Runoff/precipitation news: The Twin Lakes and Boustead tunnels are still running nearly at capacity

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Reclamation operates the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, which so far has brought over 78,300 acre-feet, about 150 percent of average. May 1 projections were that 94,200 acre-feet will be brought over, and that is still on course because the Boustead Tunnel continues to run near full capacity. The Twin Lakes tunnel, the Arkansas Valley’s other major transmountain diversion, also is running nearly full, which is unusual for mid-July…

In fact, Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Aurora’s accounts in Twin Lakes are full, so they are running water to Lake Pueblo, where they have excess-capacity accounts. Aurora also is storing water in Holbrook Lake under a contract with the Holbrook Canal.

Despite heavy demand for agricultural water this spring, Lake Pueblo water levels began increasing slightly this week. “We have plenty of space in Pueblo Reservoir,” said Alan Ward, water resources administrator for the Pueblo Board of Water Works.

The Pueblo water board has about 47,000 acre-feet of water in storage at four reservoirs, and its water rights still are producing more. That’s not a record, but is getting close to the 52,000 acre-feet in storage in June 2010…

Arkansas River flows at Parkdale, west of the Royal Gorge, began increasing Friday and stayed around 4,000 cubic feet per second until Wednesday, when they dropped slightly. About 550 cfs is attributable to the municipal transfers from Twin Lakes to Lake Pueblo, with the rest of the high levels caused by steady afternoon rains in the mountains and continued snowmelt.

From The Denver Post (Joey Bunch):

Sirens blared and Boulder residents were ordered away from [Boulder] creek as a 4-foot surge of water rolled into town Wednesday night, part of another wild weather night in Colorado. The Front Range, from Pueblo to Wyoming, roiled amid thunderstorms, lightning, hail and flooding for the second night in a row — and the eighth straight day of heavy rain. Most parts of the metro region have recorded at least three times their normal rainfall for this point in July…

Storms produced another 2 inches of rain in parts of Elbert County late Wednesday afternoon, not far from where nearly 5 inches caused “the worst flooding in a decade” Tuesday night…

The city’s official weather monitor at Denver International Airport has recorded 2.12 inches of July rain through Tuesday. The average at this point in the month is 0.80 inches, according to weather records. Some parts of the city have seen more than 5 inches, according to individual rain gauges. Denver has received 11.83 inches so far this year. The normal amount for this point is 8.89 inches.

If you live in the Metro Denver area and you think it’s been wet click here for a screenshot of the 21-Day rainfall map from the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District. The closest station to Gulch Manor reads 4.57 inches in the last 21 days.

From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Pamela Dickman):

The Bureau of Reclamation reservoir [Carter Lake] west of Berthoud is completely full, and officials expect Horsetooth Reservoir west of Fort Collins to be full within 10 days — conditions not seen for at least seven years. “There’s a whole generation of boaters that haven’t seen Carter Lake this full and definitely not this full this long,” said Dan Rieves, visitor services manager for the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources…

Most of the water is from the Western Slope and carried to Larimer County through a system of pipes, tunnels and the Big Thompson River. This year, though, heavy snowpack and rain have lessened the amount of water pulled from the Western Slope because more runoff is available, said Dana Strongin, spokeswoman for Northern Water, the water conservancy district based in Berthoud…

Horsetooth is not as full as Carter, but it was reported at 93 percent full Wednesday. The reservoir rose 10 feet in 30 days and should be full within another 10, officials said.

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