Taylor Park Reservoir (TPR) Operations – May 5, 2020
May 5, 2020 update from Erik Knight, Hydrologist, Western Colorado Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation:
Preliminary TPR operations plan for Taylor Park Reservoir based on the May 1st forecast for 73,000 AF of Apr-July runoff (74% of average). There has been a 3,000 AF decrease in the runoff forecast since April 15.
This plan attempts to follow historic release patterns from years of similar hydrology to this year’s current forecast. Actual plans for releases will be developed with the interested parties later this month.
With the May 1st forecast of 73,000 AF of runoff, this year currently falls into the Dry Year category. As per the Stipulation, years when the May 1 forecast falls under 75,000 AF are determined to be in the Dry Year category.
There are no peak flow targets in the Dry Year category. The 5 day flow of 450 cfs shown in previous plans has been removed.
In this operations plan, the reservoir content peaks at 95,100 AF at an elevation of 9324.4 ft.
Reservoir content at the end of October is projected to land right at 70,000 AF.
Snowpack in the Upper Gunnison Basin peaked on April 21st at 95% of average and 102% of normal. There were a couple good storms in April, but April is typically not a big snow accumulation month.
Taylor Park was established to provide water to farmers in the Uncompahgre Valley. It is operated under contract by the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association (UVWUA). While Taylor Park Reservoir water still serves agricultural water users in the Uncompahgre Valley, a unique agreement enables the UVWUA to re-store water released from Taylor Reservoir in the Aspinall Unit (Blue Mesa Reservoir) prior to delivering it to farmers downstream.
Link to UVWUA
More at the Bureau of Reclamation: Taylor Park Reservoir