
gates having wrought-iron ribs bolted to the back of them, and these
have given no trouble. The gate stems are 2-inch steel rods braedat
W GA STCMA
FoG. 7.-Design of lifting apparatus used at Lake Loveland and Mariano reservolyn
three points by iron collars fastened to the brick wall to prevent them
from buckling when under thrust.
The lifting apparatus is of necessity very powerful (fig. 7). The
upper end of the gate stem is threaded and passes through a pinion
which acts as a nut rotating horizontally, but having no vertical motion.
The pinion gears with an endless screw or worm at right angles to it
and on the same shaft with a large handwheel which is turned by the
operator. The wheel is 3 feet in diameter, the worm 6 inches, and
the pinion 8 inches. The pitch of the threads on the worm and of the
teeth of the pinion is 1 inch. Each gate has its own lifting device, two
being inside the tower and two outside. When those outside were
t used it was found necessary to brace the platform on which the
ratus rested, as the pressure on it in raising the gates was about
.pull it down.
:.The basin of Lake Loveland is exceptionally fine, being in general
Itoind and shaped like a bowl. When the reservoir is full the water
is 40 feet deep over the outlet, and is 3 feet below the top of the
embankment. The area of the water surface at this height is 492
acres. The reservoir has been surveyed and its capacity determined
for each foot contour. The following table gives the capacity in cubic
feet and acre-feet for each 5 feet in depth above the outlet:
Capacity of Luke Loebwlenl tii rrioux v'iontoura.
Feet. Cubic feci. Aere-feet. Feet. Cubic feet. Acre-feet.
6......................I 18405, 162 423 2.5 ...................... 247,729,574 5,687
10..................... 64,420,169 1,479 I 30 ...................... 323,672,814 7,430
15....................... 118,925,440 2,730 1 35 ..................... 409,185,640 9,393
20...................... 180,215,950 4,137 40 ...................... 575,596,t640 13,212
There is in addition to this 24,642,360 cubic feet or 566 acre-feet,
which is below the outlet and can not be drawn off.
The dam of Lake Loveland was comparatively inexpensive, the
elaborate outlet works with the long tunnel making the greater part
Sof the cost of construction, which was $125,000. The cost per acre-
foot of the capacity of the reservoir is $9.46. One 80-acre water right
entitles its holder to one three-hundredth of the water in the reservoir,
or 45.91 acre-feet when the reservoir is full. The annual assessment
on each right for maintenance is $10. The company spared no
expense in making the outlet works substantial and in keeping the
reservoir in good condition, giving it the finished appearance of a
public rather than a private work. The superintendent of the reser-
voir lives in a cottage on the premises, his services being required
during the entire year.
Lake Loveland is filled from the Big Thompson River. The Barnes
Ditch, its inlet, heads in the river about 3 miles west of the reservoir
and runs along the south side of it over the outlet. Water is turned
into the reservoir through a flume which extends over the bank for a
distance of over 100 feet to prevent the water from cutting away the
bank. The inlet gate is at the upper end of this flume and is near the
west end of the dam. The Barnes Ditch has a capacity of 450 cubic
feet per second, but the greatest amount that is ever run through it is
less than this, the owners thinking it prudent not to test the ditch to
its full capacity until the banks have become finally settled. The
ditch runs around a steep bluff, at which point it broke several years
ago, costing the Loveland and Greeley Company, which then owned
it, $2,000 for repairs, as well as the loss of water for storage. TU
reservoir has no decree from the court for filling, but in years of L
ordinary water supply it has been filled. In 1899 and 1900 it S
filled to its utmost capacity, in 1901 to a depth of 36 feet, and in 1902'
to a depth of only 13 feet. In the fall of 1902 twenty irrigators under
the Loveland and Greeley Canal commenced work on the Eureka Ditch
which will bring water from the Grand River drainage over the divide
to the Big Thompson at a place known as Flat Top. One mile of
ditch 6 feet wide has been completed, and work will be continued in
the coming summer. They expect to store the water obtained in
Lake Loveland or in the Seven Lakes Reservoir. Previous to 1901
only 135 rights in the reservoir were sold, but with the advent of the
sugar beet in that year 40 rights were sold at $750 each. In 1902
more were sold at the same price, 20 going to irrigators under the
Louden Canal to be used by exchange. The Louden Canal and the
land under it are above Lake Loveland, but the water is taken from
the reservoir into the Loveland and Greeley Canal and an equal
amount diverted from the river into the Louden Canal. Such an
exchange is always possible, for the former is entitled to 78.02 cubic
feet per second from the river before the latter is entitled to anything.
A similar exchange is made with irrigators under the Barnes Ditch,
who own a few rights. All the other rights were sold to irrigators
under the Loveland and Greeley Canal, the water being run into the
canal about 11 miles below its head, so that it is possible for the reser-
voir to supply water to practically all the users under the canal.
The water is distributed from the reservoir by making runs when
they are called for by a majority of the users. The main crop under
the lower end of the canal being vegetables, which require late irriga-
tion, and that under the upper end being largely cereals, which require
early irrigation, some conflicts regarding the time of the runs have
arisen, but in the two past seasons sugar beets have taken the place of
wheat to a great extent in the upper district, and- this will probably
have a tendency to lessen the difficulties.
In 1901 runs were made from the reservoir as follows:
Water used from Lake Loveland in 1901.
July 21 to 26, inclusive..........-- .................--...---- ... 2,107
August 2 to 6, inclusive -------.. ..................------... .- 1,810
August 14 to 18, inclusive.....------..----...........--------- 1,589
August 26 to 31, inclusive-......------------ ----...-------... 1,930
September 6 to 12, inclusive -------..----------..... ..--..---.. 1,814
Total ........... ................------------------- -. 9, 250
Water remained in the reservoir at the end of the season to a depth
of 9.5 feet.
In 1902 the runs were as follows:
I 'iciti r uifl j'run Likdr Lu .'lt'lud iii 1902.
I Cubki fet. Acrt'-fc,'t.
S To Louden Canal, by exchange, July 23 to 26................................ .12 95
To Loveland and Greeley Canal, Aug. 2 to 6......... ..... ................. 124.5 1, 235
To Louden Canal, by exchange. Aug. 9 and 10 ............................. 24.9 96
.To Loveland and Greeley Canal, Aug. 13 to 20 ............................... 100 1,57
'To Barnes Ditch, by exchange, Aug. 21 to 23 ......... ..................... 5 30
To Louden Canal, by exchange, Aug. 28 to 30 ............................... 10 59
STotal.................................................................. ...3, 102
e=,.Water was formerly measured by a weir in the outlet ditch of Lake
- .~Lveland, but much trouble was caused by the ditch back of it becom-
ing filled up with mud and gravel. The grade of the ditch is high at
this point, and doubtless the velocity of approach of the current was
too great, while if the conditions for accurate measurement had been
considered in placing the weir no trouble of this kind would have
occurred. It has been replaced by a measuring flume, which has been
found to be more practicable. Water run for the Chubbuck rights is
measured by the miner's-inch method, but under the rest of the Love-
land and Greeley Canal weirs are used in the laterals.
The decreed priorities of the Loveland and Greeley Canal are among
the oldest from the Big Thompson River, and at one time the company
attempted to store water from the canal rights. The priority of the
canal of the Home Supply Company is very late, but its reservoirs
both have rights established by decrees, and Lake Loveland having
none, they should always be filled first. So the Home Supply Com-
pany, fearing that the supply would not be sufficient to fill its reser-
voirs later, and considering the practice an infringement upon its
rights, succeeded in getting an injunction stopping this manner of
filling Lake Loveland. A final decision was rendered by the supreme
court of the State prohibiting the use of the water decreed to the
Loveland and Greeley Canal for storage purposes. A similar difficulty
occurred recently between the Loveland and Greeley Company and the
Seven Lakes Reservoir Company, in which the former was in the same
position as the Home Supply Company in the first case. The details
and results of the later case are discussed more fully in connection
with the Seven Lakes Reservoir.
Another question settled by the court was in regard to running
water through Lake Loveland for fish. The Home Supply Company
objected, claiming that more water was run into the reservoir than
was let out of it. The court permitted this use of the water, but
ordered the water commissioner to keep measurements of the flow in
both the inlet and outlet ditches in order that the equality might be
maintained. This officer, intending to carry out the order in spirit
rather than in detail, simply maintained a constant depth of water :.
the reservoir, by which the Loveland and Greeley Company gained: aI 1
amount for storage equal to the loss from seepage and evaporation'
during the time that water was run through it.
CONSOLIDATED HOME SUPPLY DITCH AND RESEB VOIlB .o00rn
PAXB B SYSTEM.
The Consolidated Home Supply Company owns the Lone Tree asd'ii
Mariano reservoirs, the Home Supply Canal, and the Home Suppl
Reservoir Ditch. The members of the company are farmers, using
the water under the canal. The system is similar to that of the Wate
Supply and Storage Company in many respects. The reservoirs are
used to reenforce the canal during the whole season, becoming almost
the sole dependence in the latter part, and the water rights pertain to
both reservoirs and canal. There are 2,001 shares of stock in the Con-
solidated Home Supply Company, 15 representing a 160-acre water
right. The priority number of its canal is 53, apd it is one of the
latest in the district, but its reservoirs have made the system one of
the most successful in the State. The Mariano Reservoir was con-
structed in 1881 and the Lone Tree Reservoir was constructed in 1888.
Both are below the company's canal, the former being just outside the
foothills between the canal and the Big Thompson, while the latter
is on the south side of the canal at a point several miles farther down
LONE TREE RESERVOIR.
The Lone Tree Reservoir is the largest and most important of the
two, and shows well what can be done at a very small cost in utilizing
a natural lake for storage. The reservoir basin is entirely a natural
depression, and contained water before it was used as a reservoir.
The Home Supply Canal runs along the north end of the reservoir
and across the fill over the outlet. It was necessary to make an open
cut above the outlet 20 feet deep and several hundred feet in length.
The outlet consists of a stone-arched conduit, 150 feet in length
and 3 feet wide by 5 feet high. Cement collars were placed around
this at intervals, and at both ends masonry walls 3 feet thick were
constructed across the cut, but no wing walls are attached. The
tops of these walls are at the surface of the ground, the earth being
filled in between them to its original height.
The two gates are of wood and cover the upper end of the conduit.
They slide in a frame made of 12 by 12 inch timbers placed against
the upper wall. The gate stems are 4 by 4 inch timbers, terminating
in li-inch iron rods at the top. These rods work in iron nuts, which
are turned by a spanner having a handle about 3 feet in length.
While the reservoir is one of the largest in the valley, only 16.5 feet
of water is drawn from it, and so the pressure on the gates is not too
great for this form of lifting apparatus.
The reservoir covers 600 acres, and has a capacity of 3.2,0440,)00
.cubic feet,, or 9,(X)2 acre-feet, although the present outlet is not low
enough for all of this to be drawn off. It is filled from the Big
Thompson River by the Home Supply Canal, the water being turned
directly into the reservoir through the inlet at the north end. The
reservoir was given a decree, under date of August 31, 1S81. for
400,000,000 cubic feet, and in the official record of this the name given
is the Farwell Reservoir, although it is now known altogether by the
name under which it is described.
The capacity of the reservoir can be increased in two ways, and the
company is at present considering these with a view to adopting the
best plan. One plan is to construct a 6-foot embankment along the south
side, raising the height to which water can he stored, and the other is
to drain the basin lower. The decree entitles the company to store
water in the reservoir to a certain height above the lowest portion of
the basin, but the present outlet drains only one-half of this depth of
W ater. It is required that it feet of water be left in the basin for the
protection of fish, and the outlet could be 17 feet lower and still leave
this amount. The volume gained by the additional 6 feet on top
would increase the capacity more than the additional 17 feet on the
bottom on account of the great difference in areas, and the company
realizes that the former device would be the cheapest in the end; but
there are other things to be considered. If the service of the reservoir
is increased by draining lower, it may be filled entirely each year on
its present decree, which practically insures its being full in seasons
of an ordinary supply; but the additional amount at the top could not
be stored until nearly all the other reservoirs were filled, as it would
be a later appropriation. The available amount for storage from the
Big Thompson being about all appropriated, this could not be depended
on, and for this reason the plan of draining lower is favored. While
this action may be entirely legal, the company would acquire the use
of water which has previously been used beneficially by someone else.
The company's engineer made surveys in the fall of 1902 relative to
the enlargement of the reservoir, and the plan recommended by him
for draining the present unavailable water was to construct a new out-
let of iron or sewer pipe 17 feet lower, tunneled directly under the
present one, which would be retained. The new outlet would have a
comparatively small capacity, and need be used only when the water
surface fell below the upper one. It would be necessary to extend
this pipe for a distance of 1,000 feet or more above the present outlet
gates, and probably an open cut above this would be necessary. The
pipe would also have to extend some distance below the present gates
before meeting the grade of the outlet ditch. The regulating gate
was to be at the upper end of the pipe, and to be operated from a plat-
form or tower to be reached by a boat. This plan was estimated to
be cheaper than the reconstruction of the present outlet in a deeper
cut, but the latter plan would probably be the more satisfactory when
completed, and eventually cheaper.
The company paid $500 for the site of Lone Tree Reservoir, and the
cost of making the cut and building the outlet works was $10,000,
making the cost per acre-foot $1.67. A very expensive fill was made
in 1901 to carry the Home Supply Canal along part of the edge of the
reservoir in place of through a flume which had become unsafe, but
the cost of this is not included in that of the reservoir.
The Mariano Reservoir received its name from a Mexican named
Mariano, who at one time constructed a ditch from the Big Thompson
River. The reservoir is also known as Bodecker Lake.
The embankment of the reservoir is almost on a section line and the
public road is on top of it. It is 600 feet long, 24 feet high, and 15
feet wide on top, and has an inside slope of 21 to 1 and an outside slope
of 2 to 1. This embankment is on the east side, where it is subject
to severe wave action, and therefore it has been well riprapped. It
was also given a height of 7 feet above the high-water mark.
The outlet was made through the embankment, and consists of an
arched stone conduit having cement collars at intervals to prevent
water following along the outside. The conduit is 2 feet wide and 3
feet high, and the lower end projects into a wall 2 feet thick. The
gates cover the upper end of the conduit and operate in a well or
tower inside the reservoir. The lower 9 feet of this structure is a
masonry well 3 by 16 feet inside, while the upper 9 feet is a structure
built of 12 by 12 inch timbers. The wall of the well next the embank-
ment is uniformly 2 feet thick, while the others have a batter on the
outside. The end walls are 2 feet thick at the top, and the upper one
is 4 feet thick. The water enters the well through openings in this
upper or outside wall, the earth of the embankment partly surround-
ing the others. The lifting apparatus for the gates is on top of the
tower and is reached by a plank walk from the embankment.
The gates are of wood, and their stems are 2-inch iron pipes. The
mechanism for lifting one gate consists of a worm turning horizontally
and gearing with a rack fastened rigidly to the top of the iron pipe.
The rack is held in its place so that its teeth mesh with the threads of
the worm by a roller at its back, and a wrench fitted to the end of the
shaft carrying the worm further increases the power. The worm is 4
inches in diameter, and the rack must necessarily be as long as the lift
of the gate. Lifting devices of this form were originally used for
both gates, but one was broken and it was replaced by an apparatus
smaller but similar in form to those used at Lake Loveland (fig. 7,
p. 58). In place of the rack there is a steel rod at the top fitted inside
the pipe and bolted thereto. This rod, being threaded, works in a
brass nut which is the center of a pinion gearing with a worm at right
angles to it. The power applied to a large hand wheel turns the
worm, the two having a common shaft.
SThe reservoir is 373 acres in area, and is 164 feet deep over the out-
let. Its capacity is 4,140 acre-feet. The reservoir could be enlarged
Sin capacity 30 per cent by raising and lengthening the dam. The
decreed priority of the reservoir is the second on the stream, dating
from October 1, 1875, and the amount decreed is for 180,865,000 cubic
feet. The preceding priority is for a small amount, so that the chances
of the reservoir being filled are very good.
The company paid $6,000 for the site of the Mariano Reservoir and
the perpetual right to fill it through the Rist Ditch, which it agrees to
enlarge and maintain. The reservoir could be conveniently filled
through any of the three other ditches which pass around a point of
the foothills at the west end of the reservoir. The highest of these,
the Handy Ditch, is within a half mile of the reservoir, and the Home
Supply Canal and the South Side Ditch are successively below it. The
Rist Ditch has a capacity of only 66 cubic feet per second, but it runs
just around the reservoir below the other three, and the water has to
be carried only about 3 miles from the river, while if the company's
canal were used it would be carried a much greater distance.
The dam of the reservoir cost originally $4,000, and it was rip-
rapped later at a cost of $500, thus making the total cost of the reser-
voir $10,500, which does not include the cost of enlarging the inlet.
The cost per acre-foot stored is $2.54.
HOME SUPPLY DAM.
The Home Supply Dam is located at the mouth of the canyon of the
Big Thompson River, and its purpose is to divert the waters of the
stream into the head of the Home Supply Canal. The amount of
water impounded by the dam is of no consequence, as the canyon
Above it is very narrow and the fall of the stream great. While the
dam was not intended for storage purposes, it is of a type well adapted
to mountain streams for either storage or diversion purposes, and it is
therefore described in this connection.
The Home Supply Canal was designed to irrigate the greater part
of the valuable land between the Big and Little Thompson rivers, and
runs near the highest portion of the slight ridge between these two
streams, irrigating land both north and south of it. After leaving
Sthe river it runs south some distance through the narrow tract of flat
land between the mountains and foothills, until it drops 15 feet or
more into Cottonwood Creek, a tributary of the Big Thompson River,
H 688-No. 134-03- 5
and this natural channel is used in passing through the range of foor
hills. The dam raised the water to the head of the canal, over 40 feeti
above the channel of the river, and it might seem that this was unnei-
essary, since a drop is allowed at a lower point; but it was desirable
in order that the canal might pass behind the range of foothills instead:
of along their eastern slope, where a great deal of expensive work:I
WA47MR ZW PL
WArTER .EVEL IN /0R THO MPSO RIVER
FIG. 8.-Design of Home Supply Dam.
would have to be done in fluming, tunneling, and maintaining the,
canal. It was desirable also to construct such a dam instead of con-
tinuing the canal farther up the stream until it should meet the chan-
nel, because the sides of the canyon are nearly perpendicular and 6of
solid rock, and the construction and maintenance of a canal wou-rld'S
Two dams have been constructed, the first having been destre
~ ~.... a:lii
The first dam was of the same type as the present one, but it was not
of solid masonry and did not extend to a foundation of bed rock. It
Swas formed by two walls of masonry with a filling of concrete between
Them, but the main cause of the disaster was the inadequate founda-
Stion rather than the material used in the construction. The new dam
was constructed of solid masonry founded on bed rock 15 feet or more
below the natural channel of the stream and butting against solid rock
on both sides of the canyon (fig. 8). The dam is 6( feet long on top,
and the radius of curvature horizontally is 45 feet. The upper
' face of the dam is perpendicular, but the lower face has a vertical
curvature with a radius of 102 feet, which increases the thickness of
the dam from 6 feet at the top to 26 feet at the base. A sluiceway 15
inches in diameter was made at the natural surface of the stream 42
feet below the top of the dam. The dam is about 15 feet thick at this
point. The sluice gate is on the upper side and is controlled from the
top of the dam. It is used mainly to lower the water surface to break
ice which might endanger the masonry rather than for scouring.
The dam raises the water level over 40 feet, so that it will enter the
head gate of the canal, which is on solid rock at the south end of the
dam instead of in the dam itself. The water is carried for several
hundred feet around the rock at the mouth of the canyon in a flume.
The waste way is at the north end of the dam and consists of a low
masonry wall 6 feet wide built on the solid rock. It is 3 feet below
the top of the dam and 30 feet wide and carries the ordinary surplus
flow, but at times water runs over the entire top of the dam. When
dams of this type are constructed for storage purposes the waste ways
are usually made large enough to carry the greatest surplus flow, so
that in times of floods the dam will not be subject to a shock in addi-
tion to the pressure of the water against it.
It is well recognized that dams of this type do not act exactly as do
bridge arches in sustaining a vertical pressure. The pressure of the
water is perpendicular to the face of the dam at any point, but the
transmission of this pressure as a thrust on the banks at the ends of
the dam is in some measure obstructed by the weight of the dam itself
Son its foundation. It is quite probable, however, that the dam was
designed so that it would withstand a certain steady pressure if it
were straight, and that the arch is an additional precautionary meas-
ure. The dam contains 1,400 cubic yards of masonry.
OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM.
The system of distribution of the Consolidated Home Supply Com-
pany is one that has given universal satisfaction, a condition which
exists for two reasons-the unusual liberty allowed the irrigator and
'the abundant supply of water furnished-for difficulties always arise
:as soon as water becomes short whether there is any unfairness or not.
I ,: .
i .,~*.... :: : :....
a* .' 1
The system of distribution has been compared to a banking system.
Before turning any water out of the reservoirs the available amount
stored is conservatively estimated by the company's superintendent,
and each shareholder is credited in that officer's water book with an
amount proportional to the stock he owns. He may draw this amount
as he chooses, either all at once or in parts, upon application to the
superintendent, provided only that the total amount applied for by all
the stockholders shall not at any time fall below 20 cubic feet perI
second. Each man's share is measured to him over a Cippoletti weir'
in his lateral and an account of it kept by the company, in order that
it may not exceed the amount due him. If the first estimate of the
amount in the reservoirs is found to be too small, the superintendent
always being careful not to make it too high, another is made and a
new account opened with each irrigator. If at any time the reservoirs
are full and water would otherwise have to be turned down the river,
the head gates are kept open and the water is run to the stockholders
without charge and no account is kept of the amount. But if there is
any room for storage in the reservoirs a charge is made for the water
run to the stockholders directly from the river through the canal.
Water is never run to any stockholder who may be in arrears with his
assessment. A great variety of crops is raised under the system, and
.the result is that water is run from the reservoirs during most of the
season. Water is run at the rate of 1 cubic foot per second to each 15
shares. In 1901 water was first turned out of the reservoir Juie
1, and it was run continuously for thirty-five days. The gates were
opened again for ten days in July and August, and all the remaining
water was run out in September. Both reservoirs were full that year,
but in 1902 only 10 feet was drawn from Lone Tree Reservoir and 12
feet from Mariano Reservoir, each being considered only one-half
full. In one dry year the head gate of the Home Supply Canal was
never raised, the reservoirs being depended upon entirely to mature
the crops, and the results were good.
The water stored in the Mariano Reservoir is exchanged with some
of the ditches on the lower part of the Big Thompson River, the rights:
of which are earlier than those of the company's canal, an amount.:
equal to that run into the river for them being diverted at the head of:
the canal. The outlet ditch of the reservoir is about 2 miles long and:
joins the river above the head gates of the Loveland and Greeley,
Farmers' Irrigating, and Hillsborough canals and several small ditche&.i
Lone Tree Reservoir is so little below the Home Supply Canal that,
instead of exchanging the water stored, it is used directly from the
outlet ditch, which is known as the Home Supply Reservoir Ditch a
It runs almost parallel with the main canal, and the small amount o
land above it, together with that west of the reservoir, can be supply
from the canal reenforced by the Mariano Reservoir. Another re
for not exchanging is that if the water had to be used in that manner
the amount run might be limited by the amount of water in the river
which the lower ditches have to exchange.
The reservoirs together hold 13,142 acre-feet, and their cost was
$25,500, which is only $1.94 per acre-foot. The total assessment for
Maintenance of the entire system in 1901 was $4,000, and one-half of
This can be considered the expense for the canal. Three times as much
land is irrigated as could be with the canal alone. Land is worth two-
fifths more with reservoir rights than without, the vaIlue under the
company's system being from $40 to $160 per acre. In 1901) the price
paid for one share was $90, but in 1902, on account of the increasing
demand for water for the irrigation of sugar beets, it advanced to $125
and $150. The price paid for one share in 1903 was $255, which is
equivalent to $1,912.50 for an 80-acre water right. Shares are some-
times rented to individuals who are not members of the company. In
1901 the price paid was $12.50 per share, but in 11902 as much as $20
per share was paid in the late season for the irrigation of sugar beets
and potatoes. Since one share represents 6.56 acre-feet in the reser-
voirs, this is practically at the rate of $3.05 per acre-foot, for the
water furnished by the canal was so small that it ca.n be omitted in
SEVEN LAKES RESERVOIR.
The Seven Lakes Reservoir was completed in the winter of 1900, and
consists of six lakes connected and operated as one system. Its owner,
the Seven Lakes Reservoir Company, originally intended to acquire
Big Thompson Reservoir, or Cemetery Lake, which was to Ie included
in the system as No. 5, but no agreement with the owners was reached,
and it is not probable that it will ever be connected. No. 1 of the sys-
tem was formerly the Louden Reservoir, and is also known as Donath
Lake. It was purchased by the company and joined with the remainder
of the system. It lies just below the Louden Lateral, the large lateral
from the Louden Canal running east and irrigating lands on the Big
Thompson slope, and its outlet ditch flows into No. 2, which is one
mile south of it. Nos. 3, 4, 6, and 7 are just south of No. 2, and all
are drained through the outlet ditch of No. 7 into the Loveland and
Greeley Canal just below it. No. 1 has its own outlet works, but all the
others are practically one basin, since they are simply connected by
open cuts; and, having a common outlet at No. 7, the water stands at
the same level in all. No. 2 is the largest in the system and the only
one where an embankment was required.
The outlet of No. 1, or Louden Reservoir, was made through natural
rock, and above the gate well consists of 150 feet of sewer pipe 2 feet
;in diameter, while below the gate well it consists of 8 feet of stone
'arch 2 feet wide and 21 feet high. Retaining walls of masonry are
placed across the cut at both ends of the outlet, and the gate well is b.t:
masonry, is 3 by 3 feet inside, and has walls 2 feet in thickness. The'!
concrete foundation under the well is 1 foot thick. The gate and its
stem are of wood, and the former slides in a frame of timbers which;:::
extends to the top of the well. A simple screw lifts the gate.
The basin of No. 2 was formed by constructing an embankment&
across one of the numerous dry creeks, this one running into Bo.yd:
Lake to the east. This embankment is 687 feet long on the top, iat ::
the gulch narrows toward the bottom, making the embankment oly|
50 feet long at the base. It is 40 feet high, with inside and outside-
slopes of 4j to 1 and 3 to 1, respectively. The site was plowed and:
the embankment was constructed in layers, sloping toward the inside,
but it was not riprapped in any way. The outlet is not at the dam,
but at another side of the basin through an open cut.
The outlet works at No. 7 consist simply of wooden head gates in
the open ditch. There are two gates, each 3 feet square, placed at the
upper end of a flume 7 feet wide and 6 feet deep. The flume is 22
feet long, and 16 feet below the gates a drop of 2 feet occurs. The
flume is built of 2 by 12 inch plank and 6 by 6 inch sills, posts, and
ties, the frames formed by the three latter being 4 feet apart. Sheet
piling was driven at the bottom and sides of the frame at the upper
The following table gives the areas and capacities of the several
A areas and capacities of Seven Lakes Reserroir sites.
Basin. Area. Capacity.
No. 1.................. .................. ............................. ... 65 1,14
Nos. 2and 3 ................................................................. 450 8,719
No. 4.............................. .......... ... .................................... 80
No. 6.................................. ....... ....... ........ ................... 30 11
No. 7.................................. .........................................25 114
Total ............................... ....... .. ....... ....... 650 6,85
Twenty-eight feet of water is drawn from No. 1, but only a few
feet can be drawn from the others, there being much unavailable water
in them, the most of which is in No. 2. This is an undetermined
amount and is included in the figures given in the foregoing table.
The price paid for No. 1 with its outlet ditch was $10,000. The
remainder of the system, including the purchase of 800 acres of land,
cost $30,000, the dam at No. 2 alone costing $4,400 Excluding No. 1
and assuming that only one-half the total capacity of the rest, except
No. 1, is available, the cost per acre-foot for the system is $12.94.
The Louden Reservoir, or No. 1, has a priority decree dated Feb-.
ruary 24, 1883, for 50,000,000 cubic feet, this right being the sixth on
the Big Thompson. When securing this property the company also.!
purchased 40 shares in the Louden Canal. The other part of the sys-
tem has no decree, and the appropriation being a late one the tilling
of the reservoirs is not assured. It had formerly been the practice
to fill the Louden Reservoir more than once during a season, and in
1901 an attempt was made to fill the remainder of the system by means
of the decree of the Louden Reservoir and the shares in the Louden
Canal, by running water from the latter through the Louden Reser-
voir; but the Loveland and Greeley Company complained, and an
injunction stopped this manner of filling. Lake Loveland can not be
filled until after the Louden Reservoir, but, having an earlier right
than the rest of the Seven Lakes, it should be filled before they are
allowed any water. Had Cemetery Lake been joined to the Seven
Lakes the problem would have become still more complicated, for its
decree is even older than that of the Louden Reservoir and water
could have been run through it into the rest of the Seven Lakes.
Testimony was taken by a referee appointed by the court, and the
decision rendered allows the Louden Reservoir to be filled to its
decreed capacity of 50,000,000 cubic feet only once each year, and does
not allow any water to be run into any part of the Seven Lakes Reser-
voir on the rights owned by the company in the Louden Canal. The
Loveland and Greeley Company claimed that the capacity of the Lou-
den Reservoir was only 25,000,000 cubic feet, but this question was
not gone into and the amount given in the original decree was not
changed. It also claimed that Lake Loveland had a storage capacity
of 600,239,000 cubic feet, or 13,550 acre-feet, and that it should be
allowed to carry water through the Barnes Ditch at the rate of 450
cubic feet per second for storing this amount. The Seven Lakes Com-
pany claimed that the capacity of the Barnes Ditch was greatly over-
Sestimated and that its owner had never run so much through it, allow-
ing water to pass its head gate in the river and go to waste which
otherwise might be run into its reservoir. The Loveland and Greeley
Company claimed that 450 cubic feet per second had actually been
run through the Barnes Ditch.
The Loveland and Greeley Company would rather have had the
question in regard to the storage of water on the decree of the canal
decided against it, provided the decision in the similar case between it
and the Home Supply Company were likewise reversed,for it would
gain much more by being allowed to store water in Lake Loveland on
the early decree of the Loveland and Greeley Canal.
The Seven Lakes Reservoir is filled partly by seepage and in some
years it may receive a supply from the Big Thompson through the
Louden Canal, but this will not happen until most of the other reser-
Svoirs under the stream have been filled or until a flood fills all the
Sinlets to the reservoirs preceding it.
SThe company is dependent upon other companies to some extent as
_t ,..,,... .. .. .
2 .. ...:.J ..
regards both the filling and distribution, having to obtain the use of th i"
Louden Canal for the former and having to pay the Loveland an4'!l
Greeley Company for carrying the water through its canal. In 1901.
the Seven Lakes Company contracted with the Loveland and Greeley..
Company to carry 56 cubic feet per second to customers under the..
canal, but on account of the small outlet of the Seven Lakes and the..
small grade of the outlet ditch the run was commenced with only 40
cubic feet per second and this was gradually diminished to 20 culbi'le:.
feet per second as the head was lowered in emptying the reservoir.i
Meanwhile a run was being made from Lake Loveland, and as only:I.:
6 feet can be drawn from the Seven Lakes, excepting No. 1, the :
velocity in the outlet ditch was very low. The deficiency was in a :
measure made up by the water flowing from Lake Loveland, and the
result was that the Seven Lakes Company was paid for the full
amount, while a part of it actually came from Lake Loveland. The
Seven Lakes Company has insisted that the runs from the two reser-
voirs be combined for greater economy, but in 1902 the Loveland and
Greeley Company refused to comply and charged the Seven Lakes
Company $500 for delivering the water. Water was furnished to 55
users and five runs were made. The first and last were failures, but.
it is claimed that the first was practically used to soak the canal, which
was then very dry.
LOVELAND LAKE RESERVOIR.
This reservoir is the property of the Loveland Lake and Ditch Com-
pany and was constructed in 1899. The company is a small one, com-
posed of farmers under the lower end of the Handy Ditch, and the
reservoir aids the canal in irrigating their lands.
The reservoir was originally a natural lake containing water which
came largely from seepage, and in developing it a cut 1,000 feet long
was made through the rim of the basin at the south side. This was
20 feet deep at the upper end where the outlet works were placed,
and its depth is gradually diminished to that of an ordinary ditch.
The outlet was made by laying one line of sewer pipe 36 inches in
diameter for a distance of 100 feet in the bottom of the cut and con-
structing transverse retaining walls of masonry at each end to support
the earth filled in on top to the original natural surface of the ground.
These walls are 2 feet thick and have wings extending from them
along the sides of the cut. The bottom of the ditch just below the
outlet pipe is protected as far as the wings extend by an apron of
flagging. The gate is of steel, 3 feet square, is brass mounted at
the edges, and slides in the grooves of the steel frame. It is placed
in a well in the middle of the outlet. The well is 6 feet square on the
inside and the walls are 18 inches thick. The well is 25 feet in depth,
5 feet of which is above the ground, probably so that the reservoir
may be enlarged by an embankment. The gate stem is a steel rod and
the lifting apparatus is of the same pattern as those used at Lake
Loveland and the new one at Mariano Reservoir, being a combination
of a nut turned by a worm gear and large crank wheel. The appa-
Sratus is bolted down to 12 by 12 inch timbers placed across the top of
The area of the reservoir is 160 acres, and when filled 19 feet may
be drawn off. It was full in 1901, but was filled to a depth of only 12
feet in 1902, when it was estimated to be two-thirds full. The water
surface at this depth is 110 acres.
Its capacity is estimated to be 1,722 acre-feet, and it cost $13,000,
or $7.55 per acre-foot. It is now worth $50,000 to the company. It
is located 1l miles northwest of the town of Berthoud, and is just
under the Handy Ditch, from which it is filled. Its outlet ditch irri-
gates 2,000. acres of land on the slope toward the Little Thompson.
The Handy Ditch has a capacity of 250 cubic feet per second. After
the water stored in the reservoir is run out water is kept running into
it during the season, and this being let out at intervals serves to regu-
late the flow of the Handy Ditch. Before its construction sugar beets
and potatoes could not be raised under this part of the Handy Ditch.
The water is measured by the tniner's inch method, and in 1902 runs
were made as follows: Seventy-two hours, beginning May 25, 100
inches per share; forty-eight hours, beginning June 25, 100 inches
per share, and twenty-four hours, beginning July 1, 1100 inches per
This system is private property owned by Mr. C. C. Welch, the
president of the Handy Ditch Company. It originally consisted of
five natural basins, but when fully developed may be considered as two
reservoirs. One reservoir has been constructed by joining together
Nos. 1, 2, and 5, all of which are just south of the Handy Ditch, while
Nos. 3 and 4, on the north side, which will form the other reservoir,
remain as yet unused.
No. 2 is connected with No. 1 on-the east side by sewer pipe laid in
a tunnel through the narrow natural ridge between them, while No. 5
is connected with No. 1 on the west side by an open cut, and these two
are one basin when full. The outlet is at the south side of No. 1 in a
cut through the bank 400 feet long, the greatest depth of which is 19
feet. The discharge is controlled by a wooden gate of 2-inch plank at
the upper end of a line of iron pipe 3 feet in diameter. The gate has
a wooden stem and is raised by a screw. The capacity of the basin
could be greatly enlarged by constructing an embankment along the
south side of the basin.
The combined areas of Nos. 1, 2, and 5 is 208 acres, and they holridi!
2,948 acre-feet, besides some unavailable water. Their cost was very:!
small. The reservoir has been full every year since its construction,
except 1902, when only 8 feet of water was stored. The reservoir
holds twice this depth. It has no decree, but by virtue of rights in the ;
Handy Ditch some water is run into it and used as it is convenient.
A contract exists between its owner and the Handy Ditch Company
relative to running water into the reservoir. Water is turned from
the Handy Ditch immediately into Nos. 1 and 2 through inlet gates at.
each. The water is distributed through the outlet ditch of the reser-
voir, whidh is high enough to cover most of the lands south of the
Handy Ditch. The reservoirs of this system could be conveniently
connected with Loveland Lake Reservoir, since they are operated in
the same manner.
Nos. 3 and 4 are higher than the others, and surveys were made in
the fall of 1902 for the development of these. They will be one basin
when full. The proposed plans call for an embankment at the south
and west sides, the greatest height of which will be 14 feet. This will
give an area of 260 acres and a capacity of 3,212 acre-feet with-an
additional 39 acres of unavailable water 11 feet deep in the lowest
portion of No. 3.
The Handy Ditch Company has long felt the need of storage facili-
ties in connection with its system, and since these basins are above. the
lands of nearly three-fourths of the users under the ditch there is a
probability of their transfer to the company. The Handy Ditch and
the Home Supply Canal run nearly parallel throughout, the ditch -.
being the higher and irrigating land on the Little Thompson slope,
while the canal irrigates lands on both slopes. The lands under them
are practically the same in character. The ditch is entitled to 172.43
cubic feet per second from the river before the canal can divert any
water. Both have been reenforced by the purchase and transfer of
rights in the older and smaller lower ditches on the river having
excessive appropriations, but in both cases the use of water under these
purchased rights has been limited as a result of litigation instigated
by irrigation interest on the north side of the river, and the advantages
gained by the two will nearly balance. The Home Supply system is,
however, much the better equipped-a condition which exists solely
on account of its efficient storage system. The Handy Company is
unfortunate in not having suitable reservoir sites, those proposed
being too small to aid materially in serving the entire ditch. The
deficiency is made up in part by the many small private reservoirs
under the ditch. The advantage possessed by the irrigators owning
these is that they can store the water they receive from their ditch
rights and hold it for late irrigation or use it at their convenience.
: .:...::' i
BIG CUT RESERVOIR.
The Loveland and Greeley Canal toward the lower end gains the
top of the divide between Big Thompson and Cache la Poudre rivers
and irrigates land on both slopes, several of the largest lateral being
taken from it on the north side. At one point farther up in its course
it almost reaches the top, and here a deep cut was made, through
which the Big Cut or Oklahoma Lateral was taken to irrigate lands in
the Oklahoma Draw, draining to the Cache la Poudre. Irrigators in
this little valley have incorporated the Big Cut Lateral and Reservoir
Company and constructed their reservoir, which is filled from the Big
Thompson by the canal and lateral. The reservoir is on the west side
of the draw and supplies land on that side, while the lateral covers
the land on the east side.
The reservoir is 76 acres in area and holds 1,142 acre-feet of water.
The Lawn Reservoir is owned by the Farmer's Irrigating Ditch and
Reservoir Company. The company's canal is the Farmer's Irrigating
Canal, which leaves the Big Thompson on the north side at the town
of Loveland. The reservoir is located in secs. 24 and 25, T. 6 N.,
FIG. 9.-Cross section of dam of Lawn Reservoir.
R. 74 W., and is in the mountains 30 miles west of Loveland. It is
filled by natural drainage to Fall River, a tributary of the Big
Thompson, and the water stored is turned into the river, to be diverted
at the head gate of the Farmer's Irrigating Canal below. The basin
is a natural one, into which runs a small stream. A cut was made for
the outlet works. The reservoir was only partly completed in 1902,
but 12 feet of water was drawn off. The capacity will be enlarged by
a dam which will be completed before the spring of 1903. The plans
prepared by the company's engineer propose a dam 12 feet high, but it
may be finally decided to reduce this to 6 feet. The dam will be con-
structed of loose rock on the lower side and of earth on the upper
(fig. 9). The rock portion will be 5 feet wide on top and will have a
slope of 2 to 1 on the outside and J to 1 on the inside. The earth fill-
ing against the latter will add 5 feet to the width of the top of the dam
which will be given a slope of 4 to 1 on the inside.
The outlet is through a steel pipe 3 feet in diameter and three-six-
teenths of an inch in thickness. It is covered by 3 inches of concrete
and has three concrete collars 1 foot thick. The regulating gate
be an iron water valve which will be placed in a well at the middle of;
the dam. The walls of the well are founded on 2 feet of concrete
and for 3 feet in height are of masonry 1 foot thick. Above this tiio
well is cased with wood.
In 1902, 25 cubic feet per second was drawn from the,reseror r
twenty days, which gives a total of 992 acre-feet. When th
voir is completed the capacity will be much greater. There.
shares in the Farmer's Irrigating Company; therefore 383 :M4
was stored for each share, although the amount actually
was less, since some loss must occur in running the water so a
land. Each share represents a 160-acre water right. The reservoir
will cost not over $12,000, or $12.10 per acre-foot. The shares were -
worth $1,200 each in 1901, but since the construction of the reservoir
they are worth $2,000 each.
LITTLE THOMPSON RESERVOIR.
The Little Thompson Reservoir is on the line of the Hillsborough i
Canal, 34 miles above its end. It is owned by the Little Thompson
Reservoir and Water Supply Company, an organization composed of
the farmers under this part of the canal. The embankment was con-
structed in 1897 and belongs to a very expensive class. An embank-
ment was constructed across a gulch or draw which is very large
compared with the basin above it. The greatest height of the embank-
ment is 34 feet and its length 860 feet. There is a slight bend at one
point. It is 20 feet wide on top and its slopes are 1 to 1 on the out-:;
side and 5 to 1 on the inside. It was constructed in 3-foot layers and"
is not riprapped.
The outlet is at the base of the embankment, and was made by lay-
ing two lines of 21-inch cement pipe in a bed of concrete 6 inches
deep and 6 feet wide. Cement collars were placed around the pipes
at each joint. The retaining walls at the ends are of vitrified brick
set 4 feet into the earth and having 6 feet of height above. The gate
well protrudes from the inner slope of the embankment near the top
and is founded on 2 feet of cement. The well is of vitrified brick,
and the gates are of wood, faced with steel plates at the edges. They
slide on a frame of 12 by 12 inch timbers built against the inside of
the well. The gate rods are 34 feet long, and, being only 1I inch in
diameter, it was found necessary to brace them every 2 feet to prevent
their springing when the gates were being forced down. The power A
is applied by means of nuts on the rods. The reservoir is in the ;
bluffs along the south side of the Little Thompson near its junction
with the Big Thompson, and when floods occur water rushes down the :
gulches at a rapid rate, so for the protection of the dam a waste way
was cut in the natural earth around one end of it. The dam was con-
r.ructed on the old embankment of the Hillsborough Canal, which was
S15 feet high where it crossed the draw. The owners of the reservoir
Save realized since that they made a serious mistake in leaving a dis-
Stinct seam between the old embankment of the ditch and the new earth
Sof the dam. The new portion of the dam became saturated with seep-
age, causing it to break away to within 2 inches of the water's edge
in June, 1900, when there was 29 feet of water against the dam. If
the old embankment had been plowed and worked in with the fresh
earth the break would probably not have occurred. Rock and gravel
were used as a solid foundation in repairing the break.
The reservoir covers 160 acres and holds 987 acre-feet. It cost
$18,000, which gives the unusually high figure of $18.24 per acre-foot.
The expense of maintenance is $600 annually. The stock of the com-
pany consists of 120 shares, which have advanced in value from $90
to $200 each. The reservoir holds 8.23 acre-feet per share. Prior to
1897, every farm, without exception, under the Hillsborough Canal
below the reservoir that had been dependent upon the canal alone
went to foreclosure and could not be made to produce the owners'
expense of maintenance. In 1898 the best land, with its water rights,
could be bought for from $12 to $15 per acre, while it is now selling
at $60 per acre as a result of the construction of the reservoir.
The reservoir receives water from both Big and Little Thompson
rivers through the Hillsborough Canal, which heads in the former and
crosses the latter. The main part of the canal is above this crossing,
where its capacity is 160 cubic feet per second. The part below the
crossing, known as the Little Thompson Ditch, has a capacity of
150 cubic feet per second as far as the reservoir. The ditch runs
through the reservoir, and it is stated that the water coming to it will
fill it four times each year. The Little Thompson furnishes about 40
cubic feet per second to the inlet during April, and from 10 to 15
cubic feet per second during June, July, and August. Its flow in
these last few months is made up almost entirely from seepage, and
it is claimed that it was practically dry fifteen years ago. The reser-
voir has no decreed right for filling.
The reservoir is only 3- miles above the lower end of the Hillsbor-
ough Canal, and it is the only one used in connection with it. Those
irrigators under the canal below the reservoir can not depend wholly
on the reservoir, but the canal would be of little benefit to them with-
out it. The water is measured in its distribution over trapezoidal
weirs. In 1902 the amount stored was only 528 acre-feet, but 987
acre-feet was run in afterwards and used.
ISH LAKE RESERVOIR.
The reservoir of the Boulder and Larimer County Irrigation ad..:
Manufacturing Company is commonly called Ish Lake. It is on the
south side of the Little Thompson, and is directly on the line betweeut
Boulder and Larimer counties.
The reservoir is 280 acres in area and is 20 feet deep. Its capacity
is estimated at 1,722 acre-feet. An embankment 600 feet in length and
15 feet high was constructed along the north side, and it is well rip-
rapped. It is 15 feet wide on top and has slopes of 2J to 1 on the
inside and 1J to 1 on the outside. The outlet is through a 24-inch
cement and gravel pipe laid in a cut and is under the embankment.
The pipe is surrounded by a transverse masonry wall at each end. It
extends some distance into the basin beyond the embankment and
drains water below the level of the base of the embankment. The
gate is operated in a masonry well placed at the inner edge of the top
of the embankment. The well is round and is 6 feet in diameter. The
gate is of oak and is raised by a nut on the gate rod.
The supply for filling the reservoir is received through its inlet
ditch from the Little Thompson. Two decrees have been given to the
Boulder and Larimer County Irrigation and Manufacturing Company's
Ditch and Reservoir-one dated June 30, 1875, for 27.20 cubic feet
per second, one dated May 20, 1877, for 39.52 cubic feet per second.
The water is used below it on the lands of the owners in the Little
Thompson Valley. This stream furnishes very little water for stor-
age, and, unlike the Little Thompson Reservoir, Ish Lake is too far..
up to benefit much by the seepage into the stream. It has been a
great benefit to these lands, however, and paid for itself in a short
time. In 1901 it was full, but in 1902 there were no floods in the Big
Thompson and practically no water was caught. Four feet of water
remained in the lowest portion of the basin below the level of the
outlet, and in an attempt to save as much as possible of the crops
dependent upon the reservoir all this otherwise unavailable water was
pumped into the outlet ditch by means of a small pump and portable
OTHER RESERVOIRS ON THE BIG THOMPSON.
Many of the small reservoirs are filled partly or wholly by seepage.
Some are distinctly seepage reservoirs, having been filed upon as such
under the laws of the State, which make seepage water subject to the
same laws as the water of natural streamics. Many of them are filled
partly or wholly from some of the large canals, and, following strictly '.
the laws of the State, this use is often illegal, for the storage of water '
when it is needed for direct irrigation is prohibited. The view that.l
the farmers themselves take is that they are entitled to a certain
amount of water by the ownership of stock in a ditch company, a.
that when this water is measured out to them at the head of a lateral
they have a right to use it as they please. When a run is made in the
canal they often store the water in their small reservoirs and hold it
for late irrigation. Some of these reservoirs act as regulators to the
laterals and water is kept running through them most of the season.
SSometimes water is stored in the reservoir during the night and used
from it during the day, thus greatly increasing the efficiency of the
water supply. When there is a flood in the streams and all the large
inlets are full, water is taken by the large canals, from which it is turned
into the small reservoirs. Sometimes this is done in the spring, and
after the reservoirs are emptied they are again filled as previously
described. It is evident that this is an economical use of water, and
since others are not injured no objections are made to the practice.
No filings were ever made for many of even those reservoirs which
were constructed while filings were required by law. The sites of
others were filed upon so many times before final construction that the
records are very confusing. The reservoirs are usually constructed
by the farmers themselves and are nearly always situated on their
owners' farms. They are usually used in irrigating one or two farms,
seldom for three. It is noticeable that they are grouped under those
canals not supplemented by large storage systems. On the Big Thomp-
son most of them are under the Handy Ditch and the Louden Canal,
neither of which is fortunate in having suitable sites for large reser-
voirs. Practically no small reservoirs are found under the Home
Supply Canal, which has an efficient storage system.
There are a great many small reservoirs under the Cache la Poudre
as well as under the Big Thompson, but no attempt was made to col-
lect data regarding them. Those under the Big Thompson have been
used to illustrate the extent of the usefulness of small reservoirs and
the list for the stream is fairly complete. While none of those described
is of any great importance, considered singly, in the aggregate they
are no small factor in the maturing of the late crops.
In regard to the cost of small reservoirs, it is impossible to secure
accurate data, for they are usually constructed by the farmers them-
selves and no account is kept of the work.
The Rist Reservoir is the only one taking water directly from the
river. Nearly all others are filled from one of the large canals.
This reservoir, although small, is one of the oldest in the valley.
Together with the George Rist Ditch, it was constructed to supply
water for the irrigation of the Rist ranch, to which both belong.
This property is now known as the Buckingham estate, and consists
of 1,800 acres, divided into farms which are leased, the water being
prorated among the several tenants according to a paragraph in the
The reservoir has priority No. 1 for filling, its decree, dated
ber 15, 1874, being for 5,210,865 cubic feet. This gives 120 acre-
as its capacity. It is filled from the Big Thompson through) "Ii
George Rist Ditch, which was enlarged by the Home Supply Co.mp.i
when the site for the Mariano Reservoir and the right ofwy w un l
purchased, and has been since maintained by the latter om~any:i.
The reservoir is 27 acres in area, and the water is drawn off through
an open ditch, where the discharge is controlled by a wooden heaiii
RESERVOIRS FILLED FROM HANDY DITCH.
HUMMEL RESERVOIR. ,
This reservoir is located on the line between sees. 8 and 17, T. 4 N:, i
R. 68 W., and was constructed in 1882. It covers 35 acres and holds i
12,807,000 cubic feet, or 294 acre-feet, which is the amount of its ;
claim, filed in 1882. Ten feet of water may be drawn off, while 6 feiet:i
is unavailable. It irrigates 400 acres of land belonging to its owner, :j
Mr. J. C. Hummel. It was filled in 1901, but only partially filled the
following year, which is the second time a shortage has occurred. In .:
1902 the water was used on 112 acres of wheat, 18 acres of oats, 15 1
acres of alfalfa, and 20 acres of sugar beets. It is filled in the spring, :
there being a contract for this purpose between its owner and the i
ditch company. The embankment of the reservoir is 12 feet high and ;:
the outlet is of 14-inch tiling. The gate is of wood and is operated in
a masonry well.
DE FRANCE RESERVOIR.
This reservoir is located about the common corner of sees. 4, 5, 8,
and 9, T. 4 N., R. 68 W., and covers 32 acres. Its capacity is the-
amount claimed in 1883, 12,000,000 cubic feet, or 275 acre-feet, and it
irrigates 250 acres of the land of its owner, Judge A. H. DeFrance..
It was constructed in 1883, and was used that year and has been used
every year since. It is filled in the spring, and by contract its owner
pays the ditch company a consideration for this. The embankment is
10 feet high and the outlet is of tiling.
This reservoir was filed on in 1881, and is now owned by J. Y. Mun-
son. It is locally known as Town Lake, or Berthoud Lake, because it
supplies water used in the town of Berthoud, 1i miles south of it. Its
appropriation under date of 1881 was originally for 8,000,000 cubied
feet. It is located in sec. 11, T. 4 N., R. 69 W., and covers 40 acres.l|
It has a small embankment, which is riprapped with stone. Its outlWti
is of wood, the gate being at the upper end, in the reservoir.
repaid its cost in two years and irrigates 320 acres.
WELCH LAKE iREMERVOIli.
This reservoir is located in the SE. i of sec. 35, T. 5 N., R. 69 W.
It is just above the Home Supply Canal, the embankment of the reser-
voir, 10 feet high, being along the south bank of the canal. It is
filled to some extent by seepage as well as from the Handy Ditch.
The outlet is a tube extending tlirough the embankment, made of four
2 by 12 inch planks nailed together, and having a wooden gate. The
reservoir is below the lands of its owners and its supply is used in
an exchange with the Home Supply Canal, into which it is run. It is
23 acres in area and has a claimed supply of 676 acre-feet, although it
irrigates only 80 acres.
HUPP LAKE RESERVOIR.
This reservoir is situated in the NW. I of sec. 35, T. 5 N., R. 61 W.
It is 15 acres in area and holds 50 acre-feet, partly irrigating 160 acres
of the lands of its owners. It has a small embankment, and the outlet
is through an open cut, where a head gate controls the discharge.
This reservoir is located in sec. 15, T. 4 N., R. 68 TW. Its embank-
ment is 6 feet high, and it covers 25 acres. Its capacity is 4,356,(,,)
cubic feet, or 100 acre-feet, and it is used in the irrigation of the lands
of its owners, for whom it is named.
This small reservoir irrigates probably 40 acres. It is located in
the SW. j of sec. 11, T. 4 N., R. 69 W.
This reservoir is in the SW. I of sec. 11, T. 4 N., R. 69 W., and
supplies water for probably 40 acres. The outlet consists of a wooden
head gate in an open ditch.
This reservoir was first used in 1902. It is located in the SE. 4 of
sec. 11, T. 4 N., R. 69 W. It furnishes water for one small farm and
is very small.
The reservoir owned by James Jansen is also known as the Cole
Reservoir, and appears in the articles filed in the office of the county
clerk as the reservoir of the Sunny Slope Reservoir Company. It
covers 40 acres and is located in the center of sec. 12, T. 4 N., R. 69
W., under the Handy Ditch, but it is filled entirely from seepage.
Its capacity is probably 4,356,000 cubic feet, or 100 acre-feet, and it
has recently been unused for irrigation.
W1 SON RESERVOIR.
This reservoir is the private property of S. J. Wilson and is used in
connection with his land. It is filled from the Zweck Lateral of the
Handy Ditch and holds 6,511,000 cubic feet, or 149 acre-feet, which
was the amount filed on in 1891. Its embankment is 8 feet high and
300 feet long. The outlet is a wooden conduit with the gate at the
upper end controlled from a platform. It is located in sec. 20,
T. 4 N., R. 69 W.
This reservoir is located in the SE. I of sec. 17, T. 4 N., R. 69 W.
The embankment is 6 feet high, making the water surface cover 31
acres. It is filled through the Zweck Lateral of the Handy Ditch and
irrigates 100 acres. The outlet is a wooden conduit with the gate at
the upper end. The capacity is estimated to be 100 acre-feet.
LOVELAND LATERAL RESERVOIR.
This reservoir is sometimes confused with the reservoir of the Love-
land Lake and Ditch Company about 3 miles east of it. It is located in
the NW. I of sec. 21, T. 4 N., R. 69 W., and is filled from the Handy
Ditch through the Zweck lateral. Its appropriation made in 1902 is
for 630 acre-feet, and this may be taken as its capacity, although it
could be largely increased by an embankment 10 feet high. At present
the water is drawn from the basin through a cut in which a wooden
head gate controls the discharge.
This reservoir is located on the line between secs. 17 and 20, T. 4
N., R. 69 W., and is about 10 acres in area. The embankment is 12
feet high and extends across a small draw. The reservoir is filled
from the Handy Ditch by the Zweck Lateral, and serves to irrigate
about 50 acres. Its capacity is estimated at 100 acre-feet.
This reservoir was constructed and is owned by Huppe Brothers, and
is situated on their land in the NW. I of sec. 28, T. 4 N., R. 69 W.
It is filled from the Zweck Lateral of the Handy Ditch, and recently
has not been used to advantage, as it has swamped 20 acres of land with
alkali, and that is as much as it will irrigate. Its papers were filed in
1882, claiming 3,169,000 cubic feet, or 73 acre-feet, which is at least
not under its capacity. It has an embankment 4 feet high and covers
about 10 acres.
RESERVOIRS FILLED FROM LOUDIEN CANAL.
FAIRI'ORT LAKE RI ER'oIi.
This reservoir, commonly called Fairport iLake, was formerly
known as Geneva Lake, and was filed upon once under that ianime.
It.is located in sec. 13, T. 6 N., R. 69 W., and i s .: acres in area. At
present its embankment is high enough to allow 12 feet of water to
be drawn off, but its capacity could be increased to 5,0n0,,(00i,. cubic
feet or more by increasing the height of the emlbankmient. Its present
capacity is 25,473,000 cubic feet, or 585 acre-feet, this being the
amount claimed in 1883 by the Fairport Lake and C(anal Company. It
is filled from the northern extension of the Louden Canal and irri-
gates 1,500 acres. The canal, like the Handy Ditch, is badly in need
of storage works, and the enlargement of this reservoir has been con-
sidered by the company, which has ino good available sites.
BIG THOMPSON IKESERVOIK.
This reservoir, much better known as Cemetery Lake, is one of the
.oldest reservoirs in the Big Thompson Valley. It supplies water for
the irrigation of 400 acres, and is owned by F. G. Bartholf and others.
The reservoir has priority No. 4 on the Big Thompson, entitling it to
44,000,000 cubic feet from that stream? under date of May 18, 1881. It
is probable that the capacity of the reservoir is equal to only about
one-half this amount, or 500 acre-feet. It is filled through the Louden
Canal, and is located north of the town of Loveland, between Lake
Lovelandand the Seven Lakes Reservoir. The basin is entirely natural
and the water is drawn off through a cut. A head gate in the latter
controls the run off.
By reason of its excessive decree it, like the Louden Reservoir and
the old ditches, has been regarded as desirable property, and an attempt
was made in 1901 by the Seven Lakes Company to include it in the
Seven Lakes Reservoir system as No. 5. Had the transfer been effected
it is probable that the amount decreed, and not the amount actually
held by the reservoir, would have been taken from the river and the
excess run through Cemetery Lake into the rest of the Seven Lakes
NELSON RESERVOIRS NOS. 1 AND 2.
These reservoirs are used together and are owned by John H. Nelson
and others, they having filed a claim of an appropriation of 7,'70,000
cubic feet, or 1,830 acre-feet, in 1902. They cost about $100 and sup-
ply water to 214 acres. They are filled from the Louden Canal and
This reservoir is owned by Mr. A. S. Benson, president of the
Louden Irrigating Canal Company. It is located in sec. 10, T. 5 N.,
R. t9; W., and covers 13 acres. It is filled from the Louden Canal
and is used to regulate the flow of one lateral. Its owner claims that
the flow of the ditch is practically doubled as the water is turned into
the reservoir at night and then used from it during the day. The
embankment is 4 feet high, but 5 feet of water can be drawn off.
This reservoir is in sec. 2, T. 5 N., R. 69 W., and is filled from the
Louden Canal. It covers 10 acres and supplies water for the irriga-
tion of 60 acres.
This reservoir is located in sec. 4, T. 5 N., R. 68 W., and covers 60
acres. An appropriation was claimed in 1891 for 18,060,000 cubic
feet, or 415 acre-feet.
RESERVOIRS FILLED FROM LOVELAND AND GREELEY CANAL.
This reservoir is located in sees. 21 and 28, T. 5 N., R. 67 W. Its
owners claim a capacity of 1,106,000 cubic feet, or 25 acre-feet. It is
filled by seepage from lands under the Loveland and Greeley Canal.
STEELE & PHILLIPS RESERVOIR.
This reservoir is owned by Robert Steele and J. B. Phillips and is
in sec. 16, T. 5 N., R. 66 W. Its area is 10 acres, and its owners
claimed an appropriation of 1,600,000 cubic feet, or 37 acre-feet, in
18S9. It is filled at intervals during each season from the Loveland
and Greeley Canal and acts as a regulator in irrigating the two farms
of its owners. The reservoir cost $300.
SHEEP DRAW RESERVOIR.
This very small reservoir is filled by seepage from the land under
the Loveland and Greeley Canal. It was formed by constructing a
small embankment across a gulch.
Bartel Brothers own this reservoir, which is located in sec. 20, T.
5 N., R. 65 W. It is very small and is filled mainly from seepage
from lands irrigated by the Loveland and Greeley Canal. It has a
small embankment across a gulch, which Jroke at one time and was
'' ":li:;;i::i' Iii
RESERVOIRS FILLED FROM HOME SUPPLY CANAL.
This reservoir is located in sec. 3, T. 4 N., R. 8 W\., and is tilled
from the Home Supply Canal. It is used in irrigating one farn, only.
This reservoir is located in sec. 6, T. 4 N., R. 6i W., and is between
the Home Supply Canal and the IHome Supply Reservoir Iitch. It is
RESERVOIRS ALONG THE LITTLE THOMPSON.
This reservoir was constructed in 1901 and is located in secs. 22 and
27, T. 4 N., R. 68 W. It was formed by a dam across a draw in the
bluffs along the south side of the Little Thompson and is filled mainly
by floods, but may be filled from the Highland Ditch from the St.
Vrain Creek. The water is used on the land of its owners, E. White
and T. Butler, along the Little Thompson. The dam is 23 feet high,
440 feet long, and 12 feet wide on top, and has outside slopes of 1i to
1 and 4 to 1, respectively. The outlet works are built of Oregon fir,
there being a tube through the dam and a well in the middle, where
the gate is placed. The cost was $1,400. Sixteen feet of water can
be drawn from 18 acres. The amount claimed in 1897 was 8,146,000
cubic feet, or 187 acre-feet, The cost per acre-foot would therefore
This reservoir is filled from the Little Thompson and is in sec. 31,
T. 4 N., R. 69 W. It is about 20 acres in area and has a small rip-
At present this reservoir has a low embankment and a small wooden
head gate in an open ditch, which holds some water, but its capacity
could be greatly increased by a higher embankment. It is situated
just outside the foothills, and the greatest objection to its enlargement
is the difficulty of filling it. The natural drainage would not be suffi-
cient, and it would require an inlet ditch. One could probably be made
from the Little Thompson, but it would be difficult and expensive, and
it is a question whether its construction would be warranted, since
that stream furnishes so little unappropriated water for storage.
Nothing was learned of Bennetts Reservoir, which is decreed the
third right on Big Thompson River, except that it is probably on the
south side of Little Thompson River. According to the decree its
capacity is only 29 acre-feet.
The Rockwell Reservoir and Baxter Reservoir are on the south side
of the Little Thompson, but they are filled from the St. Vrain Creek.
PROPOSED WORKS 1|
BOYD LAKE SITE. ]
The Boyd Lake site has been under consideration ever since the.
practicability and value of reservoirs in north-central Colorado have
been clearly demonstrated, but as yet nothing has been accomplished
toward its construction. Meanwhile so many storage works have I
been developed that the available supply for filling Boyd Lake is com-
ing to be seriously questioned. It is probable, however, that it could-:
be used to an advantage in some years, and if so it would repay its
cost in a few such seasons. Its location gives it one unusual advan- i
tage, the possibility of storing in it the surplus waters of both the i
Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson rivers, which may be accomplished
by an extension of the New Mercer Canal from the former stream and .
of the Barnes Ditch from the latter, although both should be enlarged
in order to insure the carriage of flood waters.
The site really consists of two natural lakes, Boyd Lake and South
Lake, which would become one body of water when the large basin :
including both is filled. A survey of the site was made in 1897 by ,
Capt. H. M. Chittenden, of the United States Corps of Engineers, and
is described as the Loveland site in his report on Reservoir Sites in
Wyoming and Colorado." The area of the basin was found to be
1,920 acres and its capacity above the present level of the water sur-
face in the lower lake, this being the elevation of the proposed outlet,
was determined to be 45,740 acre-feet. The outlet works recom-
mended were elaborate and the cost was estimated at $262,106, or
$5.73 per acre-foot, which is very reasonable. The cost would be.
greatly lessened and a large capacity would still be secured if the basin
were not drained so low as the plans provide, and it is thought by
many that this would be the more feasible plan. The basin can be
drained most conveniently to the Cache la Poudre Valley by a cut
through the rim of the basin at the northeast side of Boyd Lake.
In 1893 the Northern Water Storage Company filed a claim for
1,143,450.000 cubic feet, or 26,250 acre-feet, for a reservoir at the
Boyd Lake site. The Boyd Lake Reservoir Company filed another in
1895 for 1,305,972,360 cubic feet, or 29,981 acre-feet. Two other fil-
ings were made in 1902, one by the Seven Lakes Reservoir Company
for 2,340,300,000 cubic feet, or 53,726 acre-feet, and one by the Boyd
Lake Irrigation Company for 1,623,045,000 cubic feet, or 37,259 acre-
feet. The Seven Lakes Company proposes to connect the Seven Lakes
Reservoir with Boyd Lake by making an outlet at the dam across Dry
Creek at No. 2 of the Seven Lakes. They have also desired to con-
nect Seven Lakes with Lake Loveland and to enlarge and extend the-
Barnes Ditch to the Seven Lakes, making it the outlet of the system. :
This plan of cooperation was always opposed by the Loveland and :
Greeley Company, and one reason for the farmers buying out the com-
pany's interest was to facilitate operations.
The other parties who filed on the Boyd Lake site in 19()2 made
surveys of the basin, but whether any further progress will be made
by them in the construction of the reservoir is doubtful. Of the four
filings on record for this site all the amounts claimed have been less
than the capacity of the basin, as shown by the Corps of Engineers,
save that of the Seven Lakes Compan'y, which, even including the
Seven Lakes, is far in excess of the amount that can be stored.
WILLOW PARK SITE.
A reservoir site in secs. 31, 32, and 33, T. 5 N., R. 73 W., and secs.
4, 5, and 6, T. 4 N., R. 73 W., is in point of size almost as important
Sas the Boyd Lake site. This is the Willow Park site and embraces a
part of a large basin in the mountains at the head waters of the Big
Thompson, which is known as Willow Park, and is at the upper end
of Estes Park. One of the principal tributaries of the South and main
Fork of the Big Thompson runs through this basin, receiving its sup-
ply from the snows on the Continental Divide near Longs Peak. The
dam site is at the lower end of this basin where the canyon narrows,
and here a masonry dam of almost any reasonable height could be
A claim was filed in 1893 by the Willow Park Reservoir Company
for 1,546,032,000 cubic feet, or 35,492 acre-feet. It was proposed to
make the dam 100 feet high and about 300 feet long, which would
make the water surface cover an area estimated at 987 acres. The
plan was not considered advisable with the price of stored water at
that time, but it would probably be a paying investment at the ores-
FOUR LAKES SITE.
The Horseshoe Park Reservoir and Fishing Company in 1896 filed a
claim for 279,951,000 cubic feet of water to fill reservoirs numbered
from 1 to 5 inclusive, in secs. 13, 14, and 24, T. 5 N., R. 73 W., the
aggregate area being 164 acres. These were to be in Estes Park, in
the mountains, at the head waters of the Big Thompson. They were
not constructed, and in 1899 the Four Lakes Reservoir Company filed
a claim for water for four of these sites. The areas and capacities
given for the same basins were practically the same as in the former
claim, and were as follows:
Capacities of Four Lakes Reservoir sites.
Site. Area. Capacity.
A.cres. i Cubic feet. Acre-fet.
No. 1 .............................................................. .13 9,000,000 207
No. 2 ..................................................... ............. ..20 24,000,000 551
No. 3 .................................................... ........ 9 15,000,000 344
No. 4 ............................................................. 811 200,000,000 4,591
Total ........................................................ 123 248,000,000 5,693
No. 1 in this statement was the No. 2 of the former, No. 1 of the
former filing not being included in this filing. As yet only a small
dam has been constructed, which forms a lake for fishing purposes.
It was proposed to construct a masonry dam 96 feet high in a canyon
where it was only 60 feet wide.
MUD LAKE SITE.
A natural lake, known as Mud Lake, at the west common corner of
sees. 7 and 18, T. 4 N., R. 69 W., has been considered with a view to
making it supplement the flow of the Handy Ditch. The objections
to its development are that it is small and that its filling could not be
depended upon. The site is just outside the foothills, and at one time
other parties constructed an inlet ditch one-quarter mile long from
Dry Creek, a tributary of the Little Thompson. A curved masonry
dam 15 feet high, carelessly constructed, extends across the channel
at the point of diversion. The stream is dry most of the time, but
floods occur occasionally and the channel back of the dam has been
filled in with sand. The floods are so uncertain that seasons pass with-
out any, and they are of so short a duration that the ditch would have
to be enlarged to be of any service.
The basin would require no embankment and a survey has shown
that by cutting through the bank 30 feet of water covering 75 acres
could be drawn off and run into the Handy Ditch.
OTHER PROPOSED SITES.
A claim was filed in 1899 by the Bear Lake Reservoir Company for
2,356,576 cubic feet or 54 acre-feet for a reservoir to be constructed in-
the mountains at the headwaters of the Big Thompson in T. 4 N., R.
74 W. This site was never developed. Another site for a mountain
reservoir is at the junction of the North and South Forks of the Big
Two natural lakes, one in sec. 13, T. 4 N., R., 69 W., and the other
in sec. 18, T. 4 N., R. 68 W., might be used for storage by running
water into them from the Handy Ditch, but there are some objections
to their development. Both would require cuts 20 feet deep for some
distance to drain the water, probably a rather expensive work for the
amount of water they would hold, and they are situated too low to
cover any land under the Handy Ditch. The water could be used on
land along the Little Thompson east of them. At present each basin
contains about 10 feet of seepage water covering 40 acres and each
could be filled to twice that depth, when the water would cover 100
A claim was filed in 1894 for 1,350,000 cubic feet or 31 acre-feet for
the Big Hollow Reservoir in sec. 27, T. 5 N., R. 68 W., and one in
1898 for 3,500,000 cubic feet or 80 acre-feet for the Allen Reservoir in
sec. 6, T. 4 N., R. 67 W. Both of these sites are in draws in the Big
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