Reclamation Releases a Draft Environmental Assessment on Proposed Orchard Mesa Canal System Improvements

Media Contact: Justyn Hock, 970-248-0625
Max Schmidt - OMID , 970-464-7885

For Release: July 10, 2013

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Reclamation announced today that on behalf of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program it released a draft environmental assessment on the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District Canal System Improvement Project.

The major features of the proposed project include: construction of a 10-acre regulating reservoir, upgraded check structures in canals, installation of remote monitoring systems, replacement of some open earth laterals with pressurized pipeline, and improved operational procedures. The improvements will provide a more reliable water supply throughout the canal system with an estimated water savings of approximately 17,000 acre-feet per year.

OMID Manager Max Schmidt said, "The OMID Canal System Improvement Project will benefit OMID's residential and agricultural customers by creating a more dependable water supply."

"The project will also increase hydropower production at the Grand Valley Power Plant because the conserved water will be diverted back to the Colorado River through the power plant and will create higher river flows that will benefit endangered fish, native wildlife, and river recreation," said Ed Warner, Reclamation Western Colorado Area Manager.

The draft environmental assessment is available on our web site or a copy can be received by contacting Terry Stroh with Reclamation in Grand Junction at (970) 248-0608 or

Reclamation will consider all comments received prior to preparing a final environmental assessment. Comments can be submitted to the email address above or to: Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 2764 Compass Drive, Suite 106, Grand Junction, CO 81506. Comments are due by Friday, August 2, 2013.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.