Chatfield Marina and Reservoir
How do you deal with a reservoir that needs to be flooded in order to grow? This is the primary question we asked ourselves when developing plans for a new marina and park in the Chatfield Reservoir, just 20 miles southwest of Denver.
In Chatfield, the reservoir and State Park is a focal point. It not only sustains the community on a recreational level, but it also nourishes the community by providing drinking water.
The Denver metro area, where Chatfield is located, is growing rapidly. With the Denver Metro region deemed one of fastest-growing cities in the United States, the population boost is spreading south to Chatfield, and weighing heavily on the reservoir that supplies drinking water to the entire metropolitan area. Like any city experiencing growth, infrastructure that meets the needs of the new population is critical. Often times, there is a surge in the number of roads, in power stations, in solar panels. Perhaps most pressingly, water resources are re-addressed.
In order to reach the growing population, 1,176,120,000 cubic feet of water had to be added. But this increase in water capacity would elevate water levels up to 12 feet during wet season, moving the state-owned recreational facilities and the privately-owned and operated marina that existed along the reservoir edges into a flood zone, and necessitating their relocation.
Lots of analysis was required for this project. How do we establish a beach or plant trees in an area that is constantly flooding? How do we build a structure that can withstand flooding?
Our team worked to answer these questions, ultimately building a consensus between the many different groups of people impacted by the reservoir, ensuring that the marina and park, once finished, works for everyone.