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Western Colorado Area Office

Project Notices

Aspinall Unit
Crystal Reservoir Releases - Revised
July 10, 2015

Releases from Crystal Dam will be increased from 2500 cfs to 3000 cfs, this evening, July 10th. This increase is in response to the recent rain events that have kept the runoff from tapering off as previously forecast. Inflows to Blue Mesa Resevoir have remained around 3000 cfs for the past week. The elevation at Blue Mesa Reservoir has increased by almost a foot during this time, leaving less than 0.5 feet of available space.  The current forecast for April-July unregulated inflow to Blue Mesa Reservoir is 700,000 acre-feet which is 104% of average.

Flows in the lower Gunnison River are currently above the baseflow target of 1500 cfs. River flows are expected to stay above the baseflow target for the foreseeable future. 

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 1500 cfs for July.

Currently, diversions into the Gunnison Tunnel are around 1000 cfs and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon are 1500 cfs. After this release change Gunnison Tunnel diversions will be around 1000 cfs and flows in the Gunnison River through the Black Canyon should be around 2000 cfs. Current flow information is obtained from provisional data that may undergo revision subsequent to review.

This scheduled release change is subject to changes in river flows and weather conditions.

For questions or concerns regarding these operations contact:

Erik Knight at (970) 248-0629 or e-mail at eknight@usbr.gov
Ryan Christianson at (970) 248-0652 or e-mail at rchristianson@usbr.gov