Aspinall Unit Reservoirs

Blue Mesa

Current Status

(Last Updated: January 25, 2016)

December unregulated inflow into Blue Mesa Reservoir was 27,000 acre-feet or 105 percent of average.  Precipitation during December was observed to be about 140 percent of average.  The Gunnison River basin snowpack as of January 13th was averaging about 108 percent.  The current inflow rate into Blue Mesa Reservoir is about 400 cfs while reservoir releases are averaging about 1,000 cfs.  The present reservoir elevation is 7493.65 feet, which corresponds to a storage content of about 610,000 acre-feet.

Releases from Crystal Dam have been kept at just about the same release rate since early December, with a set release rate of 1,100 cfs.   Reservoir releases will most likely change as the current hydrologic conditions change through the snow accumulation season.  River flows below the tunnel are essentially the same as releases from the Dam, with the exception of when the tunnel is taking water to refill Fairfield Reservoir for Montrose municipal water needs.

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

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 1,050 cfs. Flows in the lower Gunnison River are currently above the baseflow target of 1,050 cfs.

The first Water Supply Forecast for Water Year 2016 has been issued and the April through July unregulated inflow is forecasted to be at 610,000 acre-feet (90% of average).  Based on this forecast, Blue Mesa Reservoir is projected to fill by the end of this 2016 runoff season.

Working Group Meetings

The last meeting of the "Aspinall Unit Working Group" was held on Thursday January 21rd in the Montrose, Colorado.  At this meeting, review of last summer and fall reservoir operations, and plans for this winter and next spring 2016 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.

Additional Information