Will This Be the Year Local Lakes Fill To Capacity?
Could this be the year? The year that finally sees local lakes and reservoirs fill to their capacity? Well, when you consider how far along the annual water diversion project is to fulfilling down valley water calls, combined with the snow pack still on the peaks, this very well could be the year. And wouldn’t THAT be nice!
Here’s the latest concerning spring run-off, lake levels and the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project from Public Information Officer for the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Kara Lamb.
Releases from Sugarloaf Dam at Turquoise Reservoir to Lake Fork Creek were cut back today by 25 cfs. The current release is now about 104 cfs, 80 cfs of that being native runoff flow. Turquoise’s water level elevation has come up considerably in the last two weeks. It is now almost 70% full, not quite, but almost.
Runoff down Lake Creek to Twin Lakes has also decreased. The release from the dam to Lake Creek and the Arkansas River is currently around 663 cfs. Twin Lakes is almost 80% full.
Ruedi Reservoir is currently releasing about 205 cfs. The Ruedi Dam gage is reading around 237 cfs because another 30 or so cfs is from the Rocky Fork. The reservoir is about 94% full and still rising. We will try to stay near this release rate until the reservoir is full. Ruedi is anticipated to fill before the end of the month (June 2014), probably a little sooner.
Meanwhile, Pueblo Reservoir has maintained a total storage content of about 60% for most of runoff, having hit its highest water level elevation for the season back in May.
Please keep in mind that 60% of full at Pueblo is still a decent water level elevation because part of what is not filled in the reservoir is the flood control pool. It’s good for the flood control pool to be empty!
As of yesterday, June 16, the BOR moved roughly 70% of the Fry-Ark’s forecasted imports from the West Slope into Turquoise Reservoir via the Boustead Tunnel.
About the The Fryingpan-Arkansas Project
The Fryingpan-Arkansas Project is a multipurpose transmountain, transbasin water diversion and delivery project in Colorado. It makes possible an average annual diversion of 69,200 acre-feet of surplus water from the Fryingpan River and other tributaries of the Roaring Fork River, on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, to the Arkansas River basin on the eastern slope.
Water diverted from the western slope, together with available water supplies in the Arkansas River Basin, provides an average annual water supply of 80,400 acre-feet for both municipal/domestic use and the supplemental irrigation of 280,600 acres in the Arkansas Valley. Total project supplies may be further increased through use and reuse of project water.