Making waves

Clear Creek Whitewater Park is seven city blocks of waterpark fun. The top portion has a series of drops and pools for different experience levels. Middle portion: flat, broad, shallow surf waves with large natural boulders. Bottom section: extreme surf and wave drops. Golden, Colo., Parks and Recreation offers rafting lessons at the city's indoor pool. Photo: Recreation Engineering & Planning

Golden, Colo., inspired other communities to locate whitewater parks in central business districts instead of outlying areas. According to Stratus Consulting, Reno's Whitewater Park in Nevada, for example, has been estimated to produce a projected economic impact of $18 million over its first decade. Photo: Recreation Engineering & Planning

Colorado's Recreational In-Channel Diversion water right entitles the City of Golden to the following minimum flows (cubic fet/second; cfs) for recreation on Clear Creek:

Building the $400,000, 13-feature whitewater park in Golden required following carefully engineered plans to move tons of rock to stabilize banks, constrict flow, and grade the riverbed's slope. The first phase, building the seven westernmost structures in the river, cost about $175,000 and was completed in 1998. In 2002, the city added seven more drops for another $225,000. Photo: Dan Hartman/City of Golden

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