Ruedi to provide more water for West Slope |

Ruedi to provide more water for West Slope

Ruedi Reservoir became an even greater savior of the parched Western Slope Monday when it was announced it will provide an additional 10,000 acre-feet of water to various users.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said it finalized a proposal to provide water to offset Green Mountain Reservoir’s inability to provide for its historic users.

Before agreeing to the deal, the bureau studied potential effects of an ongoing drought next winter, spring and summer. The study determined that even if the amount of water flowing into the reservoir is as low in 2003 as it was in 2002, the reservoir could still supply enough water to meet its contracts to users, according to bureau spokeswoman Kara Lamb.

The reservoir is already at its historic low. It is anticipated to drop to about 32,000 acre-feet by the end of the 2002-03 winter.

The bureau also vowed that this latest deal would not hinder its goal to keep 39 cubic feet per second flowing in the Fryingpan River during the winter. Anglers and environmentalists contend that is the minimum amount necessary to keep a healthy fishery.

Information was unavailable Monday on when the additional flows will start or how they will affect the Fryingpan.

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Under terms of the agreement, the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District will pay to use Ruedi water. It is the entity that “sponsors” Green Mountain Reservoir in northern Summit County.

The Glenwood Springs-based Colorado River Water Conservation District will make sure the water gets distributed to those who need it.

The amount in the proposal, 10,000 acre-feet, is about 9 percent of the reservoir’s total storage capacity.

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