Durango is known as one of the whitewater capitals of the United States with a long list of accomplished paddlers calling it home. Two years after construction of the whitewater park, the City’s municipal water supply intake, located directly upstream, was not functional. A headcut had propagated upstream, dropping the invert of the channel approximately four feet and resulting in a cutbank approximately 30-feet in height. RWE was retained to create a design that not only returned the intake to it’s original functionality, but created fish passage opportunities, low water navigation, and whitewater recreation. There were a number of stakeholders and RWE staff worked closely with them to create a design that was good for everyone, including the instream biota. The result is an aesthetically pleasing park complete with bolstered diversion capabilities, whitewater features, three fish passages, enhanced portage routes and access points, and habitat enhancement.
The net effect of this project has been to re-establish the City of Durango's ability to divert water for freshwater supply.