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Morning photo: Shrinking reservoir

Lowest water level in 10 years

The old highway from Breckenridge to Frisco emerges from Dillon Reservoir as the water level drops.

FRISCO — It’s fascinating to watch the water level in Dillon Reservoir drop almost noticeably day by day, a few inches at a time, sometime more than a foot per week. Aside from the long-term implications for Colorado’s water supply, the changes reveal a new landscape. It’s rugged, rocky and bare in a lot of places, but along some of the more shallow edges, terrestrial plants are reclaiming the fringes, and in the newly formed bays, water birds are finding shelter on their migratory stopovers. Let’s hope we don’t see the reservoir this low for many years to come!

Steep escarpments near the Frisco Marina show the low level of Dillon Reservoir.

An almost alien-looking land plant takes hold in an area that was covered with five feet of water just six months ago.

Newly exposed rocky shoreline at Dillon Resevoir.

A ghost forest of stumps in the shallows of Frisco Bay.

The bare bones of Dillon Reservoir.

Cracked earth.

A fine crop of grasses has sprouted in what was just recently a shallow arm of Dillon Reservoir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. we seem to be in apolar opposite situation here in Scotland reservoir’s are looking good and had enough rain in 48 hours to raise the levels of those that were light. Torrential rain is absorbed by the land and directed. Our Hydro electric capability is finally delivering.

  2. Excellent story-telling image! The new normal?

    • We’ll see … I wouldn’t be surprised if we see years like this more often, although I think we’ll see some good years, too. But if we have 2 or 3 really dry years in a row, we’ll be in a deep, deep hole.

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