OF-09-11 Managing Stormwater to Protect Water Resources in Mountainous Regions of Colorado


The purpose of the study was to provide the public with a useful guide to the issues surrounding stormwater runoff and groundwater resources in mountain terrain. When implemented correctly, the technologies and practices presented have a significant effect on groundwater resources, and thus the sustainability of development in mountain regions. Digital PDF/ZIP download. OF-10-03D

From the Introduction:

Like much of the Front Range of Colorado, Clear Creek County is defined by its landforms, climate, vegetation, and focused population centers. The physiographic characteristics of the county include high peaks, great relief, rugged terrain, steep slopes, and shallow soils. The climate varies from semi‐arid to alpine with elevations above 10,000 feet receiving an average of 25 inches or more of moisture per year. Vegetation varies from alpine tundra above timberline to thick stands of evergreen forest with interspersed mountain meadows and communities of aspen trees. The population in this mountainous county is sparse with 39 or fewer residents per square mile. However, because of the rugged terrain and dominance of federally owned land, most of its residents are concentrated along mountain flanks and stream valleys. The residents of the unincorporated portions of the county and certain municipal and commercial entities rely largely on groundwater for their water supply. With the exception of narrow alluvial aquifers along stream systems, this water supply is limited by the fractured, crystalline rock aquifers that store this resource. Increasing population growth and development have raised concerns about the sustainability of the groundwater resource. The purpose and focus of this study is to identify and promote stormwater management technologies and practices that may be implemented locally to protect and conserve water resources through mitigation of detrimental impacts caused by land disturbances and modifications associated with land development.