Runoff news

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From the Denver Post (Colleen O’Connor):

Colorado’s peak flow from snowmelt hit a few weeks earlier than normal, causing problems for some recreational users of the state’s rivers and complicating downstream irrigation strategies. A dozen late-winter windstorms coated high mountain snow with dust, causing the snow to melt earlier than usual. Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Erin Curtis said the peak occurred in late May. BLM is especially worried about flows on the Colorado River in the western part of the state, where the so-called flat water is running especially cold and fast, at a flow now about five times what it will be later this summer…

Data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service shows that reservoir storage statewide is at 116 percent of average, the best since 1999. “But the earlier the runoff comes, the sooner the water runs out for certain irrigation systems that depend on streams, not water in reservoirs,” said Jim Pokrandt, a spokesman for the Colorado River Water Conservation District…

But the early snowmelt, combined with recent weeks of heavy rain, is good news for quenching thirsty lawns right now, and maintaining municipal water supplies for the summer. “Everyone’s drinking water will be fine,” Pokrandt said.

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