Water situation looking grim
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. – The state of Colorado rivers is dire, and it doesn’t look to be getting any better.
Some long-range forecasts call for a wet July and August following extremely dry weather in May and June – which is why Denver Water officials are using a mid-range forecast to dictate their management decisions. Still, others take a more cautious approach.
Tuesday’s State of the River was hosted by the Colorado River District and its partners. Blue River Watershed Group helped to put on the Summit County event. It takes place every spring to give residents a chance to understand what’s happening in their watershed, the demands on water resources and projects that are under way to facilitate water management.
Two weeks ago, Denver Water announced a Stage 1 drought. It’s voluntary – customers are asked to conserve as much water as they can. Stage 3 is when lawn watering is forbidden.
Dillon Reservoir is just one of the municipal water provider’s storage units, but it will be affected, said Bob Steger, manager of water resources for the utility.
Typically, the South Platte River is the go-to source for Denver’s water, but though the basin fared better with snowfall than the Colorado River basin, it wasn’t by much.
Even with modest forecasts, the Dillon Reservoir is expected to drop below Frisco Bay Marina’s operating levels – causing it to anchor docks in the deeper water to maintain customer service. Estimates are a drop of as much as 25 feet by September.
Downstream from Dillon Reservoir, Green Mountain Reservoir is 59 percent full. Dillon Reservoir is 94 percent full. The average is 84 percent full.
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