Hopefully they will let some water through roberts. I looked at north fork flow at pine and subtracted roberts tunnel for may/june last year. Normal runoff was in the 150-240 cfs range.
What we really need are recreational releases through roberts tunnel that are scheduled. Its been said before, but you could send the water downstream and store it in strontia or chatfield and not "lose" the water. Its nice to dream...
I hope they change the plan to release water through Roberts, but that quote from Danger is directly from his contact at Denver Water- he probably knows better than the guy who runs the Dillion Marina, unfortunately..
The good news is that the Upper Blue will rage in the next few weeks, and Green Mountain will be full for a long Gore season. And I don't mind Bailey runs in August or September.....
my impression is that strontia is too small for storage and that denver water won't release water from dillion if there isn't demand from denver. so if it's full without demand then the water goes north. again, just my impression.
ian, would you like to get involved with denver water? they have a meeting coming up that i can't attend. seems like a good group that's interested in working with the paddling community.
My understanding from DWB is that Strontia has about a 24 hour holding capacity. That is, what comes down Bailey today goes out the dam tomorrow. I believe that it would be very simple to tailor flows within a given day so that there could be recreational releases.
DWB doesn't give much notice or schedule, they just call that water down, right? They can guestimate, but the proof is in the pudding when they actually make the call. Well, that water is water they would need for the following day if I have the facts correct. So, what we could ask for is a pattern of release flows to be used whenever there is a call: if there is no call, then no release. If there is a call, then the release would be structured in a manner that promotes boating and still gets the water to Strontia so Denver (or the farmers out east) can use it.
How many times have we looked at the gauge and seen a flow of something like 120 cfs? Let's assume 100 of that is from Roberts.
24h x 100cfs = 2400 cfs-hours
(20h x 50cfs = 1000 cfs-hours)
+ (4h x 350cfs = 1400 cfs-hours)
=2400 cfs-hours (the same volume of water at the end of the day)
This gives 4 hour release on the good end of a medium flow. Consider that Bailey is fun down to 175, and many have run it much lower, and you can see how the season can be stretched out easily.
Boaters could submit a table of how we would prefer to see the flows structured for given levels and for what flows on what days of the week - late afternoons on weekdays, mornings on the weekends, etc. Mix it up a bit so there is some variation for people with odd schedules if you want, but it's not rocket science.
There are three big considerations. First, would DWB be willing to work with us on this? My guess is that it depends on the answers to the next two questions. Second, is there a *legal* issue as to doing an environmental assessment or EIS? Rivers out east (Nantahala, Ocoee, basically any TVA river) do these kinds of releases and have been for decades and there has been no noticable impact on the river or aquatic life that I am aware of, but I am no expert in that kind of thing (Claire are you out there?). Third, we would be wise to get the fishermen involved. They have as much of an interest in this sort of thing as we do and our desires may or may not mesh nicely, but together we could have greater influence. The fishing lobby is a heck of a lot more powerful than any whitewater non-profit and they have the numbers to require that they are listened to, so if we can team with them, all the better.
And if I recall correctly, you're right that without a Denver call, the water goes out the Blue.
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