Precipitation news: Monsoon moisture bumps flows in the Arkansas River

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

…a heavy rainstorm Friday brought flows above 1,000 cfs at Wellsville. The higher levels — well short of peak runoff levels of nearly 5,000 cfs — continued through the weekend with more rain and brought an end to supplementary flows.

So far this year, about 6,000 acre-feet has been released from Twin Lakes and moved to Pueblo Reservoir, leaving about 4,000 acre-feet available through Aug. 15, said Bob Hamilton, engineering supervisor for the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District. “If the river stays up for a couple of more days, it’s unlikely we’ll need to use it all,” Hamilton said. “We’re into the monsoon season, so we could see more rains.”

In June, Tony Keenan of the Arkansas River Outfitters Association told the Southeastern board as much as 2,000 acre-feet of water might be needed to maintain flows of 700 cfs until Aug. 15, the target flow of the program. The water would eventually have to be moved from Twin Lakes to Lake Pueblo anyway, and the 10,000 acre-foot limit was imposed in the flow program to preserve water for use in the upper basin. The water is moved a little at a time in order to optimize recreation flows. The flows are dropped to native levels after Aug. 15 and maintained by controlled releases through the fall and winter months to benefit fish…

Rainfall, as measured at the Pueblo airport, is at more than 9 inches for the year, compared with 7.75 inches on average.

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