Aspinall Unit Reservoirs

Blue Mesa

Current Status

(Last Updated: June 23, 2016)

Crystal Dam is currently releasing 1700 cfs with 850 cfs being diverted through the Gunnison Tunnel and approximately 930 cfs flowing through the Black Canyon.  There is currently about an 70 cfs gain occurring between Crystal Dam and the Gunnison River Gage located below the Gunnison Tunnel.  The June forecast for the April-July period for Blue Mesa increased from May, which was 525 kaf (78% of average) to 580 kaf (86 % of average).

Under the Aspinall Record of Decision (ROD) the operational targets for the spring peak were in the average dry hydrologic classification which called for a 10 day duration peak of 8,070 cfs in the Whitewater reach of the Gunnison River.  In terms of the Black Canyon water right, the peak flow target in the Black Canyon, based on the May forecast, will be 3,349 cfs.  During May, from May 16th through May 25th, flows in the Whitewater reach of the Gunnison River averaged 9,175 cfs with all 10 of these days having an average daily flow greater than the peak target flow. During this spring peak operational period, the elevation of Blue Mesa decreased by approximately 2 feet as a result of high releases being made from the Aspinall Unit to meet the ROD operational target.

Inflows to Blue Mesa for the next three months are projected to be below average: with May, June and July forecasted inflow volumes of 155,000 af (74 percent of average), 210,000 af (80 percent of average) and 155,000 af (132 percent of average), respectively.

The Aspinall Unit Working Group is an open public forum for information exchange between Reclamation and the stakeholders of the Aspinall Unit.  The public is encouraged to attend and comments on the operations and plans presented by Reclamation at these meetings.  Meeting notes from past working Group meetings are posted on the Working Group webpage.  For more information on this group and these meetings please contact Erik Knight in the Grand Junction Area Office at (970) 248-0629.

The next meeting of the Aspinall Unit Working Group will be held on Thursday August 18th at 1:00 pm at the Elk Creek Visitor Center at Blue Mesa Reservoir.

To view the most current reservoir elevation, content, inflow and release, click on: Blue Mesa Reservoir Data or Crystal Reservoir Data. To view minutes from the last Aspinall meeting, click on: Meeting Notes.

Additional Information