Updated Bureau of Reclamation data downgraded the reservoir’s volume of water stored by 443,000 acre-feet, based on a recent sedimentation study.
The plan says Colorado will continue the slow but steady transformation of moving water from agriculture — by far the largest water user — to cities, with nearly 14,000 acres of irrigated land expected to be urbanized, one-third of that in the Grand Valley.
The UBR, approved by the Federal Surface Transportation Board in late 2021, would provide enough transportation capacity to quadruple oil production in the Uinta Basin at a time when scientists around the world are sounding an alarm over CO2 emissions.
• The Roaring Fork River ran at 79.5% of average below Maroon Creek on June 26, or 622 cfs. That’s down from 1,130 cfs on June 19.
• Lake Powell’s elevation reached over 3,539 feet on June 26, up from about 3,537 feet on June 15.
• Maximum air temperature at ASE dropped below normal on June 20.
• The Crystal River ran at 1,350 cfs near Redstone. That’s down from its seasonal peak of 1,770 cfs on June 12.
• Independence and McClure Passes still have some snowpack, while it is gone at Ivanhoe and Schofield Pass.
• Maximum air temperature reached up to 87°F on June 11 at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airpot. That’s 15 degrees above normal.
The actions taken in the 2022 Drought Response Operations Plan will add about 1 million acre-feet, or 16 feet of elevation, to Lake Powell. But these actions are not enough.
• The Crystal River near Redstone flowed at 1,770 cfs on June 12, while the Crystal at the CPW Fish Hatchery bridge ran at 2,100 cfs.
• Lake Powell’s elevation reached 3,536.2 feet on Sunday, up from 3,534 on June 5.
• Roaring Fork Basin snowpack has almost entirely melted.
The problem from which all others stem, including the changing fish communities, and the reason Powell is so low in the first place is the climate-change-driven supply-demand imbalance, Schmidt said.
• McClure Pass and Ivanhoe recorded a snowpack of 0 inches on June 5.
• Snowpack at Indy Pass was at about 10% of average, while Schofield Pass’ snowpack was at less than 2% of average on June 5.
• The Roaring Fork River is running at about 50% of average, while the Crystal is over 100%.
For several locations — the Roaring Fork at Glenwood, the Crystal, the San Miguel and the Colorado at Cameo — the peak came so early that it was outside the window of what’s considered normal.