Aspinall Unit Reservoirs – January unregulated inflow into Blue Mesa Reservoir was 22,000 acre-feet or 92 percent of average. On February 11th the basin snowpack was averaging 118 percent, which has increased about 14 percent from a month ago. Precipitation during January was about 110 percent of average, while December’s precipitation was recorded at 90 percent of average. The current inflow rate into Blue Mesa Reservoir is about 450 cfs while reservoir releases are averaging about 150 cfs. This past fall and early winter months has seen about average reservoir inflows. Blue Mesa Reservoir current elevation is 7463.94 feet, which corresponds to a storage content of about 396,000 acre-feet. This elevation is about 10.0 feet higher than the elevation was from a year ago.
The Colorado Basin River Forecast Center‘s February mid-month water supply forecast for Blue Mesa for the April to July runoff season has increased to 815,000 acre-feet (121% of average) which is 60,000 acre-feet higher from the first of the month’s forecast. Based on this forecast, Blue Mesa Reservoir is projected to fill this runoff season.
Releases from Crystal Dam have been kept at just about minimum flow of 320 cfs since the end of irrigation season because of drought conditions. However, due to the more favorable forecast, reservoir releases have been increased by 100 cfs from Crystal Dam on February 19th.
The last meeting of the "Aspinall Unit Working Group" was held on Thursday January 23rd in the Montrose, Colorado, starting at 1:00 PM. At this meeting, review of last summer and fall reservoir operations, and plans for this winter and next spring 2014 operations were 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.
Updated February 20, 2014
Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@usbr.gov