New study to help water planners in changing climate
There are more and more signs that global warming triggered a step-change in many natural systems in the 1980s. A new study, led by scientists with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, tracked a big change in flows in the Rio Grande watershed, a key source of water in New Mexico and Texas.
According to the study, the percentage of precipitation that becomes streamflow in the Upper Rio Grande watershed has fallen more steeply than at any point in at least 445 years.
FRISCO — Late-season storms have helped boost snowpack in the Blue River to near last year’s level, promising healthy runoff and flows in Summit County, according to Denver Water.
The effects of the steady barrage of spring storms is already showing up the Lower Blue River, where flows are increasing due to increased releases from Dillon Reservoir, according to Denver Water, which won’t be diverting water through the Roberts Tunnel until mid-July at the earliest. Continue reading “Colorado: Big flows expected in Blue River”→
Budget crunch forces hundreds of stations to shut down, many more threatened by lack of funding
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY —Unless it’s in a bucket or a measuring cup, water isn’t exactly the easiest substance to track. Ever-changing, from vapor to solid to liquid, and ever-moving, from stream to river to lake to ocean, it can be tough to measure.
So for years, ranchers, town planners and even angler and kayakers have relied on a huge network of streamflow gages maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey to help monitor water quality, measure and predict peak spring runoff and flooding potential, or even just the best time run some whitewater or to go fishing. In some places, the streamflow information is critical to helping protect endangered species.
Changes in runoff timing have been studied for impacts to reservoir operations and diversions, but what about aquatic and riparian ecoystems?
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Earlier snowmelt and runoff in Colorado have been well-documented over the past few years and the finding were reinforced once again in a press release from the U.S. Geological Survey last week.