Reclamation Releases the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact on Orchard Mesa Canal System Improvements

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

For Release: September 18, 2013

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Reclamation announced today that on behalf of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program it released a final environmental assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact on the Orchard Mesa Irrigation District Canal System Improvement Project.

The major features of the 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. This water will benefit endangered fishes, wildlife, and river recreation in the important "15-Mile" reach of the Colorado River downstream of Palisade, Colo.

The first phase of construction on this project is anticipated to begin after this irrigation season in November 2013. The initial construction contract for the installation of new check structures was awarded to DLM Contracting Enterprises, Inc. from Albuquerque, NM and will cost $1.1 million. Some portions of the project will be subcontracted to local contractors.

All project features and components are expected to be completed within three to five years and are estimated to cost approximately $16 million. Additional construction contracts will be released in the future.

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

# # #

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.