Runoff/snowpack news

A picture named snowpackcolorado05252010

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Flows through the Boustead Tunnel, which brings water from the Fryingpan River through the Continental Divide into Turquoise Lake, began to increase Saturday and were running at a peak of more than 660 cubic feet per second. Flows in the Arkansas River increased dramatically by Monday as well, with temperatures in the Leadville area climbing into the 60s and staying above freezing overnight. Those flows remain below average, however, as cooler weather stuck around later into the year for the first time in a decade. As of Monday, flows at Parkdale, west of Canon City, on the Arkansas River were 1,260 cfs and climbing. That’s close to average and twice what was in the river a week ago…

He said the Fry-Ark Project should bring over an average amount of water, roughly 56,000 acre-feet, despite a variable snowpack that started off heavy in the southern mountains, melted off somewhat in April and returned at more typical rates into May. The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District made allocations last week based on those projections, but held back 20 percent of the water to account for uncertainty. Snowpack in the state is now at 79 percent of average, but has rebounded in the northern mountains to average levels. The Colorado River basin is at 86 percent, and the Arkansas River basin is at 91 percent of average.

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