Aspinall Unit Reservoirs

Blue Mesa Reservoir

Current Status

Last Updated: Febrary 9, 2024

Aspinall Unit Reservoirs – As of February 8, 2024, releases from Crystal Dam are approximately 650 cfs. Flows of the Gunnison River in the Black Canyon are being maintained at about 570 cfs while the Gunnison Tunnel is intermittently diverting to fill Fairview Reservoir about 1 day every 2 weeks. Flows in the Whitewater Reach of the Gunnison River are about 1,060 cfs.

The unregulated inflow volume in January to Blue Mesa was 23,000 af (97 percent of average). Unregulated Inflow volumes forecasted for Blue Mesa for the next three months (February, March and April) are projected to be: 22,000 af (100 percent of average), 34,000 af (94 percent of average) and 65,000 af (83 percent of average), respectively. The February 24-Month Study will be reflective of these new forecasted inflows.

The forecasted 2024 water year unregulated inflow volume to Blue Mesa is projected to be 799,000 af (88 percent of average). The water supply period (April-July) for 2024 is forecasted currently for an unregulated inflow volume of to be 560,000 af of unregulated inflow (88 percent of average).

 Under this forecast, operation of Aspinall under the Aspinall Record of Decision (2012) would require a spring peak release to provide 10 days of sustained flows in the Gunnison River in the Whitewater reach at or above 8,070 cfs. This forecast would also require Aspinall releases to provide a single day peak flow in the Black Canyon of 3,885 cfs per the Black Canyon Reserved Water Right Decree. Given this current projection of the most probable operating scenario, Blue Mesa is projected to fill to approximately 7,506 feet by late June with approximately 710,000 acre-feet of storage. This is approximately 13 feet from full pool elevation (7519.4 feet) with approximately 118,000 acre-feet of unfilled storage space in Blue Mesa Reservoir.

The Aspinall Unit Operations 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 Operations 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 Operations Group meeting will be held on April 18, 2024 at 1:00 p.m., in Grand Junction, Colorado. This will be an in-person meeting with an option for remote participation. Contact Erik Knight in the Grand Junction Area Office at (970) 248-0629 to get more information regarding this Operation Group meeting.

 Update 2/9/2024 - Rick Clayton

To view the most current reservoir elevation, content, inflow and release, click on: Blue Mesa Reservoir Data or Crystal Reservoir Data.


Contact

Please contact the Operations Group via e-mail at ResourceMgr@usbr.gov for additional information.

Back to Top

As of June 11, 2023, releases from Crystal Dam are approximately 2,000 cfs.  Flows of the Gunnison River in the Black Canyon are being maintained at about 1,040 cfs while the Gunnison Tunnel is diverting 1,050 cfs.  Flows in the Whitewater Reach of the Gunnison River are about 6,400 cfs.
The unregulated inflow volume in May to Blue Mesa was 327,400 af (163 percent of average). Unregulated Inflow volumes forecasted for Blue Mesa for the next three months (June, July and August) are projected to be: 326,000 af (130 percent of average), 115,000 af (106 percent of average) and 60,000 af (105 percent of average), respectively. The June 24-Month Study will be reflective of these new forecasted inflows.
The forecasted 2023 water year unregulated inflow volume to Blue Mesa is projected to be 1,095,000 af (121 percent of average).  The water supply period (April-July) for 2023 is forecasted to be 845,000 af of unregulated inflow (133 percent of average).
Blue Mesa elevation has increased dramatically over the past month and as of June 11, 2023, was 7,503.21 feet above sea level corresponding to a live storage of 685,050 acre-feet which is 83 percent of capacity.  By the end of water year 2023 (September 30, 2023) Blue Mesa elevation is projected to be approximately 7,502 feet with about 675,000 acre-feet of storage which will be 82 percent of capacity.
The Aspinall Unit Operations 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 Operations 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 Operations Group meeting will be held August 24, 2023 at 1:00 p.m., in person at the Elk Creek Visitor Center at Blue Mesa Reservoir.  This will be an in-person meeting with an option for remote participation.  Contact Erik Knight in the Grand Junction Area Office at (970) 248-0629 to get more information regarding this Operation Group meeting.

Last Updated: 2/9/24