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Crystal Spill

Aspinall Unit Reservoirs –December unregulated inflow into Blue Mesa Reservoir was 34,000 acre-feet or 133 percent of average.  Precipitation during December was observed to be about 130 percent of average.  The Gunnison River basin snowpack as of January 13th was averaging about 92 percent.  The current inflow rate into Blue Mesa Reservoir is about 500 cfs while reservoir releases are averaging about 900 cfs.  The present reservoir elevation is 7487.76 feet, which corresponds to a storage content of about 564,000 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. 

The first Water Supply Forecast for Water Year 2015 has been issued and the April through July unregulated inflow is forecasted to be at 690,000 acre-feet (102% of average).  Based on this forecast, Blue Mesa Reservoir is projected to fill by the end of this 2015 runoff season.

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 January 22rd 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 2015 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 January 15, 2015

Email comments/inquires to: ResourceMgr@usbr.gov