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Crystal Spill

Aspinall Unit Reservoirs – June unregulated inflow into Blue Mesa Reservoir was 361,000 acre-feet or 138 percent of average.  Hydrologic conditions in the basin have drier during June.  Precipitation during June was only 20 percent of average.   The basin snowpack has for the most part has been totally depleted.  The current inflow rate into Blue Mesa Reservoir is about 1,900 cfs while reservoir releases are averaging about 1,600 cfs.  Blue Mesa’s present elevation is 7501.16 feet, which corresponds to a storage content of about 671,000 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 848,000 acre-feet (125% of average).  This is a 6,000 acre-feet decrease from last month’s forecast.  Based on this runoff forecast and the current elevation of Blue Mesa Reservoir, the reservoir is not expected to fill this year.  This year’s peak elevation was recorded on June 6th when the reservoir reached elevation 7505.06 feet and a content of 704,000 acre-feet.

Releases from Crystal are currently set at 1,900 cfs.  The Gunnison Diversion Tunnel is diverting about 1,000 cfs, which results in a river flow below the diversion tunnel of approximately 900 cfs.  These rates will most likely change as conditions warrant, primarily as we respond to changes at the Whitewater gage as flows prescribed in the Aspinall Unit Operations Record of Decision (ROD).  The ROD calls for keeping summer base flows at the Whitewater gage at or above 1,500 cfs.

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, September 4, 2014 starting at 1:00 PM at the Elk Creek Visitor Center at Blue Mesa Reservoir.  At this meeting, review of this spring’s reservoir operations, and plans for this fall and winter 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 July 17, 2014

Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@usbr.gov