CWCB: San Miguel River gets an instream flow right

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Here’s a report from The Telluride Daily Planet (Katie Klingsporn). Click through and read the whole article — Ms. Klingsporn chronicles the history of the flow right. Here’s an excerpt:

Even during spring runoff, the river normally stays below 1,500 cfs, and in winter months, it drops to less than 100 cfs…

The Colorado Water Conservation Board voted 8 to 1 last week to appropriate an instream flow for the lower San Miguel River. Instream flows require that rivers stay at certain minimum levels year round. The recommended minimum flows for the San Miguel range a low of 80 cfs (from Sept. 1-Feb. 29) to a high of 325 cfs (from April 15-June 14). The decision affects the 17 miles of the river from Calamity Draw to the confluence with the Dolores River…

[April Montgomery, the Dolores/San Juan/San Miguel Basin representative on the CWCB] said she feels that there was ample time for the public to study and understand the process and give input, and she felt the BLM and CDOW recommendations were solid. “The importance of this and I guess the reason that I believe that it will hopefully benefit the San Miguel watershed in the long-run, is it will hopefully postpone delay indefinitely of an endangered species issue on the San Miguel,” she said. She added that she believes it’s a long-term benefit to the local boating and river recreation economy.

More San Miguel River watershed coverage here and here.

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