Drought news: Current inflow to Dillon Reservoir is at 90% of average #CODrought


From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

Currently, [Dillon Reservoir] is about 74 percent full, holding about 190,000 acre feet of water. Historically, it’s about 94 percent of capacity this time of year, according to Denver Water’s Bob Peters. In May 2011, the reservoir dropped to 72 percent of capacity just ahead that year’s runoff season. Before that, the last time it dropped to anywhere around this level for any sustained period of time was between May 2002 to April 2003, when it bottomed out at 48 percent, Peters said. Denver Water will continue to draw water throughout the winter, so the reservoir is likely to drop at least another 10 to 12 feet during the next few months.

Here’s and excerpt from the drought discussion provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor:

The West: A slow-moving Pacific storm system brought precipitation to most of the region, but the greatest weekly totals were found in the mountains. 1 to 3 inches of precipitation fell on the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, northern and central Rockies, Utah’s Wasatch and Uinta Ranges, and across east-central Arizona. With a generally stormy weather pattern affecting the Northwest since mid-October and the 2012-13 Water Year off to a good start (basin average precipitation between 100 and 150 percent of normal), some additional improvements were made along the D0 to D3 western and northern edges in Idaho and Montana. The most noticeable modifications were made across western and northern Montana as persistent precipitation the past 4 weeks has eliminated short- to medium-term deficiencies, and has instead produced surpluses at 30-, 60-, and 90-days. The central Sierra Nevada was also upgraded from D1 to D0 as 1 to 1.5 inches of precipitation bumped its basin average precipitation up to 82 percent of normal from 77 percent a week ago. In northern Utah, 2 to 3 inches of precipitation in the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains improved drought by 1-category as basin average precipitation increased 10 to 20 percentages from a week ago to above normal (101 to 112 percent), and snow water content jumped to 150 percent of normal. In the Southwest, 1.5 to 2.5 inches of precipitation in east-central Arizona and west-central New Mexico slightly eased back D2 in those areas. Some slight adjustments were made in central Colorado: D2 was expanded into eastern Eagle and Summit counties which has seen a poor start to the Water Year and missed out on the most recent storm; some improvement was made in northeastern Colorado as normal October precipitation has kept winter wheat conditions fair; and D2 was trimmed in Douglas and Elbert counties to better match conditions.

More Blue River Watershed coverage here and here.

Leave a Reply