Reply by: SGM Posted: May. 31, 8:03:46 AM Points: 13384
It would be great but not sure it will or can happen.
The Lake was drained and not refilled due to a 2003 Supreme Court decision Colorado was forced to honor. The ruling says Colorado owed the state of Kansas billions of gallons of water under a decades-old water-rights deal called the Republican River Compact.
Currently there is an effort to get it partially refilled but only time will tell if it will happen.
Do a search on Bonny Reservoir closed for more info.
Reply by: not too old to fish Posted: May. 31, 9:44:01 AM Points: 5235
Water rights in the west have always been a struggle for a limited resource. The first step to filling Bonny is to understand who has legal rights to the water available and how much would be available to store in the lake.Once that is settled a plan could made to match the amount of water available and determine the size of the lake.
Reply by: bigbear57 Posted: Jun. 1, 7:13:14 AM Points: 646
That was originally built to control flood waters from the republican. Funny how Kansas thinks it's fine to pull all the water from the lake ,but it OK to leave the dam in place to still control flash flooding. Man are we great neighbors or what?
Reply by: Wreckstar Posted: Jun. 1, 10:13:46 AM Points: 1023
I have family in Burlington, I grew up going to Bonny. I have a hard time believing that I will ever see Bonny full or partially full again in my life. Water rights and fights over them, will only get worse. That water is never coming back.
From what I've seen, it is pretty much legally impossible to fill Bonny again unless the climate grows considerably cooler and wetter or irrigated agriculture becomes much less efficient again...both of which aren't happening.
Any plans for partial filling that I've seen don't include fishery objectives, and are instead focused on creating an emergent marsh for game and non-game wildlife.
It's already changed whether you like it or not, and it's obvious to every water user in the West. Climate's hotter and drier than it used to be, so much so that irrigation and farming practices (as well as water law) have changed rather dramatically in the last 30 years. Want proof? Let's start with the fact that Bonny is dry and it will never refill.
I think it's rather telling that farmers and water managers are already adapting and preparing for further changes without much if any political debate or discussion. If you don't already know about this kind of stuff, you must not be as country as you think...
I don't know the guy and I cant see if he has a tongue-in-cheek smirk but my guess is dude is a successful comedian. Pops in in these topics. Thanks for lightening the mood. Pleasantly commenting.........
Wow, impressive show of data RogBow! I really appreciate that, no BS. Based on what you've dug up, I can't blame you for your opinion. You're right, water supply hasn't changed much over time. But here's the issue: total water supply is only half the story to filling Bonny or any other western reservoir.
The other half to this story is *demand*. This is important. According to physics, a warmer atmosphere is capable of absorbing and moving around a greater quantity of water. That means two things: as the atmosphere warms, we might actually get *more* snow and more rain in the future. The problem is a warmer atmosphere also absorbs more water from crops. That means you need to irrigate more, oftentimes more so than the increase in supply. Add in population increases and you've got a significant increase in pressure on facilities that exist to make up the difference between supply and demand, particularly canals and reservoirs. Even if water supply were to increase, demand is increasing faster, to the point where we're starting to see demand outpace supply in some places (pic). When that happens, it's hard to fill reservoirs because they're drained to send water to irrigators or cities downstream. This may help explain my assertion that Bonny will probably never refill. It may also help explain why lakes Powell and Mead continue to dry up, too.
But what's great is you don't have to believe me or the linked report. You can just look at what's happening on the ground with real people that have to live with these realities. I've already pointed out some of the changes, but it's also worth noting that changes like moving towards a water market or implementing LESA systems isn't just a "blue state thing". Even red-state Idaho and Utah are moving the exact same direction, even if they call it by different names like "drought management" or "conjunctive use".
So yeah, I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into water shortage adaptation in the West. You can contact me though my skipper link and I'm always happy to provide more resources. Thanks for the excuse to procrastinate at work!
Nice! To get more specific, and more on-point to the discussion about Bonny, temperature increases are even clearer in the West and Colorado (see report I linked which contains the pic below).
Thanks for the solid discussion, RogBow, not often this kind of thing doesn't dissolve into name-calling. I'm glad there are some things we're both seeing as true, hopefully we're both able to walk away with more knowledge than before!
Reply by: SirGreg88 Posted: Jun. 6, 5:23:05 AM Points: 62
I was really looking forward to having you educate everyone on the heavily weighted variables outside of mans control-specifically the biggest one. Measurements are fine and dandy in the classroom. You can flip a coin 1000 times and chart a trend. History shows that the weather is constantly changing. Ice ages came and went without any of our help. I guess the science isn't exactly settled yet eh? We appreciate your input though....
Having grown up here in the Denver area (I'm 62) I remember the summer weather pattern we had here.In the afternoon (around 3 or4) it would cloud up and rain for 10 min.The clouds would blow away and we had a nice evening . . . . . .GONE! I'm not here to debaite the facts . . . .things are dryer and hotter.Bonny is a lost cause . . . .sorry.