Lake Pueblo excess capacity contracts require Corps of Engineers waiver in order to avoid spilling non-project water

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

for the second consecutive year the problem has been avoided by a waiver by the Army Corps of Engineers to leave water in the reservoir a little longer, rather than vacating the flood pool by April 15. “This isn’t a blanket to do this every year, and the mode we’re running in is spilling,” Jim Broderick, executive director, told the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District last month. “The way we’re managing reservoirs has shifted. In my opinion, we’ve been fortunate to get the two waivers.”

After dealing with the question of scarcity for years, the Southeastern district is bumping up against the limits of storage contemplated in its 1990s studies that led to the controversial Preferred Storage Options Plan.

“The 2002 drought provided a wake-up call for all of us in the valley, and in particular the Pueblo Board of Water Works,” said Alan Hamel, executive director of the board. “It pointed out that relying on historical records was not sufficient, and we had to triple the amount of water we had in storage to work between the wet and the dry years.”

More Fryingpan-Arkansas Project coverage here.

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