CWCB Drought and Water Supply Assessment

Chapter Six

Water Storage Characteristics of Colorado’s Major River Basins
Joe Stibrich and Blaine Dwyer


Colorado water users rely on water storage to capture spring and monsoon runoff for later beneficial use and seasonal water demands. A review of selected past (1977) and current (2000-2003) drought impacts on storage observed by spring, summer and fall measurements will be presented for all seven major river basins. Carry-over storage will be evaluated versus time for different geographies and water user segments in Colorado.

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Table of Contents | Introduction | Acknowledgements | Executive Summary
Section One Chapters 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Section Two Chapters 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
Appendices A | B | C | List of Acronyms | Maps | Glossary

CWCB_logoColorado Water Conservation Board


“Storage levels drawn down to 10, 20, or even 40 percent of capacity may reflect prudent system management rather than surplus storage water. However, an agricultural user may not have that flexibility – the water available in storage can mean the difference between getting a crop to harvest and losing the crop this year – and storage may be drawn to empty if necessary.”

Excerpt, Chapter Six



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