Aspinall Unit Reservoirs

Blue Mesa

Current Status

(Last Updated: August 18, 2018)

Aspinall Unit Reservoirs – As of October 11, 2018 releases from Crystal Dam are approximately 1,050 cfs. Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association is diverting approximately 450 cfs through the Gunnison Tunnel and flows through the Black Canyon are approximately 600 cfs. There is roughly about a 50 cfs gain to the Gunnison River between Crystal Dam and the Gunnison Tunnel Diversion.  As of October 11, 2018, Blue Mesa Reservoir elevation is 7440.59 feet which corresponds to storage content of 262,561 af (32 percent of capacity). 

The September unregulated inflow to Blue Mesa Reservoir was 11,577 af (30 percent of average). Unregulated Inflows to Blue Mesa for the next three months (October, November and December) are projected to be: 20,000 af (52 percent of average), 20,000 af (65 percent of average) and 17,000 af (65 percent of average), respectively. For water year 2019, the unregulated inflow volume is forecasted to be 725,000 af (46 percent of average) with 535,000 af (44 percent of average) of unregulated inflow occurring during the April through July period. The October 24-Month Study is reflective of this new forecast. 

Conditions are clearly very dry.  Blue Mesa Reservoir did not fill in water year 2018 and will most likely not fill in water year 2019 either.  Current projections indicate Blue Mesa storage will continue to decrease from now till April of 2019 before rebounding during the spring runoff.  Current projections show Blue Mesa will reach a low elevation for water year 2019 of about 7,428 feet in early June 2019 and a peak elevation for water year 2019 of about 7458 feet in August 2019.  The projected end of water year 2019 elevation of Blue Mesa is 7450.3 feet which corresponds to a live storage content of 314,230 acre-feet (38 percent of full capacity).

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.

Meeting notes from past working Group meetings are posted on the Working Group webpage at:

The next meeting of the Aspinall Unit Working Group will be held on Thursday, January 17th, 2019 at 1:00 pm at at the Holiday Inn Express located in Montrose, Colorado.

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

Last Updated: 10/15/18