Runoff/snowpack news: Colorado has pretty much melted out

Click on a thumbnail graphic to view a gallery of snowpack data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. There was a little snowpack showing in the northern basins yesterday, otherwise Colorado is pretty much melted out for the water year. Bring on the North American Monsoon.

From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

We are getting close to full at Ruedi Reservoir. As a result, we will be bumping up the release from the dam to the Fryingpan River by 50 cfs tomorrow evening before the weekend. That will put the flow past the Ruedi Dam gage at about 232 cfs. This includes the contributions of the Rocky Fork. The reason for the change is we are slowing the rate of rise in the reservoir as we continue to balance inflows and outflows.

From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

Last weekend, releases from Green Mountain Dam dropped to 700 cfs due to some work at the power plant. That work has completed and this week we have seen releases from the dam to the Lower Blue River start to go back up. Changes [June 27] will bump releases up some more. The first change will be at 8:00 a.m. upping releases from 850 cfs to 925 cfs. The second change will be at 10:00 a.m. upping releases from 925 to 1000 cfs. As always, please let me know if you have any related questions.

From email from Reclamation (Kara Lamb):

Just a quick update before the morning [June 26]: due to the recent rain, we’ve seen rain inflows to the Big Thompson River come up slightly. As a result, the outflow through Olympus Dam to the canyon has also come up a bit.

That means flows through the dam to the canyon will go up about 45 cfs, bringing total outflows to just 170 cfs by midnight tonight. The 170 cfs will likely stay in place through tomorrow, maybe a little longer.

We have also seen a shift in water demands off of the Charles Hansen Feeder Canal, which flows from Flatiron to Horsetooth Reservoir, serving water users along the way. This means a little more water will be returned to the Big Thompson River, after generating power on the Colorado-Big Thompson Project’s southern power arm. As a result, the water down the concrete chute will bump up from around 100 cfs to about 160 cfs.

We are making these changes late tonight so they will be noticeable to those watching the river closely by morning [June 26].

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