Colorado-Big Thompson Project update: Carter Lake and Horsetooth Reservoir are on the rise

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From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

We’re seeing water levels at Horsetooth and Carter reservoirs continue to rise.

Currently, Carter Lake is at an elevation of about 5757 which I think qualifies as “pretty darn near full.” It is two vertical feet from capacity and still rising. With this rate of fill, we are planning on running the pump to Carter through the weekend, but it will likely go off sometime next week. Once the pump to Carter goes off, more water will flow into Horsetooth. Right now, Horsetooth is at an elevation of 5410–that’s 20 feet from full, but only 4 feet from its average start of season water elevation of 5414. As the reservoir is still rising, it will likely pass the 5414 marker. We will see what the weather brings![…]

For more information, there is a Carter and Horsetooth webpage with a general update on both reservoirs. I also have a general webpage for the Eastern Colorado Area Office where I’m tracking run-off on both our water diversion and delivery projects.

From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

The warm weather seems to be sticking around, but maybe not quite as hot as was predicted. Still, last night [June 2] we saw inflows from run-off pick up into Lake Estes and the water level bumped up accordingly.

It is likely we’ll see higher inflows coming into Lake Estes again late tonight [June 3]. As a result, we are planning to bump up releases from Olympus Dam on Lake Estes to the Lower Big Thompson River by about 200 cfs. So, some time after midnight, there should be about 650 cfs in the river through the canyon.

For those who live below the confluence of the North Fork with the Big T at Drake, flows over night could bump up higher than the 650 we are putting into the river. I do not know what the North Fork might contribute, but if you are watching the river by your property and you live downstream of Drake, please remember to include the North Fork’s contributions into your calculations.

More Colorado-Big Thompson coverage here.

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