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Frequently Asked Questions
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3) Will there be recreation facilities associated with the project?

Yes. The project includes two recreation-related elements within the Lake Nighthorse and a public access element on the Animas River. A 30,000 acre-feet (af) minimum pool in Lake Nighthorse will be provided to improve water quality and support a reservoir fishery. Development plans around the reservoir consists of facilities that would provide for a broad range of recreational activities. It is anticipated, however, that a non-federal entity will develop and fund these facilities. Envisioned are facilities
to provide for camping, hiking, picnicking, boating, fishing, and sightseeing. In addition, the Project will enhance public access to the Animas River by providing funds to secure additional access points to the river.

4) Who will pay for the annual electrical power and operation and maintenance costs?

Project water users will pay their proportionate share of the annual operation, maintenance and electrical power costs of the project features.

5) Who pays for the project?

As provided in the project authorizing legislation, construction costs allocated to the two Indian tribes and the Navajo Nation will be non-reimbursable. These waived tribal construction costs coupled with the reduced water supply currently being provided to the tribes are considered equivalent to those benefits that the tribes would have received under the 1986 Colorado Ute Indian Water Rights Settlement Agreement. These benefits constitute a full and final settlement of the claims by the Colorado Ute Indian Tribes on the Animas and La Plata Rivers.

Non-tribal beneficiaries will pay in full for their allocated share of project costs.

6) How will the water be delivered?

At present, water deliveries can be made only through the Ridges Basin Dam Outlet Works into Basin Creek and back to the Animas River. As Project construction progresses, and future plans for utilizing the water stored in Ridges Basin Reservoir are realized, additional distribution and delivery systems (non-project features) could likely be developed by others.

7) Can the general public tour the construction site(s)?

Members of the general public can arrange for a tour of the project by calling 970-385-6500 and asking to speak with the ALP Public Outreach Team Leader. A tour will be arranged to fit your group size and interests in the project.

8) What happens if there is a flood in Ridges Basin?

Lake Nighthorse is an "off-stream" reservoir. The area where runoff will enter the basin is small and will not produce large floods. The dam will fully store the "Probable Maximum Flood" and still have an additional three feet of freeboard or storage space. The operation of the dam will require that during and after the flood, water will be released slowly to drain the flood waters from the reservoir without damaging downstream areas or the dam.

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Last updated: February 24, 2012