Reclamation seeks public input to reduce salinity and improve water quality on the Gould Canal

Media Contact: Justyn Liff, 970-248-0625, jliff@usbr.gov
Lesley McWhirter, 970-248-0608, lmcwhirter@usbr.gov

For Release: July 22, 2019

GRAND JUNCTION, COLO. - The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking public input to reduce salinity and improve water quality along the Gould Canal in Delta and Montrose counties. Naturally-occurring salts in the sediment along the canal are picked up by the water and transported into the Colorado River system. The resulting reduction in water quality creates a negative economic impact to downstream infrastructure and crops.

Reclamation proposes a salinity control project to improve 12.4 miles of Fruitland Irrigation Company’s open, unlined Gould Canal in Delta and Montrose counties. Proposed improvements include converting parts of the canal to pipeline and lining other sections. Those improvements will reduce seepage along the canal, enhance water supply and improve water quality by preventing approximately 5,697 tons of salt per year from entering the Colorado River.

“Reducing salt along the Gould Canal will help improve the water quality, crop production and wildlife habitat in the Colorado River Basin,” said Ed Warner, area manager for Reclamation’s Western Colorado Area Office. “We look forward to receiving input from the public and our partners about this salinity project and how we can improve the Colorado River Basin water system.”

The draft Finding of No Significant Impact and Environmental Assessment are available online at www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/index.html or a copy can be requested by contacting Reclamation.

Reclamation will consider all comments received by Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Those interested may submit comments by email to lmcwhirter@usbr.gov or to: Ed Warner, Area Manager, Bureau of Reclamation, 445 West Gunnison Ave, Suite 221, Grand Junction, CO 81501.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.