Thornton-Westminster-Coors Agreement

Thornton-Westminster-Coors Agreement


Thornton, Colorado

The City of Thornton, as an owner of water rights in Standley Lake, was concerned about the water quality impacts due to delivery of Coors and Golden sewage effluent upstream of the Standley Lake inlet in the winter.


Deere & Ault conducted an investigation of an exchange plan that resolved water quality disputes between the
City of Thornton, City of Westminster, and City of Golden involving Clear Creek water. A Clear Creek model
was developed to include the components of the exchange plan. Water rights litigation support was provided
to facilitate the agreement between the parties.

Deere & Ault examined several alternatives to mitigate the water quality problems. The investigations focused on a plan that prevents the Coors and Golden sewage effluent from lowering the excellent water quality found in Standley Lake.

Our staff worked with engineers from the City of Westminster, City of Thornton, and Coors to develop the exchange plan that was acceptable to all parties. Once the exchange plan was conceptually agreed upon, a computer model was developed to simulate the exchange plan. An existing Clear Creek basin water rights model was modified to include Thornton’s raw water operations and other operations necessary to simulate the exchange plan. The model was tested, calibrated, and verified before it was applied to various exchange plan scenarios.

Preliminary cost estimates for storage facilities, pump stations, pipelines, and rights-of-way were provided as part of the investigation. The cost estimates were utilized in the agreement formed between the parties.

Deere & Ault’s staff provided general consulting to Thornton in regard to the agreement and water rights assistance to the subsequent water rights filings made in support of the agreement that was litigated in Case No. 88CW268.

Client:  City of Thornton, Colorado

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