Recently at Aspen Journalism, we published Water Desk Editor Heather Sackett’s report on the conclusion of two studies looking at backup-water-supply options for the Crystal River, where late-summer low stream flows threaten water availability for some residential subdivisions with junior water rights. The studies have focused on a large meadow east of the river at the Janeway townsite, which could be used for a pond or for an aquifer recharge project that would flood the meadow during spring runoff and help boost streamflows in the months to follow. All options described have their drawbacks, however, and at least one official from Pitkin County is questioning whether it would make more sense to cut a deal with agricultural water users, who might be able to loan water for residential use when flows get low.
Read more about the current thinking on how to best manage future water shortages on the Crystal River, as well as our latest Data Dashboard updates on streamflows, temperatures, Lake Powell water levels and lagging summer occupancy.
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But aquifer recharge won’t meet total needs
By Heather Sackett | July 21, 2023
Although Janeway is the most promising area for a nature-based solution and the one overlapping potential project site of the two studies, it still has drawbacks.
Air temperatures reached 90°F in Aspen.
By Laurine Lassalle | July 27, 2023
• The Fork at Stillwater ran at 72% of average on July 23 and 98% of average below Maroon Creek.
• Lake Powell’s elevation dropped from 3,584 feet on July 16 to 3,582.5 feet on July 23.
• Air temperatures reached about ten degrees above normal on July 17 in Aspen.
Data dashboard: Summer occupancy for Aspen and Snowmass remains behind from the past couple of years
Streamflows are slowing down.
By Laurine Lassalle | July 20, 2023
• Summer occupancy is down from last year with 33.6% of rooms booked for May through October as of June 30 for Aspen and Snowmass combined, down from 2022’s 37.8%.
• The Fork ran at 604 cfs on July 16, down from 757 cfs last week.
• Lake Powell’s elevation has lost 8.4 inches since last week.
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