Price River Flow Restoration
The Price River system is downstream of Scofield Reservoir, a Blue Ribbon Fishery, but due to low reservoir outflows, this reach experiences fish kills and suboptimal winter habitat conditions. Since 1956, the coal-fired Carbon Power Plant diverted water for evaporative cooling, fully consuming the water withdrawn. The closing of the Carbon Power Plant in 2015 reverted the water right to Carbon Canal Company who made a portion of the water right available for an environmental flow lease, providing an opportunity to re-water the reach downstream of the Scofield Dam outlet and generate water benefits for the Colorado River system.
Trout Unlimited is leading efforts to coordinate the leasing of the available water right. This project proposes to move the water right point of diversion 25 miles upstream of the power plant and assign it to the outlet of the Scofield Dam. This arrangement makes water available in the winter for depleted streams.
In November, during periods of low flows, Scofield Dam will release water to benefit Lower Fish Creek and Price River. This project will provide 10 years of instream winter flow benefits to the Price and Colorado River systems. In addition to the Price and Colorado River systems, this project will also provide system benefits to downstream Colorado River users.
* Project supports voluntary transactions to change, reduce or stop water use – either temporarily or permanently – to protect or restore water for environmental benefit