CLEA
       WATER
           QUALITY
                  EVALUATION
     GRAND MESA PROJECT
          COLORADO
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
    REGION
DENVER,COLORADO
           DECEMBER 1 971

-------
                    MATER OUALITY EVALUATION
                             OF THE
                       GRAND MESA PROJECT
                            COLORADO
/in evaluation of the Bureau of Reclamation's  nroooscd Grand Mesa
Project indicates that with adequate treatment municipal,  indus-
trial and other domestic waste loadinns should not siqnificantly
affect water quality for present and projected water uses  in the
Project area.  Therefore, no storaqe in Electric Mountain  and
Cactus Park Reservoirs is needed to provide flow regulation for
maintaining satisfactory water quality in the Gunnison River.
The use of Project water for irrigation, municipal, and indus-
trial purposes will result in an estimated averane annual  increase
of 3.0 no/1 in the total dissolved solids concentration of the
Colorado River at Lake Mead.  The economic imnact of this  salinity
increase upon water users below Lake Mead is  estimated to  be
$205,000 annually, based on 1970 economic conditions.   Control
measures are recommended for incorporation into the construction
and operation of tne Project to mitinate the  adverse effects of
increased salinity.
                 Environmental  Protection  Aqcncy
                           Reqion  VIII
                        Denver, Colorado
                          December  1971

-------
                 TABLE OF  CONTENTS



Chapter                                                   Page

   I.     INTRODUCTION	       1

              PURPOSE AND SCOPE	       1
              PROJECT DESCRIPTION	       2

  II.     PROJECT IMPACT ON WATER QUALITY	       3

              LOCAL ECONOMY	       3
              WATER SUPPLY	       4
              WATER USE	       5
              POLLUTION SOURCES	       6
              PHYSICAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS	       7

 III.    HATER QUALITY CONTROL MEASURES	      11

              STORAGE FOR STREAMFLOW REGULATION	      11
              POLLUTION SOURCE CONTROL	      12

  IV.    CONCLUSIONS	      14

   V.    RECOMMENDATIONS	      15

  VI.    REFERENCES CITED	      16

-------
                    I.   INTRODUCTION
 PURPOSE AND SCOPE

     This water quality evaluation has been prepared for the U.  S.
 Department of the Interior,  Bureau of Reclamation, Reqion 4, Salt
 Lake City, Utah, for inclusion  in their feasibility report for the
 Grand Mesa Project, Colorado.   The Primary purposes of this eval-
 uation are:

     1.  To determine the  need  for and value of separable reservoir
         storaoe for streamflow renulation to control water quality;

     2.  To assess the overall  impact of the proposed development on
         water quality,  both in and outside the Project area; and

     3.  To recommend, where applicable, water quality control
         measures for the  Project.

 The evaluation was made  of the  effect of the Project in the Gunnison
 River drainaqe area in West  Central Colorado and dov/nstrean areas of
 the Colorado River Basin.

     This report has been  prepared under the authority of and in
 accordance with provisions of the Federal Mater Pollution Control Act,
 as amended (33 IJ.S.C. 466  et seq.) and Executive Order 11507, dated
 February 5, 1970, and at the request of the Bureau of Reclamation.
 Section 3 (b)  of the Act requires that consideration shall  be qiven
 to inclusion of storaoe  for  requlation of streamflow for the purpose
 of water quality control,  except that any such storaqe shall not be
 provided as a substitute for adequate treatment or other methods of
 controllinq waste at the source.  Section 7 of Executive Order 11507
 requires the preparation of  a reoort describinn the notential impact
 of Federal water resource  projects on water quality.

     Sasic data for this evaluation were supplied by the ^rand Junction
 Projects Office, Reoion  4, Bureau of Reclamation.  The assistance and
 cooperation qiven bv the U.  S.  Fish and Hildlife Service are also
 nratefully acknowledqed.


 PROJECT  DESCIPTIOIN

     The nroposecl Grand  Mesa Project is located on the southern  base of
Prand '1esa near the communities  of Ccdarednc and Hotchkiss  in the Gunni-
son River Basin of llest  Central  Colorado (see pane precedinn back cover).
The project will  provide irrigation water for 28,270 acres,  develop
5,000 acre-feet of municipal and industrial  water, and nrovide  reser-
voir-related recreation  and  fish and wildlife opportunities.   Electric

-------
                               -2-
Mountain and Cactus Park Reservoirs will be the Project's train features.
Electric Mountain Reservoir will be formed by a dan on West Muddy Creek
about 1-1/2 miles above the West Muddy Ranger Station.  Surplus flows of
West Muddy Creek supplemented by surplus flows of Cow Creek will be
stored in the reservoir.  The Grand Mesa Canal will convey reservoir
releases and direct flows of intervening streams across the southern
slope of Grand Mesa to Cactus Park Reservoir serving Project lands
alono its route.  Cactus Park Reservoir will be constructed on a Currant
Creek tributary approximately 4 niles east of Cedaredge.  The Surface
Creek Feeder Canal will convey surplus flows of Surface and Younos
Creeks to the reservoir to supplement the Grand Mesa Canal inflows.
Reservoir releases will be made to the Cedaredqe Canal for conveyance
to Project lands and to municipal and domestic water delivery noints.
Project lands above the canal will receive water by exchange made
possible through storage regulation in Cactus Park Reservoir and
construction of the Fruitgrowers and Ward Creek Feeder Canals.  The
feeder canals will convey Project return flows and surplus flows of
Hard and Surface Creeks to the existing Fruitgrowers Reservoir to
replace the exchange water used upstream.  Approximately 5,000 acre-
feet of stabilized storage will be provided in existing reservoirs on
Grand Mesa for fishery and recreation purposes.

-------
                               -3-

   II.   PROJECT IMPACT  ON  WATER  QUALITY
     To evaluate the impact of a water resources development project
 on water quality, it is necessary  to examine the various  factors  that
 influence water quality.  The  economy and water supply in an area
 a'fect the amount and type of  water use.  Data must be developed on
 the present and projected economy  of the study area to estimate future
 municipal and industrial use of Project water and the resultinq waste
 loads.  The same economic and  demoaraphic data may also be useful in
 evaluatino any water quality control measures incorporated into the
 Project plan.  The water use influences waste sources arid the quality
 of water downstream from the point of use.  Any chanqes in the quality
 of water may have an economic  impact on downstream water  users.
 LOCAL ECONOMY

     Agriculture is the principal economic activity on  Project lands.
 Fruit nrowinq accounts  for most of the aqricultural income.   Dairying
 and cattle raisinn occupy  lesser roles.  A fam manaqetnent survey
 completed by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1969 analyzed 32 Project
 area farms operated by  36  families.  The farms surveyed make  up 7,800
 acres, irriqated and non-irriaated, and are considered  representative
 of Project lands.  The  fams consisted of 11 full-time  fruit  farms,
 5 livestock beef farms, 2  "Grade A" dairy fams, 1  sheep farm, 3 nen-
 eral farms, and 10 nart-tine farms.  The lands supported a total of
 1,241 beef cattle, 204  hoas, 244 sheep, and 217 dairy cattle  dispersed
 over more tnan 4,000 acres.  Because the climate in the Grand Mesa area
 is favorable to nrowina fruit, it is exnected the trend will  be from
 livestock farmino and toward fruit orowino when a full  water  supply is
 provided by the Proiect.

     Limited employment is provided on Project lands by several small
 coal mines, sawmills, and  fruit packinq companies.   The area  is lo-
 cated near Grand Mesa,  the world's larqest flat-top mountain  and
 known for its outstandina  recreational facilities.   Tourism and vaca-
 tioners are a major revenue source to the merchants of  Cedareciae and
 Orchard City durinn the summer months.  The mild winters  and  nleasant
 summers attract numerous retired oeople to the area, and it is for
 this reason tnat population in the Project area is  increasinn faster
 than in the remainder of Delta County.

     Cednredne and Orchard City ore the only incorporated communities
within the Proiect area.  The town of Delta, located about ten miles
 southwest of the Project area is the principal  tradino  center for the
 area and is the County  Seat for Delta County.

-------
                               -4-
     Present nooulation in the Proiect area is estinated to  be about
3,500.  The proiect area is nrowinn faster than the surroundinn area
and a noderate annual nrov/th rate of 1.1S 0)  is  forecast throunh
2010.  The nast, nresent, and future area nonulation is  tabulated  bo-
low.

                     Proicct Area Population
Conniinity
or Area
Cedarednc
Orchard City
Delta
Delta County
Proiect Area
1960
549
1,021
3,332
15,602
-
1970
581
1,163
3,694
15,286
3,500
1985
750
1,350
4,730
15,100
4,400
2010
940
1,670
5,500

5,450
Annual
Prow tii
Rate
1 i
-------
                                -5-


 o*  the  Colorado  River at  Hoover Dan  is  10,119,000  acre-feet^3).   The
 ?roiect will  deplete t!ie  flow o' the Hunnison River bv  26,700  acre-feet
 annually  rcsultinn  in an  averane annual  'low of 852,200 acre-feet in  the
 Sunnison  Pivcr  nist below tie Proiect area, 1,520,605 acre-*eet  in the
 Punnison  River at <>and Junction, and 10,092,300 acre-feet  in  the
 Colorado  River at Hoover  Dan.

     Tin?  Proiect will deplete tic ilorth  Fork Ounnison River by 30,000
 acre-feet annual 1".  Txcent  for the  lessuninn of strean fishery  'lows
 durinn  the winter months,  tin's  will  not  nffcct tie present  or  nro-
 iected  uses o* tie  North  Fork,  since the water diverted into the firand
 ['lisa Canal fron  thn intervcnino stn.-ars  would be surplus  to downstrean
 .K-cds.  Other water resource developments alonq the !lortii Fork will
 not af'ect the uses of the river except  as mentioned previously.
 Alti-iOurM  tie  Paonia Project  depletes  the 'lorth Fork b"  'J,800 acre-feet
 annually, Paonia Reservoir,  uv  renulatiiin tiie runoff fron f'uduy  Creek,
 improves  the  distribution  o' flow in  tiie 'lortn Fork.  The calculated
 mirirur» 'low  o^  the Ilorth  rork  iust  before its confluence witii tiie
    r.iso.i  River is 43 cubic feet ner  second (1957-1969 period of  record).
 WATER  USE

 Irrigation is  tne nrinar" water  use in  tie Proiect area.  Approxinatelv
 2!),Cin acres aro nresentl1' irrigated.   The nrincinnl crons "rovm are
 al'alfa,  oastures, snail nrains, corn,  a-inlcs, ne^cncs, cuerries,  nears,
 and a -tricots.

     'later 'or domestic use in Cedaredno is sunnlicd 'ror snrinns  on  tnc
 south slo'n: n* t'ie Rrand Mcsa.   The Town o* Orchard Citv and  the hones
 below CcdaredT- receive a senarate sunnly of water nined in fron Grand
 "esa.  This water supnly systen  is municinally owned by the Town of
 Orc.iard Citv.  Tnc nrcnard City  systen  also supplies water to  farns
 in the Proioct area.  The Unner  Surface Creek Hater Users Association,
 wln'Cii iias a^proxinately 160 taps servinn about 310 persons, serves the
 Cedar ''esa area.    './a tor for the Ceclarodne state fish hatcherv is
 supnlied  nrinarily bv the Town of Cedarednc.

     Tne  predoninant recreational water use in the nroiect area is
 trout fishinn  in lakes, streans, and reservoirs on Hrand fl
     Above the Prcicct area, the nain uses of fiunnison itiver v/ater are
for irrination and hvdroelectric nower neneration.  [iefo/een tie Proiect
area and Lake fload, nunnison and Colorado River water is used nrinarilv
for irrination o* fruit crops in the Grand Valley Irrigation district,
and :r/droelectric poi/er neneration at filen Canyon Dan.  'Jelnw Lake Head,
Colorado River water is diverted for irrination, municipal, industrial,
livestock, and Hydroelectric power neneration uses witn irrination use
beinn nredoninant.  Recreation and fishinn nave becone inportant on the
waters oe tie ilorth Fork drainane above tiie nroiect area and on the
Punnison and Colorado Rivers downstrean.

-------
                                -G-
     The Pro.iect will supply annually 52,100 acre-feet of irrinatioii
water for 28,270 acres.  Of this total,  7,430 acres will  be  new  lands
and will receive a full supply while tiie renaininn  20,840 acres  of
presently irriqated lands will receive a supplei.Hiiitnl  sunply.  A total
of 1,000 acre-feet v/ill be provided for municipal and  industrial  uses
and 3,600 acre-feet for use at the Cedaredne fish hatcher/.  Tlie Uopcr
Surface Crook Valley '.later Users Association has  requested 1800  acre-
feet per year of Pro.iect water from Cactus  Park  Reservoir *or nuni-
cipal and industrial uses.  Since the reservoir  is  expected  to
experience heavy recreational use, the Association will  need to  provide
complete treatment for the water to insure  a safe supply.  This  would
be in accord with an American '.later '.jorks Association  policy wnicn
states, "water withdrawn from multipurpose  reservoirs  for donestic
water supply purposes shall be niven the sane complete treatment as
those waters derived fron polluted sources."  If the  reservoir has
heavy motor boat usane, the treatment of the water would be  further
complicated due to fuel and oil leakanc.
POLLUTION SOURCES

     Increased salinity (total dissolved solids)  of the  lower  Colorado
Piver will be the major water quality problem rosultinn  from develop-
ment of the Proiect.  Irrination is the activity  of nan  that contributes
most to tltc increase of salinity concentrations.   Two  factors  associated
with irrination cause this increase.   First,  water is  lost by  evaporation
nnd evapotransoiration with no accompanyinn loss  of salt,  thereby  caus-
ino salinity concentrations to increase.  Secondly, the  pickuo of  salts
from irrinated lands in excess of quantities  required  for  maintain!no
a salt balanceV causes an increase in salinity.

     Fron neneral analysis of the project area, it is  estimated that
new lands will contribute two tons of salt per acre or a total  of  14,860
tons annually.  It is believed that supplemental  service lands  have been
leached free of all but minor amounts of soluble  salts and will  add only
a small undeterminable amount of salt load to the river  system.  The rate
of salt pickup by irri nation is still larnely an  unknown factor and tne
estimates may channe with additional  detailed investinations.   '.1.  \i.
lorns™) estimated that nunicipal water use will  add about 100 tons
of salt annually per 1,000 population.  Thus, with a projected popu-
lation increase'of 1,950 in the Pro.iect area  by 2010,  195  tons  of  salt
will bo added annually to the river svsten.

     The domestic wastes in the Project area  are  presently treated
primarily bv individual septic tank facilities.   The septic tanks  v/ork
effectively in the Pro.iect area and will not  have a significant effect
on the water quality of the river systems.
]7  Salt balance is defined as the removal  of a quantity  of salt  equal
~~   to that applied in the irri nation water.

-------
                               -7-
      Domestic wastes from the U. S. Forest Service recreational  areas on
 Grand '!csa  are ncnerally contained in sealed vaults;  however,  a  few
 sentic tanks are in use.

      It is  expected that the future wastes associated with  recreational
 activities  on the Grand Mesa and the nroposed reservoirs will  be ade-
 quately treated in systems that will not discliarqe treated  effluent  to
 the  lakes or reservoirs.

      Range  cattle and dairy operations are sources of untreated
 ornanic wastes in the Project areas.  Althouoh the quantity of waste
 reachino the Gunnison River from these operations  is  not known,  these
 waste sources are not presently causina any known  water quality  problems
 in the  area.

      Nutrients, pesticides, herbicides, heat and radioactive substances
 dischamed  to basin streams are emerm'nq water quality problems  in
 certain areas of the Colorado River Sasin.  However,  these  water quality
 problems are not expected to be siqnificant in the Proiect  area  durino
 the  period  of study.  1,'ith adequate treatment of wastes at  the source,
 no water quality nroblens are anticipated from the other industries  in
 the  Proiect area.
 PHYSICAL AND ECONOMIC  IMPACTS

     The na.ior characteristics which detemine  the  suitability of local
 water sunnlics for irrination are the concentrations  of  total dissolved
 solids, boron and the relative concentration  of sodium to other cations
 (sodium adsorntion ratio).  Haters in the Proiect area have been demon-
 strated by nast use to be suitable for irrigation of  crops presently
 nrown.

     Upon completion of the Dm,iect the averane annual total dissolved
 solids (IDS) concentrations of the i/atcrs at  Electric Mountain and
 Cactus Park Reservoir will be about 115 nn/1  and 65 mn/1 respectively.

     The sodium adsorption ratio (SAR)  of water to  be used in trie
 Project area is within the tolemnce limit of crons nrown.  Soron
 concentrations are low and, therefore,  have no  effect on irrinated crons.

     It is assumed that in the future municipal  and domestic wastes in
 the Project area will  be treated by a wastewater treatment plant
 located near the Gunnison River.  The estimated minimum flow of the
 Punnison River oast the Proiect area which would be required to assim-
 ilate the nrojected municipal  and domestic waste load after treatment is
 about 7.0 cfs.  It is  estimated that this flow  will allow a dissolved
 oxvoen concentration of 5.0 mq/1 to be  maintained to  meet the state
water quality standards criteria for this reach  of  the Runnison River

-------
                                -8-
 as  shown  in  the  tabulation below.  The assumptions used in calculating
 the mininum  flow requirements  are as follows:

      1.   The Project  area's population in 2010 will be 5,450.

      2.   Each population equivalent contributes 0.17 pounds of
          five-day 20°C biochemical oxynen demand (BOD5J.

      3.   There will always be waste treatment facilities in the
          Project area capable of removing 85 percent of the BODs
          contributed  by the entire population.

 Tne lowest flow  recorded at the U. S. Geological Survey naqinq stations
 nearest the  Project area has been 115 cfs, which is more than adequate
 to  meet the  minimum flow required for waste assimilation.

             Hater Quality Standards for Gunnison River
    Desianated Uater Use
    for Gunnison River                       Standards of Quality \J
    from Confluence with                  Dissolved
    Morth  Fork to Confluence              Oxycien      Temp.
    with Colorado River	(mg/1)	°F      pH

    'Jarm Hater Fishery                    >5        < 90   6.5-8.5

    Industrial Water Supply
     Salinity is the water quality parameter of major importance out-
side the Project area.  The averaoe annual nresent modified total
dissolved solids concentrations of the Gunnison River at Grand Junction
and of the Colorado River at Lake Mead are about C46 and 760 nn/lt
respectively.  (3) Trie total dissolved solids concentrations in tne
Gunnison Piver at Grand Junction and in the Colorado River at Lees
Ferry and all noints downstream nresently exceed U. S. Public Health
Service recommended limits for drinkino water.  Project development
will cause an increase in these salinity concentrations.  The averane
annual salinity increase is expected to be 18 mo/1 in the Gunnison
River at Orand Junction and 3 nn/1 in the Colorado River at Lake Mead.

     The mineral quality of water discharged from Hoover Dam does not
fluctuate nreatly fron month to month because of the large amount of
water stored in Lake Powell and Lake Mead.  However, the mineral
quality of the Gunnison River at Grand Junction does fluctuate widely
durinn the vear.  One of the effects of the Proiect on water ouality,
T7  Adapted fron State of Colorado -Jater Quality Standards documents;
    refer to state standards for specific lannuane and additional
    criteria.

-------
                                -9-
 in addition to those effects caused by water use, will be the seasonal
 ciianno in the quantity of water discharned to the Gunnison River.
 After the Proiect is built, v/ater that nreviously had flowed into  the •
 Gunnison River during the winter nontus and to a certain extent
 durir.g the snrinn runoff neriocJ will be stored for irrination.  With
 the storane facilities, water will be available for release for irri-
 gation nnd otner uses durino the full irrination season.  Decreased
 flows during the winter ronths present a potential for freezinq and
 may result iii dananc to the fishery nnd habitat.

     Gimnison River water is used to irrigate approximately 250 acres
 of orcnard crops, 250 acres of corn, and iiOO acres of alfalfa in the
 Red!and Mesa area o* Grand Junction.  As a result of the Grand ftesa
 Project, the average total dissolved solids concentration of the
 Gunnison River durinn the irrigation season will be improved by
 lowering the concentration from 714 ng/1 to C95 mg/1.  This seasonal
 improvement in water quality will result in an averare annual benefit
 to tne Proiect of aoproximatcly $200.

     The nost sionificant impacts fron the Project will be due to  the
 increased salinity concentrations in tne lower Colorado River where
 salinity concentrations have already reached critical levels.  Present
 uses of lower Colorado Piver v/ater include irrinated anriculture in
 Arizona and Southern California and nunicipal and industrial uses  in
 Arizona, California and llevada.  The lower Colorado Piver is a major
 source of supply for municipal and industrial users in the Metropolitan
 Los Anaeles area and upon completion of the Central Arizona Project the
 river will provide a water supply for metropolitan Phoenix.  Studies (5)
 by the Colorado River Basin '.later Quality Control Project of the Environ-
 nental Protection Ancncy indicate that a 3.0 no/1 annual salinity  increase
 at Lake Mead will result in an average annual equivalent penalty cost]/
 to v/ater users of about $205,000 based on 11J70 economic conditions.
The equivalent penalty cost include a direct cost of *!il42,000 and  an
 indirect cost of $63,000.  Detriments to v/ater users in Mexico and to
 recreation and fishery users in the Sal ton Sea are not included in the
 estimates.  Direct penalty costs are yield reductions for irrigated
 anriculture, treatment costs for industrial users, and the acceptance
 of undesirable effects or water softeninn expenditures for municipal
 users.  Indirect costs are spinoff effects on the secondary or supoortina
 industries.

     The impact of present and oroiected uses of Basin water on the
mineral quality of tlie Colorado Piver becomes oreater proceedinn down-
 strean from Lake Mead. A pronressive increase in salinity concentrations
 occurs in the downstream direction resulting principally from the  salt
 concentrating effects of consumptive users.
T/  A penalty cost is defined as the difference between the detriments
    associated with the use of two different levels of water quality;
    thus, it is based on similar economic conditions which permit the
    cost effects of water quality to be isolated.   Detriments are user
    cost incurred when a specific quality of water is used.

-------
                               -10-
The quality of the Colorado River water delivered to Mexico is  a
natter of considerable national  and renional  concern.   Water supply
nenotiations with Mexico are presently beinn  conducted by  the
International Hater and Boundary Commission.

-------
                             -11-

  III.   WATER QUALITY CONTROL  MEASURES
     The Colorado River Basin states have established water quality
standards, which have  been adopted by the Administrator of the
tnvironmental  Protection Anency.  However, due  to  the complexity of
the salinity problem in the Colorado River Basin,  the establishment
of numerical mineral quality criteria for the Basin's interstate
waters has been delayed until sufficient information is available to
assure that such standards will be equitable, workable, and enforce-
able.  (6) Nevertheless, accordinn to the former Assistant Secretary
of the Interior for VJater Pollution Control,  (7) "it is the intention
of the Secretary that  the Department of the Interior and the States
pursue active programs to lay tne foundation  for settino numerical
criteria at somo future tine.  These programs should focus on devis-
inn and demonstrating  salinity control  neasures and finding ways to
revise the lenal and institutional constraints  that could impede the
implementation and enforcement of salinity standards."

     In the interim before mineral quality standards are established
and while salinity control measures are being investigated, certain
neneral nuidelines (°) nave been formulated for use in evaluatinn
water resource projects such as Grand Mesa.  These guidelines are
surnarized in the following statements:

     1.  Each  proposed project must be  examined for adverse effects
         on water quality.

     2.  State and Federal agencies must be nade aware of the conse-
         quences of project development to water quality deterioration
         and of opportunities that nay  exist  for better guality control
         on each project.  All practicable means must be employed to
         prevent deterioration of existing mineral quality conditions.

     3.  Each  project  feature nust be analyzed and justified in
         accordance with the principles outlined in Senate Document 97.

     The information presented in this  report has ueen developed to
permit the proper evaluation of the ^rand Mesa Project in accordance
vrith the above nuidelines.
STORAGE  FOR STREANFLOW REGULATION

     Present and projected municipal,  industrial and rural domestic
waste loads within and below the Project  area can bo controlled with
adequate treatment at the source.   Ttius,  no storane in Electric
Mountain and Cactus Park Reservoirs is needed to provide flow regu-
lation to maintain minimum strcamflows *or the purpose of assimilatinn
residual omanic wastes.

-------
                               -12-
     Hineral water quality will  be denradcd  on  an annual basis as a
consenuence of municipal, industrial  and irrination  uses served by
water from this Project.  However, durinq tlie irrination season, the  .
avcrane dissolved solids concentrations  of tlie  Gunnison River will
be improved.  This seasonal improvement  has  no  sinnificant economic
innact between the Proiect area  and Lake Mead.  Therefore, no flow
roqulation for mineral  quality control to protect uses above Lake
Mead is necessary.

     Below Lake Mead, mineral  quality deterioration  by the Project
will cause downstream water users  to  suffer  an  annual economic loss
estimated at $205,000 which clearly indicates the need to incorporate
all oossible water quality controls in the Project.  The larqe volumes
of water stored in both Lake Powell and  Lake Mead result in the releases
from Lake Mead beinq fairly uniform in mineral  quality renardless of
any seasonal or annual  fluctuations in flow  and quality of the Colorado
River and its tributaries above  the reservoirs.  Therefore, any requla-
tion of flow achieved by storane of presently available water in the
Project reservoirs will not chanqe the quality  of water discharoed
from Hoover Uam.

     In lieu of providinn storaae  in  Electric Mountain and Cactus Park
Peservoirs for mineral  quality control of Project-induced salinity
increases below Hoover Dam, other  salinity control measures within trie
Project area should be investinated.  Any such  measures found feasible
should be included in the Project  plan.
POLLUTION SOURCE CONTROL

     Potential  salinity  control  measures may be divided into two cate-
norics :  water-phase and salt-phase.   The  former comprises possibilities
for imnrovinn water quality by auqmentinq  the water supply, while the
latter included prospects for" inprovinn water quality by reducino the
salt input.

     Several water-phase control  measures  described below appear to
have some merit and should be considered for incorporation into the
Project.

     (1)   Phrcatophvte eradication  on  Proiect lands and alonn canals
          and drains could conserve water.  It should be reconnizcd,
          however,  that  Phrentoniivte eradication may result in loss
          of wildlife habitat and winter protection for cattle and
          shoep.   Further study  of  this control measure would require
          consultation with the  Federal and State Fish and Pame
          /Viencies.

     (2)   Hotter control of the  quantity of water applied throunn con-
          servation irrination,  the use of irrination and croppinn

-------
                               -13-
          nethods that best fit a particular soil, slope,  crop,  and
          water supply, is another measure which appears  to offer
          possibilities for mineral quality imnrovenent.

     (3)  Installinn closed conveyance systems or lining  ditches and
          canals can result in In'nher delivery efficiencies and, con-
          sequently, improved water quality.  Proper land preparation
          by nradinn and levelinn also conserves water.

     Potential salt-phase control measures include the careful selection
of land to bn irrigated and the provision of better land  drainaoe.
Those lands naturally hinh in alkaline or sodic salts should be  elimi-
nated fron consideration in favor of soils having low natural salt
content.  The initial Teaching of irriqated lands can be  assisted by
installation of subsurface drainage systems adequately designed  for
salinity control.  Uith installation of such a drainaae system,  the salt
load over a number of years may be reduced by prevent!no  percolation to
deeper soils with higher salt content.

     In order to minimize water quality proolems associated witi Project
construction activities, the Project contract documents should contain
clauses makinq it the responsibility of the contractor to  comply with
all applicable federal, state, county, and local laws concernino
pollution of rivers and streams.  This will require the contractor  to
m've careful attention to pollution problems such as  disposal of
sanitary wastes and production of sediment durinn construction.

     It is anticipated that Electric Mountain and Cactus  Park Reservoirs
will provide diversified recreational opportunities,  such  as picnickinq,
canninn, fishino, swimninn, and boating.   Recreational  uses expected
at the reservoir are potential sources of pollution that,  if not prop-
erly controlled, could create local water quality problems both  in  the
reservoir and in downstream reaches of Uest Muddy and Currant Creeks.
Sanitary waste disposal systems with no surface effluent discharnes will
be required at all  recreational areas, includino the  Grand Mesa
recreation area.  In the recreation mananement of Electric Mountain and
Cactus Park Reservoirs, boats with waste-holdinq tanks  or  containers
should be prohibited; or the tanks and containers sealed,  unless fac-
ilities to receive  and treat the contents are provided at  aopropriate
locations.  Provisions should also be made to require that fuel-dis-
pcnsinn equipment on docks be provided with safety features that will
prevent the accidental discharne of petroleum products  to  the reservoir.
The essential  ^eatures of waste disposal  facilities for recreational
areas should be submitted to the Environmental  Protection  Aqency for
review in the early stacios nf planning.

-------
                               -14-
                   IV.   CONCLUSIONS
1.  ilo storane  in  Electric Mountain and Cactus Park  Reservoirs is
    needed to  nrovide  flow renulation for maintainino satisfactory
    water quality.

2.  Municipal,  industrial and irrination uses supplied by  the Pro.iect-
    doveloned water will increase the salinity (total  dissolved solids)
    concentration  in  the Colorado River at Lake Mead by 3.0 no/1.
    This increase  in salinity will result in an estimated  avorane
    annual equivalent  penalty cost of $205,000 to users of lower
    Colorado River water.

3.  Penulation  of  flow achieved by storaoe of presently available
    water in Electric  Mountain and Cactus Park Reservoirs  will not
    channe the  mineral quality of water discharged from Hoover Dan.

4.  Project construction activities and wastes nenerated by recrea-
    tional activities  may cause water quality denradation  in the
    Electric Mountain  and Cactus Park Reservoirs and '/Jest  Muddy and
    Currant Creeks  unless adequate water pollution control neasures
    are provided.

-------
                               -15-


                V.   RECOMMENDATIONS
To nitiqate  the  potential losses to water users  result!no fron the
nronosed project, it is reconnended that:

     1.   The proposed pro.iect be operated in  coordination with all
         other federally-funded water resource proiects in the
         Colorado River Basin to neet State/Federal water quality
         standards.

     2.   Salinity control features he included as  a part of the
         proposed project to mitiqate the expected adverse effects
         of  tiie  project on water quality and  water uses.  Sucn
         nitination features should be included  in the nroiect
         authorization leqislation and provide for installation and
         operation of salinity control measures  in the nroiect area
         nr  any  other area in the Colorado River Dasln where they
         are found to be effective and efficient.  Potential measures
         include sealinn of saline wells and  sprinas, interception
         and tr?nsport of In'nhly saline waters to  innervious evapor-
         ation ponds, venetation nanaoenent,  improvements in water
         conveyance and irrination techniques, and demineralization.

     3.   Provisions be included in construction  specifications to
         assure  that apnronriate steps are taken by the contractor
         durinn  construction to protect the quality of '.lest Muddy
         Currant Creeks; and other streams affected by the Project.

     4.   The future wastes associated with recreational activities
         on  the  Grand Vesa ?nd at the proposed Electric Mountain
         and Cactus Park Reservoirs be adequately  treated in systems
         that will not discharne effluent to  the lakes and reservoirs.

-------
                               -1C-


               VI.   REFERENCES  CITED
1.  Unpublished data  -from the  U. S. bureau of Reclanation,  Grand
    .1 unction Project  Office.

2.  U. S. Geological  Survey Hater Supply Papers, "Surface ',-Jater
    Supply of the U.  S.,  Colorado River Basin."

3.  U. S. Department  of the Interior, "Huality of Hater,  Colorado
    P.iver Basin," Pronress Report No. 5, January, 1971.

4.  '.•!. V. lorns,  C. II.  Hembree, and G. L. Oakland, "'.-later Resources
    of the Upper Colorado River Basins - Technical Report,  "Geo-
    lom'cal  Survey Professional Paper 441, 19G5.

5.  U. S. Environmental Protection Anency, Renion IX,  San Francisco,
    California, "The  Mineral Quality Problem in the Colorado  River
    3asin",  to be published.

G.  Stewart  L. Udall, Secretary of the Interior, statement  before
    the Subcommittee  on Irrination and Reclamation, Committee on
    Interior and  Insular  Affairs, House of Representatives  of
    Colorado River Basin  Pro.iect Legislation, January  30, 1963.

7.  Frank C. DiLuzio, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Mater
    Pollution Control,  letter  to the chairman, Technical  '.Jater
    Quality  Standards Committee for the Colorado River Basin  States,
    February 12,  1968.

8.  Frank C. DiLuzio, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Uater
    Pollution Control,  remarks before the Pacific Southwest Renion
    Interaoency Committee, Las Veqas, Nevada, December 6, 1967.

-------
   Fiqure 1.   Location Map
Grand ftesa Project,  Colorado

-------
 PAGE NOT
AVAILABLE
DIGITALLY

-------