#Aspen partners with #Colorado Water Trust to boost #RoaringForkRiver flows — Aspen Daily News #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Colorado Water Trust partnered with the city of Aspen on August 10, 2021 to reduce diversions from the Roaring Fork River at the Wheeler Ditch to help boost river flows. The project added up to three cubic feet per second to the river’s flow, which will help maintain sustainable water levels. A view of the Wheeler Ditch headgate, looking upriver on the Roaring Fork River. Photo credit: Brent Gardner-Smith / Aspen Journalism

From The Aspen Daily News (Megan Webber):

A 10-year agreement between the city of Aspen and Colorado Water Trust will help keep the Roaring Fork River flowing at a healthy rate through the remainder of the summer season…

The project is meant to boost river flows and added up to three cubic feet per second of water to the river’s flow, which will help maintain sustainable water levels, according to a press release from Colorado Water Trust…

“The Roaring Fork is bone low,” Aspen’s utility resource manager Steve Hunter said. “I think every little bit helps — every little bit of water that we can leave in the Roaring Fork, anything we can do to help the fish, the wildlife, the recreation, all those things. Three cfs is a very small number, but we’re doing the best we can with what we have.”

The city uses a headgate at the Wheeler Ditch to store water, and on Tuesday, staff members adjusted it to allow one cfs into the ditch so that the rest of the water stays in the river, Hunter said. He added that it’s important for everyone in the Roaring Fork Valley, not only in Aspen, to do their best to conserve water, especially in back-to-back drought years.

“As we adapt to climate change in Colorado, we’re fortunate to have flexible water sharing tools like the one that allows the city to leave a portion of their Wheeler Ditch water right in the Roaring Fork River,” Colorado Water Trust Program Director Mickey O’Hara said in the press release. “These tools allow communities to build flow restoration projects that support the natural environment while boosting flows for the benefit of the local community.”

Map of the Roaring Fork River drainage basin in western Colorado, USA. Made using USGS data. By Shannon1 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69290878

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