Aspinall Unit Reservoirs – March unregulated inflow into Blue Mesa Reservoir was 23,000 acre-feet or 64 percent of average. On April 15, 2013 the basin snowpack was 78 percent of average; which is an increase of about 10 percent from just a week ago. Precipitation during March was 75 percent of average. The current inflow rate into Blue Mesa Reservoir is about 650 cfs while reservoir releases are averaging about the same at 650 cfs. The reservoir elevation is currently at 7454.64 feet, which corresponds to a storage content of about 339,000 acre-feet.
The latest Water Supply Forecast for Water Year 2013 has been issued and the April through July unregulated inflow is forecasted to be at 315,000 acre-feet (47% of average), this is 45,000 acre-feet lower than last month’s forecast. If this forecast holds through May 1st, the Black Canyon Water Right and Aspinall ROD would call for a one day peak flow of 640 cfs, and 900 cfs respectively. 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 to not fill this runoff season. The projected fill is calculated to be about 7466.4 feet, or about 53 feet and 418,000 acre-feet short of top of active conservation pool.
Releases from Crystal are currently set at 750 cfs. The Gunnison Diversion Tunnel is currently diverting about 450 cfs, which results in a river flow below the diversion tunnel of approximately 300 cfs. This lower flow is a result of Reclamation trying to conserve reservoir storage for what is forecasted to be a very dry year.
Reservoir releases are likely to change during the spring and early summer months as we respond to changing forecasts and runoff conditions.The next meeting of the "Aspinall Unit Working Group" will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2013 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 Dan Crabtree in the Grand Junction Area Office at (970) 248-0652.
To view minutes from the last Aspinall meeting, click on: Meeting Notes.
Updated April 16, 2013
Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@usbr.gov