Aspinall Unit update: 2,600 cfs in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge

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From email from Reclamation (Dan Crabtree):

Cool weather continues to postpone the 2011 runoff making it difficult to plan a peak operation for the Aspinall Unit. The May mid-month forecast calls for an April through July runoff of 945,000 ac-ft. with almost 1/2 (470kaf) of that forecast to occur in June. Because of the cooler weather, releases from Crystal Dam are being held at 3,500 cfs resulting in a flow in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge of about 2,600 cfs. The National Weather Service 6 – 10 day weather forecast calls for equal chances of average temperatures. Consequently at this time, Reclamation is not planning any increases in release through the Memorial Day weekend. We will continue to evaluate the weather and runoff forecasts to determine the most effective timing of a peak operation designed to operate the Aspinall Unit in order to allow the Black Canyon Water Right one day peak target to be met and maximize downstream environmental benefits. This is now likely to occur sometime in early June. Please remember that changes in hydrologic conditions may require modification of these operations. (Which is to say, that as soon as we send out a notice like this, the weather changes and we have to do something different. But we wanted you all to know what we are thinking at this time anyhow).

More Aspinall Unit coverage here.

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