Aspen Journalism is compiling a data dashboard highlighting metrics of local public interest, updated weekly.
Local streamflows are up from last week
Transbasin diversion resumed around Oct. 28 and shut down on Nov. 4 before starting again on Nov. 5.
At Stillwater, located upstream of Aspen, the Roaring Fork River ran at 17.6 cfs on Nov. 19, or 56.8% of average, which is up from last week when the river ran at 15.7 cfs and 47.6% of average.
Water through the tunnel that sends Roaring Fork flows east of the Continental Divide went from 1.6 cfs on Oct. 22 to 15.2 cfs on Oct. 29 and then to 21.4 cfs on Nov. 5. On Nov. 15, water was flowing at 15.3 cfs.
The USGS sensor below Maroon Creek recorded the Fork running at 117 cfs on Nov. 19, or 108.3% of average. On Nov. 12, the river was running at 109 cfs.
At Emma, below the confluence with the dam-controlled Fryingpan, the Nov. 19 streamflow of 315 cfs represented about 105.4% of average. That’s up from 297 cfs on Nov 12 and 96.1% of average.
Meanwhile, the Crystal River above Avalanche Creek, which is not impacted by dams or transbasin diversions, flowed at 61 cfs or 88% of average. Last week, the river ran at 55 cfs, or 74.1% of average.
The Colorado River ran at 1,650 cfs at Glenwood Springs, or 93.7% of average, on Nov. 19, up from 1,610 cfs last week, while the Colorado flowed at 3,060 cfs near the Colorado-Utah stateline, or 80.1% of average.
Aspen Journalism is compiling real time streamflow data. You can find all the featured stations from the dashboard with their real-time streamflow on this webpage.
Lake Powell’s water levels keep going down
Lake Powell‘s water levels peaked in early July and are now decreasing. On Nov. 19, the reservoir was 37.18% full (based on updated 2017-18 sedimentation data). That’s down from Nov. 12, when the nation’s second-largest reservoir was at 37.27%.
Last year, on July 1, 2022, the Bureau of Reclamation revised its data on the amount of water stored in Lake Powell, with a new, lower tally taking into account a 4% drop in the reservoir’s total available capacity between 1986 and 2018 due to sedimentation. Aspen Journalism in July published a story explaining the that drop in storage due to sedimentation. We will be now using the 2017-18 sedimentation data only.
On Nov. 19, 2022, the reservoir was 24.76% full.
On Nov. 19, Lake Powell’s elevation reached 3,572 feet, or 128 feet from full pool, which is down from 3,572.3 feet on Nov. 12. Last year, on Nov. 19 the reservoir reached 3,528.92 feet in elevation, or 171.08 feet from full pool.
The “minimum power pool” for turbines generating hydropower at the Glen Canyon Dam is 3,490 feet, and 3,525 feet has been set as a buffer to ensure that the reservoir and the turbines can continue to function properly.
Air temperatures went up last week
High air temperatures at the Aspen airport increased from 41°F on Nov. 9 to 58°F on Nov. 13 before going down to 55°F on Nov. 15, which is about 14 degrees above normal. Meanwhile, low temperatures went from 12°F on Nov. 10 to 21°F on Nov. 13 and 20°F on Nov. 15.
Clean air in Aspen
The air quality in Aspen was “good.” The air quality index for ozone ranged from 32 and Nov. 16 to 41 on Nov. 14.
- Colorado’s Division of Water Resources
- Bureau of Reclamation
- Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District
- Aspen Global Change Institute