Document Type


Publication Date

January 1979


Introduction: Scope of Study: The United State Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) is currently evaluating plans to construct a multipurpose reservoir on the San Miguel River 32 kilometers (20 miles) below Telluride, Colorado. As part of the environmental assessment for this project, the Utah Water Research Laboratory (UWRL) was contracted to conduct an intensive water quality study on the San Miguel River and its tributaries in the vicinity of the project area. In this study water samples were collected during the period from May, 1977, to August, 1978, on a monthly basis from three sites on the San Miguel River and from Leopard Creek. Samples were analyzed for 49 water quality parameters. The data collected during this period were used to evaluate the existing quality of water at each site with respect to various water uses. Project description: The plans for this project had not been finalized at the time of this writing, but a tentative plan is described in a USBR planning report (USBR, 1978). In this plan, the Saltado Damsite was to be located in the San Miguel Canyon 32 km downstream from Telluride, Colorado (Figure 1). The reservoir will have a total capacity of 3.20 x 10^7 m^3 (26,000 A. F.) and a surface area of about 154 hectares (380 acrea). The project will provide 47 z 10^6 m^3 (38,211 A.F.) of water for irrigation and 37 x 10^6 m^3 (30,081 A. F.) for municipal and industrial use per year. In addition to the reservoir, the project will include a nine mile long pipeline to Norwood Hill, a lift station at Norwood Hill and a canal on the Wright's Mesa to conduct water to farmlands. Project features are summarized in Table 1.