Bonny Reservoir: Test release of 900 acre-feet

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From the Yuma Pioneer (Tony Rayl):

[State Engineer Dick] Wolfe ordered the release on May 4, and then ordered it stopped on May 11. About 900 acre feet was released during that time into the South Fork of the Republican River. The board was told at its regular meeting in April that there was an extra 3,992 acre feet of storage in Bonny. Therefore, many were left scratching their heads last week when the release was stopped while there was 3,000 acre feet left to drain. “We wanted to see what kind of response we got out of that (initial release),” Wolfe said. He explained the state did not want to release all the extra water only to find out it was not reaching the gage at Benkelman. It turns out that it was. In fact, approximately 50 percent of the released water was reaching Benkleman, which Wolfe said was very good…

Wolfe said it takes about two weeks to fully measure the impact the release is having a the gage. He said his office will meet with the Bureau of Reclamation on June 3 to evaluate the May 4-11 release and then decide when and if to release more of the “out of priority” water in Bonny…

He said the state could, conceivably, be in compliance with the Republican River Compact if the water released from Bonny keeps getting to Benkelman. However, he said there are a lot of factors to consider, noting that if Colorado experiences a wet year, the extra storage in Bonny would not be needed, and a lot of people would be questioning why the water was released. As for the RRWCD’s call to drain Bonny, Wolfe said “There are a lot of issues on the table to decide what to do long-term with Bonny.”

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

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