Dolores - Water goes in, water goes...? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-18-2017   #1
 
Durango, Colorado
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Dolores - Water goes in, water goes...?

The gauge in Dolores (above the dam) is currently reading a high of 2050 cfs (more than the Animas!)

Meanwhile, the gauge below mcfee has dropped over the last 24 hours from 1200 cfs to 1150 cfs.

What gives? Any conspiracy theories or explanations out there?



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Old 04-19-2017   #2
 
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Releases :: Dolores Water Conservancy District

April 17, 2017: MCPHEE DOWNSTREAM RELEASES CONTINUE AT 1,100 to 1,200 CFS through the week. See below for more detail about future anticipated changes.



Summary: The near term forecast holds at mostly sunny with steady temperatures until later in the week. The higher runoff started late last week, and the reservoir elevation rises slowly towards the next trigger around 6920.



The April 1st forecast did not change quantity and we continue working on various scenarios to achieve multiple goals including: optimum flows of 1,900 – 2,000 CFS, high flows of 2,500 – 4,000 CFS and continue releases through Memorial Day weekend. We still expect to release around 250,000 AF that will make McPhee releases last approximately 60 days. More detail below.



Continue to watch the releases below McPhee at Detail Graph and the gages linked below.





All of which I read as a claim to still be filling the reservoir and that slower then expected melt rates have delayed the release of more water.

At least for now, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt since its still kind of early in the season. The Dolores Water Conservancy isn't really known for sticking to what they say they will do though, so I'm not gonna be surprised if the releases go very differently then what they have been promising.

We have another slight cold spell happening in the mountains over the next week, so I wouldn't expect it to bump up to 2000 cfs till that is over at the soonest.

I really hope that the DWCD has really turned a new leaf and will stick to what they say they will do. Both the local community surrounding the Dolores and us boaters would really appreciate it.
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Old 04-19-2017   #3
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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It's a reservoir and traditionally they don't even spill until it fills. The "lake" has a capacity of 381,100 acre feet of water. It is filling currently despite releasing over 1100 cfs. The current reservoir volume is 352,535 acre feet.... and quickly approaching 381k. The Dolores Tunnel can divert a maximum of 700 cfs (although they rarely move that much), so I would say their information regarding releases sounds pretty accurate..... hopefully. I did a lot of driving around the high country last weekend and I can attest to the fact that the snow is melting fairly slowly and there is a ton of it to come down.
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Old 04-19-2017   #4
 
Durango, Colorado
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Copy all that - I had not seen the most recent release update.

Obviously they want to fill first and spill later. But, they have an idea about how much water exists in the snowpack vs how much space they have in the reservoir. Considering that the input is well above the output (2160cfs in dolores this morning!), wouldn't they want to proactively "manage the release"?

I'm no hydro engineer, but it seems to me that filling it to the brim, then expecting nature to comply with a nice comfy 2000 cfs for a month is kind of unlikely. I think there's a dam out in Arizona that ran into some trouble with that practice in the 80s.

Instead of an extended planned release, we could get the same amount of water over just a few days. Anyone want to hit snaggletooth at 6G?


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Old 04-19-2017   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_ View Post
I'm no hydro engineer
Clearly.

Welcome to the American Southwest, bro, where water in does not equal water out.
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Old 04-19-2017   #6
 
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Western Slope, CO, Colorado
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It will be what it will be. Mother Nature does not adhere to our schedules or desires.

381,100 Acre Feet of water is a lot of Mother Nature to hold back. I wouldn't want that responsibility.

Be thankful for what you can do and not disappointed in what you can't however it works out.
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Old 04-20-2017   #7
tew
 
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[QUOTE=Joe_;529818]The gauge in Dolores (above the dam) is currently reading a high of 2050 cfs (more than the Animas!)

Meanwhile, the gauge below mcfee has dropped over the last 24 hours from 1200 cfs to 1150 cfs.

What gives? Any conspiracy theories or explanations out there?



The conspiracy is called agriculture and that is where most of the water is being sent from the reservoir.
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Old 04-20-2017   #8
 
Durango, Colorado
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Maybe I saw flows start to crank on the upper and got a little excited - Shame on me.

Getting even half past the dam is stellar, and it's very cool to see that much water down there - thanks to all who work to that end.

I'm gonna go buy some beans and check it out.


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Old 04-21-2017   #9
 
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Latest update sounds good.

Thursday April 20, 2017: McPhee releases continue at boatable flows of 1,100 to 1,900 CFS through the near term 3 – 5 days.

April 25 – May 1: Releases will be at Optimum Flows, 1,900 – 2,100, for at least 7 days.

May 2 – May 8: Releases will be High Flows, 2,100+

May 4, 5 & 6: Releases will be High Flows at 4,000 CFS +/-

Releases :: Dolores Water Conservancy District
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Old 04-21-2017   #10
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No Conspiracy Here Comrads

Check this link for the various places the Water Buffaloes and their Apparatchiks stash water.

Daily Averages :: Dolores Water Conservancy District

As a rule of thumb, I use 1500cfs coming in from the Dolores River as the inflow that holds impoundment levels steady once the Dolores Oligarchs max out Narraguinnep and other stashes. Not many places left to use, send, or hide more water. The Boris and Natasha Alfalfa and Winter Wheat Collectivists are left with few options but to watch helplessly as their Fearless Leaders at DWCD let our water flow down our river.

Did anyone see the Emerald Mile on Highway 141 heading toward a staging area to wait for that rainy/warm May Day when greed gives way to hydraulics?
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