Horsetooth Reservoir’s water level dropping rapidly but boating will continue — The Fort Collins Coloradoan

Horsetooth Reservoir looking west from Soldier Dam. Photo credit: Norther Water.

From The Fort Collins Coloradoan (Miles Blumhardt):

Horsetooth Reservoir’s water level dropping around 4 feet per week in July and August certainly hasn’t go unnoticed by concerned boaters.

The water level of the popular reservoir dropped from 97% full at the beginning of the season to around 60% last week. Despite the drop, all boat ramps will be usable through Labor Day weekend, but not so much come mid-September.

Jeff Stahla, Northern Water spokesman, said an unusually dry and hot summer created an increase water demand by agriculture and municipalities, resulting in the sharp drop in water level. He said the rate of that drop is expected to lessen the rest of summer and early fall as water demand lessens…

Mark Caughlan, Horsetooth Reservoir district manager, said he expects the South Bay boat ramp to remain usable throughout the fall but that by mid-September the Satanka and Inlet Bay ramps will be closed due to the low water level.

Stahla said by late this week the reservoir’s water level will be at the lowest level since 2012, which was a historically dry year.

He said lowering the water level will also help divers to safely replace a valve at Soldier Canyon Dam, which he said is routine maintenance and does not involve major construction. He said other work to the reservoir will be done at the same time by other entities…

Stahla said Horsetooth Reservoir, which is the largest reservoir in the Colorado-Big Thompson Project East Slope distribution system, is expected to fill back up next year. He said CBT’s water storage in mountain reservoirs above Horsetooth Reservoir is in good shape with storage at more than 90% in some reservoirs.

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