Montrose: State of the Gunnison River

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From the Montrose Daily Press (Katharhynn Heidelberg):

The Colorado River District is holding its annual Gunnison State of the Rivers meeting in Montrose Monday, June 1, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be at the Holiday Inn Express and directly follows the Gunnison Basin Roundtable meeting there. “The challenges are in the bigger river picture,” Jim Pokrandt of the river district said. “With growing population and the potential of climactic change, and maybe our looming oil industry, there’s going to be greater competition for water in the Colorado river system, and we can only use so much of it.” Pokrandt said Arizona, Nevada and California all have downstream water rights and Colorado is close to its limit. If the state hits its limit, that will trigger a curtailment for the whole river system, affecting everyone, especially those with ditch rights.

Update: Here’s a release from the Colorado River District via the Telluride Watch:

Streamflow conditions, reservoir operations and an exploration of the critical decisions facing the besieged Colorado River and its tributaries will be discussed at the annual Gunnison State of the River meeting set for 7 p.m., Monday, June 1, at the Holiday Inn Express, 1391 Townsend Ave., Montrose.

The public meeting is an annual event of the Colorado River District as an opportunity for the public to learn why water is the No. 1 issue for western Colorado.

The keynote speaker will be Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River District. He will talk about the major challenges facing the Colorado River and its tributaries such as the Gunnison and Uncompahgre rivers and the limits as to how far they can be developed.

Bob Hurford, state engineer for the Gunnison Basin, will review snowpack and runoff conditions for the year. Dan Crabtree of Bureau of Reclamation will update the public on the operations of Aspinall Unit reservoirs, the Black Canyon National Park water right and the pending decision about releasing water to help endangered fish in the Gunnison.

Marc Catlin, manager of the Uncompahgre Water Users Association, will address the 100th anniversary of the Gunnison Tunnel and plans later this year for a celebration. The Gunnison Basin Roundtable will review its activities addressing future water supply challenges locally and in Colorado.

Additionally, State Climatologist Nolan Doesken will provide a history of local weather and why the weather is the way it is.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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