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News brief with the Colorado Sun: Locals say Grand Lake looks like "split pea soup"

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David Zalubowski/AP
A lone fisherman casts a line in Rocky Mountain National Park, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, in Grand Lake, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

On Tuesdays, we speak with our colleagues at the Colorado Sun about the stories they're following. This week they spoke with us about water quality concerns at Grand Lake.

Environmental activists are calling on Grand County officials to protect the state’s largest natural body of water. At one time, Grand Lake was renowned for its clarity. That is, until 1959, the year the Bureau of Reclamation finished installing pipelines in the lake to supply water to the Front Range.

“As part of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project, they take sometimes murky water that’s marred by weeds and algae into Grand Lake - water that comes from Lake Granby and Shadow Mountain Reservoir, " said Colorado Sun Editor Larry Ryckman. "The problem just got worse and worse to the point where a lot of locals described the lake as looking like a bowl of split pea soup.”

Ryckman says one possible solution is to filter water coming into the lake. The Shadow Reservoir pipeline could also be rerouted to avoid it.

Grand Lake supplies drinking water to more than a million Coloradans and irrigates hundreds of thousands of farm acres.