I have a mix of good news and bad news here. First the bad news- there won't be a spring peak release this year. I know, third year in a row. This is something Reclamation and the San Juan River Recovery Program discussed about a month ago, due to snowpack conditions, dry soils, a dismal runoff forecast, reservoir is still recovering, you name it. Additionally, runoff is starting early, so it's likely we have to spend more water during the summer augmenting the flows than usual. So the peak on the San Juan this year will be relying mostly on the Animas River. We use a peak forecast product developed by the CBRFC, which is updated bimonthly:
http://www.cbrfc.noaa.gov/rmap/peak/...t.php?id=DRGC2 BFFU1 Peak Flow Forecasts
We'll have to see how the runoff plays out, if we stay hot or have any cool down periods, but I would expect at the end of May you will still have 1000-1500 cfs flows (according to our current modeling, which is more of a ballpark estimate this far out in time).
The good news is that during the same meeting with the SJRIP, we agreed on a new way of operating the reservoir that should hopefully be able to make more frequent big releases in the spring, and have at least enough for a small release in many below-average years.
If anyone has any questions or wants a flow update gimme a call. If I don't answer I'm just out making the best of early runoff in Durango.
Susan Novak Behery, P.E.
Western Colorado Area Office