Spring Releases for Endangered Fish a ‘No Go’ This Year


Here’s the release from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

A voluntary river flow program to provide enhanced spring peak flows for endangered fish will not take effect this year. Operators of Dillon, Green Mountain, Williams Fork, Wolford and Ruedi reservoirs cannot implement the Coordinated Reservoirs Operations program this spring because river flows in western Colorado will not approach levels where increased flows would benefit the endangered fishes. This year is very dry, similar to 2002. The current forecast for the water supply for the Colorado River at Cameo near Grand Junction, Colo., is 44 percent of average.

The Coordinated Reservoir Operations Program was established in 1995 as part of the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program. Its purpose is to enhance spring peak flows to a section of the Colorado River upstream of Grand Junction without causing flooding. In years when snowpack is above average, surplus inflows to the five reservoirs can be passed on downstream to benefit two species of endangered fish in the Colorado River: the Colorado pikeminnow and the razorback sucker.

This spring, most of the basin reservoirs are not expected to fill. Streamflows are predicted to remain well below the Coordinated Reservoir Operations target threshold of 12,900 cubic-feet-per-second in the Colorado River near Grand Junction.

More Colorado River Basin coverage here.

Colorado Water 2012: ‘The SWSI process implemented a collaborative approach to water supply planning’ — Eric Hecox


Here’s the latest installment in the Valley Courier’s Colorado Water 2012 series. Eric Hecox explains the Statewide Water Supply Initiative and basin roundtable process. Here’s an excerpt:

With the 2010 SWSI update, CWCB has updated its analysis of the state’s water supply needs. CWCB, the IBCC, and Basin Roundtables are now in an implementation phase to determine and pursue projects and methods to help meet the state’s consumptive and nonconsumptive water supply needs. This will be accomplished through the implementation of the SWSI recommendations by the CWCB.

More information is available at http://cwcb.state.co.us/water-management/water-supply-planning/Pages/SWSI2010.aspx.

More Colorado Water 2012 coverage here.