Runoff news: FIBArk events

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Here’s an update on streamflow in the Arkansas River for the annual FIBArk festival, from Christopher Kolomitz writing for The Mountain Mail. From the article:

Arkansas River flow is about 1,700 cubic feet per second at Salida and with warm weather forecast, runoff may approach 2,000 cfs in time for key FIBArk events. Dramatically higher water levels may lead to faster times in the downriver race or a wave that becomes more difficult in which to score points during freestyle kayak competitions. During the previous two years flow was about 2,800 cfs and 2,000 cfs during FIBArk event…

Because of early warm-up and snow melt, the river peaked May 23 at more than 2,700 cfs in Salida. Cooler weather arrived and river flow fell to about 1,600 cfs May 29. It rallied, reaching 2,300 cfs about June 4, but remains below the 100-year average of about 2,000 cfs since. Flow reached a spring low of about 1,400 cfs June 11-12 and has since been on gentle, steady rise. The rise may be attributed to factors including warmer high altitude weather and the Colorado Springs Utilities decision to move 190 cfs from Turquoise Reservoir to Pueblo Reservoir. Utilities officials said if warmer weather arrives today and Friday, they may increase the amount of water they move by 100 cfs.

Colorado Springs Utilities is looking for partners for the north outlet works at Pueblo Dam

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

he North Outlet Works, added to SDS as a primary feature last fall, would give redundancy to those water users who now use the Joint Use Manifold on the south side of Pueblo Dam. Colorado Springs Utilities, the major partner in SDS, is trying to find out who else might be interested in using the new connection in order to design it to the right size now, Dan Higgins, project construction manager, told the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District board Thursday…

“This is a great opportunity for everyone to get on board,” said Roy Vaughan, manager of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project for Reclamation. “There are costs associated with this, but there would be greater costs later on.” The North Outlet Works would back up existing deliveries from the dam at the Joint Use Manifold should it be necessary to shut down the south outlet because of zebra mussels, or any other reason. Repairs for such a shutdown could take months, Vaughan pointed out. The Joint Use Manifold is shared by the Pueblo Board of Water Works, Fountain Valley Authority, Pueblo West and the Arkansas Valley Conduit, a proposed project by the Southeastern district…

The project has several components, including a large concrete platform that would tow into the base of the dam, a pipeline that would connect to two gates within the dam and a junction box that would send water either into the Arkansas River or toward the proposed SDS pumping station north of the river, Higgins said. Tests by Reclamation showed the new equipment would have to be able to meet the full rate of evacuation from the outlet for the dam – 1,100 cubic feet per second – making the engineering specifications critical to the evaluation, Higgins added. The cost for the project, as designed so far by Colorado Springs, would be about $14 million. It would cost about $1 million for others to hook on, Higgins said.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.