Posted on May 17, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Wet spring brightens water picture
Will Dillon Reservoir refill this summer? Bob Berwyn photo.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — With the Roberts Tunnel turned off and Summit County’s streams starting to surge with runoff, the water level in Dillon Reservoir has already come up about two feet since May 1, according to Denver Water’s Bob Peters, who recently issued the latest update for Denver Water’s storage and diversion system.
The Roberts Tunnel is used to shunt water from the Upper Blue Basin beneath the Continental Divide and into the South Platte Basin, where it can be stored in other reservoirs until its needed for municipal use in Denver Water’s service area.
With average precipitation the next few weeks, Denver Water anticipates that Dillon Reservoir will peak at an elevation of about 9,010 feet sometime in July. That’s about seven feet below a complete fill, equal to about 235,000 acre feet. If wet weather continues through May, the reservoir could fill completely in July, rising to 9,017 feet, equal to about 257,000 acre feet. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Dillon Reservoir, Environment, rivers, Summit County news, Summit County snow and weather, water | Tagged: Colorado, Denver Water, Dillon Reservoir, drought, Roberts Tunnel, South Platte River, Upper Blue Basin, water | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 17, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Water level to rise quickly the next few weeks
Monsoon lightning over a dwindling Dillon Reservoir in July 2012.
FRISCO — After months of so-so snowfall, Mother Nature opened the taps in April and early May, delivering well above-average precipitation. Denver Water’s latest projections suggest that Dillon Reservoir may come close to filling this summer, a huge turnaround from earlier predictions. This body of water in the heart of Summit County is gorgeous even when levels are low. In fact, I enjoyed cruising around the shoreline last summer and fall and finding new spots that aren’t accessible when the reservoir is at an average level, but it’s still nice to know that boaters will be able to enjoy nearly the full expanse of Dillon Reservoir this summer.
This November 2012 moonrise scene was photographed from a spot that would normally be under a few feet of water.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Morning photo, photography, Summit County Colorado, water | Tagged: Colorado, Denver Water, Dillon Reservoir, Summit County Colorado, Summit County photography | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 7, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Two years ago
In early May 2010, Dillon Reservoir was mostly melted and almost full.
FRISCO — Our human memory spans are pretty much oriented to a short scale, so when it comes to things like weather, I’d rather rely on my photographic archives to make comparions. Monday afternoon, I looked back at several years worth of May photos, recalling that May 2010 was also cool and blustery, with on and off showers for much of the month. The big difference, of course, is the amount of water in various storage reservoirs, including Dillon. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, seasons, Snow and weather, Summit County Colorado, Summit County snow and weather | Tagged: Colorado, Denver Water, Dillon Reservoir, Environment, Summit County photography, water | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 1, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Annual State of the River meetings will update residents on water planning
Receding waters of Dillon Reservoir leave big swaths of shoreline exposed.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — While spring snowfall has brought some relief to small parts of Colorado, the majority of the state is still gripped by one of the worst droughts on record. The southeastern plains and the southwest mountains in particular have experienced a string of dry years, leaving soil moisture well below normal.
Statewide reservoir storage is also near historic low levels, and even with decent spring runoff in a few river basins, water managers will be scrambling to try and refill key s like Dillon and Green Mountain reservoirs. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, rivers, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, water | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado drought, Colorado River district, Denver Water, Dillon Reservoir, State of the River meeting | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 25, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Antero Reservoir, in Park County, won’t be drained.
April snowpack boost is good news for anglers
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — With a rebounding snowpack, Denver Water officials said this week they won’t drain Antero Reservoir, in Park County, as previously planned.
“Managing water supplies through a drought is an ever-changing process,” said Dave Bennett, water resource manager for Denver Water. “While we are still in drought and need our customers to save water, the recent snow has helped our supply situation. Keeping Antero open will be a benefit to Park County and those who love to fish there. If we drained the reservoir, it would take about three years to refill.” (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Antero Reservoir, Colorado, Denver Water, drought, Park County, water | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 5, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
A deal between Xcel Energy and Denver Water and other water users to relax the Shoshone hydorpower water right will enable more storage in Dillon, Williams Fork and Green Mountain reservoirs this spring. Photo courtesy Xcel.
Shoshone hydropower water right ‘relaxed’ in collaborative response to 2-year drought; agreement enables about 20,000 acre feet of additional upstream storage early in the year
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Some key players in the Colorado River Basin have worked together to “relax” a senior water right near Glenwood Springs, enabling more water — about 20,000 acre feet — to be stored in upstream reservoirs.
“We expect to gain about 8,000 acre-feet each in Dillon and Williams Fork Reservoirs as a result of the relaxation,” said Denver Water spokesperson Stacy Chesney.
The 1,250-cfs water right for the Xcel-owned Shoshone hydropower plant dates back to 1902, making it one of the most senior rights on the river.
When Xcel exercises that water right, it affects other water users all the way up the river because it’s administered by the Colorado Division of Water Resources against junior water storage rights in Dillon and Williams Fork Reservoirs, the Colorado River District’s Wolford Mountain Reservoir and the Bureau of Reclamation’s Green Mountain Reservoir. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Drought, rivers, water | Tagged: Colorado drought, Colorado River, Denver Water, Dillon Reservoir, Shoshone hydropower call, Xcel energy | 1 Comment »
Posted on March 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Utility will work with wildlife biologists to rebuild fishery when the reservoir is refilled
Denver Water will drain Antero Reservoir to save water that’s usually lost to evaporation.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Denver Water says it will save some 4,000 acre feet of water by completely draining Antero Reservoir in anticipation of drought conditions. The Park County reservoir was created in 1909 by the first dam ever built on the South Platte River.
Antero has the highest evaporation rate of any reservoir in the Denver Water system, so the utility says it makes more sense to store the water farther downstream, in Cheesman and Eleven Mile reservoirs.
“We’re exploring as many ways as possible to be efficient with our water supply,” said Dave Bennett, water resource manager for Denver Water. “Antero is a drought reservoir designed to provide water to our customers during a severe drought. Moving water from Antero to Cheesman will allow us to make the water available for our customers and reduce evaporation losses to our system.” (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Drought, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Antero Reservoir, Colorado, Denver Water, drought, Park County, water | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 15, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Low reservoir storage a serious concern in Colorado
Reservoir storage across Colorado is 30 percent below average.
SUMMIT COUNTY — With reservoir levels even lower than during the 2002 drought, Denver Water will enact Stage 2 water restrictions effective April 1, limiting outdoor irrigation to two days per week for most customers.
“We’ve never seen conditions like this, and we are concerned about our water supply,” said Jim Lochhead, CEO and manager of Denver Water. “Our reservoirs haven’t been full since July 2011. We need our customers’ help to reduce water use and keep as much water as possible in storage as we move through this year and into the next.” (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Dillon Reservoir, Drought, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Colorado, Denver Water, Denver water restrictions, Dillon Reservoir, drought, Outdoor water-use restriction | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 4, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Concerns about Fraser River environmental impacts remain
Denver Water seeks to increase diversions from the Fraser River in Grand County.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Denver Water’s plan to divert more Upper Colorado River flows to the Front Range is on hold for at least another year, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this week announced that it won’t finalize the environmental study for the Moffat Collection System expansion project until January 2014.
“We had projected a date of January 2013 … It was not intended to be a firm date, but it got presented as a firm date,” said Tim Carey, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulatory office. (more…)
Filed under: Colorado, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Colorado, Corps of Engineers, Denver Water, Moffat Collection System expansion, Trout Unlimited, water | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 3, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Please click on the image to watch the short video clip.
An exclusive Summit Voice interview with Fraser Trout, a homeless fish seeking some love (and water) in the Colorado River Basin
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Defend the Colorado coalition’s new video, “Trout in Trouble,” features a lost-looking trout leaving his dried-up streambed in the Fraser Valley to go seek water in the big city of Denver, where he panhandles on the streets with a sign reading, “Anything helps.” A passing motorist gives him a bottle of water that he sprinkles over his head, but the expression on his face tells us it’s not enough. The video’s message: Denver Water needs to do more to protect the Fraser River from future diversions to the Front Range.
The “homeless trout’s” performance has been hailed for its authenticity and raw power, with Denver’s Westword calling the film reminiscent of Chaplin and Capra. Others have compared the trout to a young Brando.
Defend the Colorado has offered Summit County Citizens Voice an exclusive interview with the trout. The following is a highly edited transcript. Please click the read more button to check it ou. (more…)
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, Environment, rivers, water | Tagged: Colorado, Colorado River, Denver Water, Fraser River, transmountain diversions, Trout | Leave a Comment »