Aspinall Unit operations update: March 1, 2020 runoff forecast for Blue Mesa Reservoir predicts 78% of average

Blue Mesa Reservoir, Curecanti National Recreation Area. Photo credit: Victoria Stauffenberg via Wikimedian Commons

From email from Reclamation (Erik Knight):

Releases from the Aspinall Unit will be increased to 700 cfs on Thursday, March 19th. Releases are being adjusted to accommodate the start of diversions to the Gunnison Tunnel and to lower river flows given the below average runoff forecast. Snowpack in the Upper Gunnison Basin is currently at 103% of normal. The March 1st runoff forecast for Blue Mesa Reservoir predicts 78% of average for April-July inflows. 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 January through March.

Currently, there are no diversions into the Gunnison Tunnel and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon are around 600 cfs. After this release change Gunnison Tunnel diversions will be at 300 cfs and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon will be around 400 cfs. Current flow information is obtained from provisional data that may undergo revision subsequent to review.

Water Tables 2020 postponed #COVID–19

Men viewing vortex tube sand trap in Jackson Ditch at Bellvue Hydraulic Laboratory, 1948. Photograph from Irrigation Research Papers, Water Resources Archive.

From email from the CSU Water Resources Archive (Patty Rettig):

Apologies for the mass email, but I wanted to let everyone know that Water Tables has been postponed due to the coronavirus situation. Hopefully this will all pass quickly and we can get the event rescheduled for later this year. I will keep you updated!

In the meantime, thank you for helping us get the word out originally. It’s not necessary to send further updates to your constituencies, as we have this posted on the Water Tables website.


Patricia J. Rettig
Head Archivist
Water Resources Archive
Colorado State University
Morgan Library
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1019