Snowpack news: The hot and dry start to March is taking a toll on snowpack statewide


From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

With average spring precipitation, the [Dillon Reservoir] should fill in June, but it’s unlikely there will be enough water to sustain a lengthy rafting season in the Lower Blue, according to Denver Water, which late last week released a detailed outlook for Dillon Reservoir operations…

Under a dry scenario, Denver Water expects the reservoir to reach a maximum elevation of about 9,015 feet in June, then drop rather quickly, by about six feet in July and another seven feet by the end of September.

Even under the dry scenario, water levels would remain high enough for reservoir operations through most of the summer.

With above-normal precipitation through May, the reservoir is projected to fill in June and stay close to maximum capacity through the summer. The provisional outlook is subject to change, depending on developing conditions. For example, a hot and dry summer on the Front Range could result in a quicker draw-down, while a wet monsoon season could reduce the demand for water.

In a message on its website, Denver Water indicated that reservoir storage is above normal for this time of year. But storage is only one indicator of drought and “reservoir levels can drop quickly when we don’t get much snow and rain,” the water provider wrote.

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