Aspinall Unit update: Still waiting for runoff to start, maybe over the next two weeks

A picture named gunnisonatgunnison.jpg

Click on the thumbnail graphic to the right for a look at the gage at Gunnison on the Gunnison River from last evening. Flows are 500 cfs below the median value so the runoff really hasn’t started in earnest yet. Below is an update from email from Reclamation (Dan Crabtree):

It appears the runoff in west-central Colorado may finally begin in earnest during the next couple of weeks. In order to share Reclamation’s tentative plans, we offer the following based on the current hydrology and forecasts. Current tentative plans are for releases from Crystal Reservoir to begin increasing from the present release of 3,500 cfs on Friday June 3rd, continuing to increase until reaching a total release of 7,800 cfs on Wednesday June 8th. This should result in a flow of around 6,800 cfs in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge. Releases would then begin to ramp down on Thursday June 9th with flows eventually stabilizing around 3,000 cfs in the Black Canyon and Gunnison Gorge. This flowrate (3,000 cfs) is likely to continue through July and possibly into August.

Keep in mind these flowrates are targets. Side inflows and other climatic conditions will cause flows to vary beyond those which can be controlled by release changes at the dams. In other words, as Crystal spills, fluctuations in the Black Canyon will occur. In addition, with this tentative peak flow operation, there is a 50% probability of flows exceeding 11,520 cfs at the USGS gage at Delta, Colorado.

More Aspinall Unit coverage here.

Leave a Reply