Bureau of Reclamation Banner, Upper Colorado Region
Crystal Spill

Aspinall Unit Reservoirs – March unregulated inflow into Blue Mesa Reservoir was 32,000 acre-feet or 89 percent of average.  On April 8, 2014 the basin snowpack was 108 percent of average; which is a decrease of about 6 percent from last month.  Precipitation during March was 80 percent of average.  The current inflow rate into Blue Mesa Reservoir is about 900 cfs while reservoir releases are averaging about 700 cfs.  The reservoir elevation is currently at 7466.41 feet, which corresponds to a storage content of about 412,000 acre-feet.

The latest Water Supply Forecast for Water Year 2014 has been issued and the April through July unregulated inflow is forecasted to be at 850,000 acre-feet (126% of average), this is the same as last month’s forecast.  If this forecast holds through May 1st, the Black Canyon Water Right would call for a one day peak flow of 6,400 cfs, and the Aspinall ROD would call for a 10 day peak flow of 14,350 cfs.  At this time Reclamation plans to continue to operate the Aspinall Unit to meet both the water right and ROD recommendations. Based on this forecast and the combination of meeting water right and ROD this coming spring, Blue Mesa Reservoir is projected fill this runoff season.  The projected fill is calculated to be between 7516.4 feet and 7519.4 feet.  Any elevation above 7516.00 is considered a fill for the season.

Releases from Crystal are currently set at 850 cfs.  The Gunnison Diversion Tunnel started taking water for the new season on March 27, 2014.  The current diversion rate in the tunnel is 400 cfs, which results in a river flow below the diversion tunnel of approximately 450 cfs.  These rates will most likely change as conditions warrant, primarily as we respond to changes in the forecasted spring inflows.

To view the most current reservoir elevation, content, inflow and release, click on: Blue Mesa Reservoir Data or Crystal Reservoir Data.

The next meeting of the "Aspinall Unit Working Group" will be held on Thursday, April 24, 2014 starting at 1:00 PM in Reclamation’s Grand Junction Office.  At this meeting, review of this winter’s reservoir operations, and plans for this spring and summer operations will be discussed.  These meetings are open forum discussions on the Aspinall Unit reservoir operations with many interested groups participating. Anyone needing further information about these meetings should contact Erik Knight in the Grand Junction Area Office at (970) 248-0629.

To view minutes from the last Aspinall meeting, click on: Meeting Notes.

Paul Davidson
Updated April 14, 2014

Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@usbr.gov