Colorado snowpack continues to break records |

Colorado snowpack continues to break records

Daily staff reportnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Over 60 locals heard about water issues at the recent Eagle River Valley State of the River meeting, hosted by Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, the Colorado River District, and the Eagle River Watershed Council.Mike Gillespie, snow survey supervisor for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, reported that 46 Colorado measuring sites in the SNOTEL network had record high snow water equivalent on May 1.With snow falling to the end of May, it was no surprise when Gillespie showed the entire Colorado River Basin snowpack map for June 1 at 289 percent of average. Reservoir storage in the Colorado River Basin is below average for this time of year due to water managers releasing reservoir water to make room for the expected inflow from snowmelt.Gillespie shared historic data for runoff volume on the Eagle River below Gypsum for April through July and forecast 2011 as the second highest runoff volume in 51 years of data, behind only 1984. This year’s record snowpack and associated high runoff is projected to raise the elevation of Lake Powell by 40 feet, returning it to a level last seen in December 2001.Gillespie’s presentation kicked off the meeting, which also included updates on the rehabilitation of Homestake Dam, the Eagle Mine Superfund site, and details of the proposed Colorado River Cooperative Agreement.The meeting can be viewed locally on Channel 5 and is available online at Presentations may be viewed on Eagle River Water & Sanitation District’s website at Contact communications and public affairs manager Diane Johnson at 970-477-5457 for more information.

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