Runoff news: Grand County streams expected to peak (again) this week

A picture named granbyreservoirreleases062011

From the Sky-Hi Daily News (Tonya Bina):

Adding to flows will be increases from Lake Granby, which should top out at 2,400 to 2,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) by Monday to keep pace with runoff. “We’re on our way up to 2,500 cfs,” said Kara Lamb, spokesperson for the Bureau of Reclamation, which owns the Colorado-Big Thompson water delivery system. About 430 cfs will be released through the dam gates, the rest by way of the spillway, she said. As of Thursday, Lake Granby releases were up to 1,400 cfs, a large increase over the day before.

Meanwhile Willow Creek flows, which peaked last week, should see 960 cfs out of Willow Creek Dam. Especially at the confluence of the Colorado River and Willow Creek, flooding is expected for low-lying areas next week. “We’re not willing to say we’re past all ideas of flooding,” said Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District spokesperson Brian Werner, although due to mild June temperatures, 2011 has been an “ideal water runoff year,” he said.

Northern’s forecast was that 400,000 acre feet (an acre foot is enough to cover one acre with one foot of water) would run into Lake Granby this year — considered an all time record. So far, about 150,000 acre feet of that has made it to the lake. And at Lake Irene near the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park, measurements this week showed an equivalent of 21 inches of water in the snowpack, whereas about 5 inches would be considered normal…

On the main stem of the Colorado River, water forecasters are predicting the Kremmling gauge to show a secondary peak of about 9,000 cfs during the June 24-25 weekend…

Meanwhile, Denver Water has decreased its diversions through the Moffat Tunnel, meaning more water is flowing in the Fraser River. “But we’re not planning on turning (Moffat diversions) off,” said Denver Water’s Manager of Raw Water Supply Bob Steger, on Thursday. On Monday, June 13, water being diverted to Gross Reservoir through the tunnel was at a rate of 800 cfs, but by Thursday, that rate had dropped to a goal of about 400 cfs…

According to water forecasters, the Fraser River will remain at about 1,100 cfs, then peak next week at about 1,700 cfs.

Leave a Reply