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Dam Safety
Dam Safety

Tarryall Dam in Park County

With over 115 dams, CPW owns and operates the largest inventory of dams in the state of Colorado. The water impounded is used for downstream irrigation, fish hatcheries’ operations, and a multitude of recreational activities including fishing, boating and swimming.

Public Safety is Our First Priority

Public infrastructure and population centers are often located downstream, which increases the likelihood of devastating consequences in the event of a dam failure. Maintenance and rehabilitation of CPW’s dams is of paramount importance to CPW.

Identifying Upcoming Dam Repairs and Maintenance

In 2014, CPW undertook a Screening Level Risk Analysis (SLRA) to provide an overview of the condition of CPW dams and develop a repair and rehabilitation priority list. Since that time, CPW has made extensive progress on achieving those necessary improvements. The next conditional assessment and priority list will be developed through our planned effort to update the SLRA in 2021.

Funding Dam Repairs and Maintenance

The current repairs and maintenance cost estimate for all of CPW’s dams is approximately $120.7 million. Since 2014, CPW has allocated over $61.5 million for this work and approximately $59.2 million in funding needs remain. Most of the cost will be incurred by the Wildlife side of the Agency, as the majority of our dams are Wildlife-owned.

Progress on Dam Repairs and Maintenance

  • Repair and rehabilitation construction was completed for five dams prior to 2021: Willow Creek, Trujillo Meadows, Sylvan Lake, Haviland Lake, and Beaver Park.
  • Repair and rehabilitation construction for three dams is anticipated to be completed in 2021: Chief Creek #4, Two Buttes, and North Michigan Creek.
  • Design or alternative options studies are ongoing at five dams: Alberta Park, Rito Hondo, Spring Creek, Tarryall, and North Michigan Creek.
  • Ongoing work continues for smaller-scale projects involving dam maintenance, improvements, and engineering studies.
For more information, see the Dam Safety Fact Sheet.