USBR Water Year 2018 Projection

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John P Funk

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From the Bureau of Rec. Water Operations Home Page:"The operating tier for water year 2018, established this August 2017, is the Upper Elevation Balancing Tier, with an initial water year release volume of 8.23 maf and the potential for an April 2018 adjustment to equalization or balancing releases. Based on the current forecast, an April adjustment to balancing releases is projected to occur and Lake Powell is currently projected to release 9.0 maf in water year 2018. This projection will be updated each month throughout the water year."

Looks like a carbon copy of Water Year 2017. I hope and pray for another winter like last, with above average precipitation. We're at 17.5 feet above last year. Another 17.5 feet and I could launch my 29' cruiser at Hite(come on snow).
 

Squirrel

Well-Known Member
"Looks like a carbon copy of Water Year 2017. I hope and pray for another winter like last, with above average precipitation. We're at 17.5 feet above last year. Another 17.5 feet and I could launch my 29' cruiser at Hite(come on snow)."

I hope you are right. What about the "Big Flush" they do every couple years? Sq
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
Last year we were in El Nino, We've moved into La Nina. Our last few La Nina years have been strange -this winter could go either way - very dry or cold and snowy. Given it has already snowed several times in Idaho, Utah, Montana and yesterday in Colorado - I hope that is a sign it will be snowy - one thing is probably cold and snowy in the East - which is what the Farmers Almanac is predicting.
 

John P Funk

Well-Known Member
"Looks like a carbon copy of Water Year 2017. I hope and pray for another winter like last, with above average precipitation. We're at 17.5 feet above last year. Another 17.5 feet and I could launch my 29' cruiser at Hite(come on snow)."

I hope you are right. What about the "Big Flush" they do every couple years? Sq
They did one in early November last year. While it does have a significant short term effect on lake level, it is budgeted in the yearly plan. In theory it shouldn't affect the total releases for the year(they'll have to reduce outflows somewhere else to provide the flush).
 

Dorado

Well-Known Member
Last year we were in El Nino, We've moved into La Nina. Our last few La Nina years have been strange -this winter could go either way - very dry or cold and snowy. Given it has already snowed several times in Idaho, Utah, Montana and yesterday in Colorado - I hope that is a sign it will be snowy - one thing is probably cold and snowy in the East - which is what the Farmers Almanac is predicting.
It does not seem like early fall weather has anything to do with what the snowpack will end up...Last year we had record wet September and October, followed by record dry and warm November. It seemed like we were headed toward another dry, warm winter...boy was that wrong! Unfortunately, their is no precipitation in the 2 week outlook...October is looking dry...

The long term forecast from NOAA for the northern Rockies and Wasatch is for a wet winter, but who the he!! knows? They certainly did not predict the record snowy season last year!!! I hope for a wet winter, but not a repeat of last year, or there will be no deer or antelope left in western Wyoming, we lost over 90% of the fawns last year....
 

Waterbaby

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Too early to say now what they will do next year. With balancing it all depends on the projected water level at the end of the 2018 water year and that depends on our 2017/2018 winter snows and spring rains - or lack of and since we are reportedly moving into LaNina it could be a cold and dry winter, which would not lead to a 9.0 release for 2018.

The new ENSO report was released this morning. It stated most of the summer was ENSO-Neutral and the waters and winds in the Eastern Pacific were not conducive to much of a storm/monsoon season. They said everything is pointing to a move from ENSO-Neutral to ENSO-"weak" La-Nina.... La Nina normally means cold and dry in our part of the country, but the last La Nina was one of our very snowy winters - so it does fool us once in a while.

This link clearly explains La Nina and how it affects our weather..

"During La Niña events, the warmest ocean waters are confined to the western equatorial Pacific region. Therefore, this is the preferred placement for tropical thunderstorms during the Northern Hemisphere cold season. These thunderstorms can be considered as a “bridge” between the ocean and the atmosphere. As these thunderstorms develop, they induce low pressure within the western Pacific region. Meanwhile high pressure sets up across the eastern equatorial Pacific where thunderstorms are less favorable (left hand figure below). This leads to stronger easterly trade winds (flow from high to low pressure). In return, these stronger trade winds help reinforce the SST pattern by pushing the warm water west and enhancing the strength of the cool eastern Pacific water due to upwelling. This coupled tropical circulation, between the atmosphere and ocean, has been linked to other seasonal circulation and weather anomalies throughout the globe."

https://www.weather.gov/arx/why_lanina
 

John P Funk

Well-Known Member
If what I read is correct , outflows will increase in WY2018 to 9 maf from 8.23 maf. That is a substantial amount of water.
They released 9 MAF this water year(2017), and we're still 17.4 feet above a year ago today. Winter storms, and spring moisture will tell the tale. I hate to see Mead so low, but I do like to be able to launch at Hite/Farley.
 

Powelldreamer

Well-Known Member
They released 9 MAF this water year(2017), and we're still 17.4 feet above a year ago today. Winter storms, and spring moisture will tell the tale. I hate to see Mead so low, but I do like to be able to launch at Hite/Farley.
I didnt see that they released 9 maf this year 2017. I cant find what they did release but thought it was closer to 8.4
 

Powelldreamer

Well-Known Member
I just saw the data my bad. Interesting enough though is the following:
High-Flow Experiments (HFE) below Glen Canyon Dam are driven by weather, sediment inputs, and other resource conditions, in accordance with the Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan Record of Decision (LTEMP).

When sediment conditions during the summer and fall meet specific thresholds as described in the LTEMP HFE Protocol, a fall HFE can occur. Fall HFEs can be scheduled to occur anytime during the months of October and November. In order to facilitate advance planning for a potential HFE this fall, the HFE technical team determined that October 9th was the latest date for which sediment inputs could be considered for a potential HFE this fall. Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC) scientists and Reclamation modelers considered cumulative sediment inputs from July 1 through midnight October 9th. Based on these data it has been determined that there is not sufficient sediment to support implementing a high flow experiment (HFE) at Glen Canyon Dam during the fall 2017 planning window; therefore an HFE will not be tested this fall.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
To: All Annual Operating Plan Recipients
From: Lower Colorado Region
Boulder Canyon Operations Office
River Operations Group
Daniel Bunk
P.O. Box 61470
Boulder City, NV 89006-1470
Phone: 702-293-8013

The operation of Lake Powell and Lake Mead in this October 2017 24-Month Study is pursuant to the December 2007 Record of Decision on Colorado River
Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the Coordinated Operations of Lake Powell and Lake Mead (Interim Guidelines) and reflects the 2017 Annual Operating Plan (AOP) and draft 2018 AOP. Pursuant to the Interim Guidelines, the August 2017 24-Month Study projections of the January 1, 2018, system storage and reservoir water surface elevations set the operational tier for the coordinated operation of Lake Powell and Lake Mead during 2018.
Consistent with Section 6.B of the Interim Guidelines, the Lake Powell operational tier for water year 2018 will be governed by the Upper Elevation Balancing Tier, with an initial water year release volume of 8.23 maf and the potential for an April adjustment to equalization or balancing releases in April 2018. This October 2017 24-Month Study indicates that, consistent with Section 6.B.4 of the Interim Guidelines, an April adjustment to balancing releases is projected to occur and Lake Powell is projected to release 9.0 maf in water year 2018.


Consistent with Section 2.B.5 of the Interim Guidelines, the Intentionally Created Surplus (ICS) Surplus Condition is the criterion governing the operation of Lake Mead for calendar years 2017 and 2018. The 2018 operational tier determinations will be documented in the 2018 AOP, which is currently in the final stages of development.

The Interim Guidelines are available for download at: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/programs/strategies/RecordofDecision.pdf

The 2017 AOP is available for download at: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/aop/AOP17.pdf

The draft 2018 AOP is available for download at: https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/AOP2018/AOP18_draft.pdf

Current runoff projections into Lake Powell are provided by the National Weather Service’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center and are as follows:

Observed unregulated inflow into Lake Powell for the month of September was 0.196 maf or 48 percent of the 30-year average from 1981 to 2010. The forecast for October unregulated inflow into Lake Powell is 0.510 maf or 100 percent of the 30-year average. The observed 2017 April through July unregulated inflow is 8.173 maf or 114 percent of average.

In this study, the calendar year 2017 diversion for Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) is projected to be 0.652 maf. The calendar year 2017 diversion for the Central Arizona Project (CAP) is projected to be 1.394 maf. Consumptive use for Nevada above Hoover (SNWP Use) is projected to be 0.248 maf for calendar year 2017.

Due to changing Lake Mead elevations, Hoover’s generator capacity is adjusted based on estimated effective capacity and plant availability. The estimated
effective capacity is based on projected Lake Mead elevations. Unit capacity tests will be performed as the lake elevation changes. This study reflects these
changes in the projections.

Hoover, Davis, and Parker historical gross energy figures come from PO&M reports provided by the Lower Colorado Region’s Power Management Office, Bureau of Reclamation, Boulder City, Nevada. Questions regarding these historical energy numbers can be directed to Eric Carty at (702) 293-8129.
 
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