Colorado Weighs Whether to Relocate Rivers After Flood

October 4, 2013

Coloradans are debating whether rivers that strayed as much as three-quarters of a mile in last month’s floods can or should be moved back to their old channels.

Irrigation companies that pull water from rivers for farmers to use on crops say the old channels should be restored where rivers moved away from diversion structures.

Otherwise, they say, those structures would have to be replaced at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Greeley Tribune reported Thursday that Dick Wolfe, head of the state Division of Water Resources, says the issue raises many questions, including who would pay for moving the rivers and who has the authority to do so.

The floods, triggered by unusually heavy rains, caused eight deaths and damaged or destroyed nearly 1,800 homes.

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