Releases of Ruedi water increase |

Releases of Ruedi water increase

Water releases have been increased from Ruedi Reservoir to benefit endangered fish on the Colorado River and to meet the demands of agriculture interests in the Grand Valley.

The releases were increased by 50 cubic feet per second starting Monday afternoon, according to U.S. Bureau of Reclamation spokeswoman Kara Lamb. The Bureau, which operates the reservoir and dam, has an agreement to supply 5,000 acre feet annually to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assist the survival of endangered fish in a 15-mile reach of the Colorado River near Grand Junction.

The Fryingpan River flow bumped up to about 160 cfs Monday due to the release for endangered fish. It went up another 20 cfs Tuesday because of what is known as the Cameo Call – or a demand for water from agricultural interests with superior water rights.

The Bureau has stopped filling Ruedi and is bypassing its inflow from the upper Fryingpan to meet water demands, Lamb said.

“When Ruedi stopped filling [Tuesday], we had approximately 78,000 acre feet stored in the reservoir,” she said. “Starting with that storage and figuring in a release of 50 cfs daily, we estimate the reservoir is going down about a tenth of a foot a day.”

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