Aspinall Unit operation update: Blue Mesa is being drawn down for winter icing target

Blue Mesa Reservoir
Blue Mesa Reservoir

From email from Reclamation (Erik Knight):

Releases from Crystal Dam will be increased from 650 cfs to 800 cfs on Monday, December 1st at 4:00 PM. This release increase is intended to lower the elevation in Blue Mesa Reservoir to the winter target of 7490 feet by December 31st. Flows in the lower Gunnison River are currently above the baseflow target of 1050 cfs. River flows are expected to stay above the baseflow target for the foreseeable future.

Pursuant to the Aspinall Unit Operations Record of Decision (ROD), the baseflow target in the lower Gunnison River, as measured at the Whitewater gage, is 1050 cfs for September through December.

Currently, diversions into the Gunnison Tunnel are zero and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon are around 700 cfs. After this release change Gunnison Tunnel diversions will still be zero and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon will be around 850 cfs. Current flow information is obtained from provisional data that may undergo revision subsequent to review.

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