Credit: Kara Lamb
Public Information Officer
Bureau of Reclamation
Eastern Colorado Area Office
As most of you have noticed, the last week has seen a marked increase in draw from both Horsetooth and Carter reservoirs. With the on-going record-breaking heat and drought conditions across Colorado, water users of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project are calling for and pulling their water from the reservoirs at high rates.
Currently, Carter Lake reservoir is at an elevation of 5717 feet. That is roughly 42 feet down from its highest possible water elevation, or just under 60% full. The pump to Carter is on, but with the high demand for water, water is leaving the reservoir faster than we are able to pump up to it. All boat ramps are in the water.
Similarly, Horsetooth Reservoir is also seeing high demand. Horsetooth started the recreation season at a very high water elevation—only about 4 feet down from full, but about ten feet higher than it starts the season in a more average year. The draw on Horsetooth was steady, but not too dramatic, until last weekend, when demand began to peak.
Currently, like Carter, Horsetooth is under 60% full at a water level elevation of about 5391. That is about 39 vertical feet down from its highest possible elevation. The current draw on Horsetooth is averaging about a foot a day. All boat ramps are currently in the water.
Demand is also starting to come up on the Big Thompson River below the mouth of the canyon. We are delivering some water to the river. This might cause the reservoir elevation of Pinewood Reservoir to start dropping a little more, as well. It is currently at a water elevation of about 6574 and has been fluctuating with hydro-electric power generation at Flatiron power plant, as is typical.
The heat is forecast to continue through the weekend.
Kara Lamb Public Information Officer Bureau of Reclamation Eastern Colorado Area Office (970) 962-4326