Runoff news: Dillon Reservoir is inching up

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Click on the thumbnail graphics for the current statewide snowpack map from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the precipitation summary from this week’s Colorado Drought Status Briefing from the Colorado Climate Center and the hydrograph for Clear Creek this spring from the USGS. Clear Creek has been running above average a lot of the time since March reflecting the early melt out this water year. It’s way below average since Thursday.

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

Since hitting a low on May 5, the elevation of the reservoir climbed by almost six inches, to 9,012.67 feet on May 15. After a small drop, it’s been holding steady since then…

Currently, Denver is diverting about 250 cubic feet per second through the Roberts Tunnel under the Continental Divide to the South Platte drainage. Another 53 cfs is flowing out of the reservoir into the Lower Blue — just above a 50 cfs minimum stream flow set to protect aquatic life, for a total of about 300 cfs coming out of the reservoir daily.

The total combined inflow from the Snake and Blue rivers, as well as Tenmile Creek, has varied between 301 cfs on May 13 to as high as 394 cfs on May 11, [Denver Water’s Bob Steger] said, adding that, since overnight lows in the high country are still dropping below freezing, the runoff hasn’t quite peaked yet.

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