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Big Diversion?

Brief by Central Staff

Water – August 1995 – Colorado Central Magazine

Until quite recently, we were under the impression that the Arkansas River was a tributary of the Mississippi, and that it thus generally flowed toward the rising sun, thereby placing it on the Eastern Slope of Colorado.

However, there may have been some new developments. On the news one night from Colorado Springs, they were talking about high water and its effects on recreation in the Arkansas River “in Garfield County.” Garfield County, whose seat is Glenwood Springs, is on the Western Slope; did the Arkansas suddenly change directions?

Perhaps so. A few days later, we got a copy of a new magazine, Connecting with Colorado Quarterly out of Gunnison. It had a chart, shown here, about retail sales “on the Western Slope.” Observe that Salida and Buena Vista, both on the banks of the Arkansas, somehow changed drainages.

Has there been a big water project that somehow slipped by us? A major diversion at Pueblo Reservoir that sends water westward? We’ll let you know when we find out.