Where did Bailey go? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-22-2010   #1
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 260
Where did Bailey go?

So if you've noticed Bailey has droped from 500 cfs to 90 cfs in 12 hours? I'm from vail and not very familiar with the flows on Bailey, but in my neck of the woods that means a broken guage. Can somebody who knows give a little beta on the subject? Was planning on heading down tomorrow but now I'm thinking gore.

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Old 07-22-2010   #2
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 161
Nothing wrong with the gauge. Since Bailey flows this time of year are all based on how much water they need to bring through Roberts Tunnel, it can literally drop out underneath you. The rain and cooler weather meant that they shut it down yesterday.

I'm just hoping they turn it back on for Saturday.
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Old 07-22-2010   #3
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
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Bailey is on the NF of the South Platte (NFSP). It's flows come primarily from Denver Water's (DW) operation of the Roberts tunnel, which delivers water from Lake Dillon to the NFSP, where it flows to Strontia Springs Reservoir and is then delivered to DW's Foothills Water Treatment Plant. The South Platte proper (SP) joins the NFSP just above Strontia Springs at Waterton Canyon. DW also uses Cheeseman Reservoir and SP sources to deliver water to Strontia Springs Reservoir. When DW operates the Roberts Tunnel depends on many factors including: water demand in Denver, reservoir storage levels and streamflows on both West and East slope, operation and maintenance considerations, native flows in the SP, etc. It's really complex.

The best thing you can do to get a read on Bailey flows is keep an eye on deepsouth's Bailey/Roberts updates and look at the actual Roberts Tunnel gage on the DWR website.

Ironically, the water that isn't in Bailey is now in Gore...but on a molecule for molecule basis, not a flow basis.
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Old 07-22-2010   #4
JDHOG72's Avatar
Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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"Where did Bailey go?"
Just like I told you...oh yeah I forgot you only get your information from talking to rocks. The rocks in Gore have a very special message for you!
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Old 07-22-2010   #5
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Silverdale, Washington
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Nate, which day were you thinking of heading to Gore? Saturday or Sunday? Josh are you going as well? I was thinking about heading that way, but not sure which day yet.
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Old 07-22-2010   #6
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Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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Hey Patrick_
I think I am going on Friday and Saturday. Maybe Sunday too. Give me a shout 970_331_5380. Around 11ish on saturday
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Old 07-22-2010   #7
Denver, Colorado
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Dan's got the right details. Nice signature Dan!

Bailey has very low natural flow right now, and when it was running up at 400-500 cfs, most of that was water diverted through the roberts tunnel. Flows were up high when the weather was hot and dry and water demand on the front range was high.

Flows dropped because we had two days in a row of monsoon rainstorms that put extra water in the river, and also reduced demand from farmers and from metro water needs. If Denver Water can satisfy demand with east slope water, they turn off roberts tunnel (what happened yesterday).

I spoke with Denver water today... and I doubt bailey will get to runnable flows this weekend. They may turn the tunnel back on if it gets hotter and the monsoon rains stop, but it won't likely be enough to get boatable flows.
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