#Runoff news

West Drought Monitor May 15, 2018.

From WesternSlopeNow.com (Marcus Beasley):

The snowpack up in the mountains, which was below average for most places this year, is melting quickly…

A drought isn’t just affected by the lack of precipitation, being abnormally warm can have an effect on the drought as well. The drought and low snowpack will have an affect our summer water supply…

“Being in a drought now and having less snowpack now means that there will be less water for us as we go into the summer.”

The drought we’re currently in could also have long term effects if we’re dry again next year.

“If we start to continue to be dry and move into a year and a half to two years. that’s where it can really impact us, so it’s good to start conserving water now and to be thinking about that, conserve the water that we have so we can think about the future in case we don’t get those real good rains this summer that help us out or if the snowpack is low enoughnext year it could make it worse for the next year.”

Hopefully this summer brings us some much needed rain.

From The Vail Daily (Scott Miller):

Local rivers seem to have hit peak flows. That isn’t good.

The Colorado River at Dotsero hit its peak seasonal flow Tuesday, May 15. That peak was just more than 3,000 cubic feet per second. The median figure for that date — based on 77 years of data — is about 5,000 cubic feet per second.

This year’s May streamflows aren’t the lowest ever recorded, but the news isn’t good. Still, local water supplies and recreation will survive for the season.

At Minturn Anglers, guide Alex Garnier said fishing on the Eagle River has been good so far this season. The water is clearer than usual, and the flows are low enough to fish in a number of spots…

While the Colorado River has probably hit its seasonal peak, there could be some spikes to come on Gore Creek and the Eagle River.

In an email, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District Communications and Public Affairs Manager Diane Johnson wrote that a string of warm days could accelerate snowmelt in the upper reaches of Gore Creek and the Eagle River. That more-rapid snowmelt could spike flows above current peaks. Those peaks are now running ahead of seasonal medians.

No one wants the snow to come off any faster, though, since snowpack makes up a major portion of the district’s water storage.

“If it stays a little cooler we get to keep (runoff) flowing a little longer,” Johnson wrote.

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