Whitewater enthusiasts just might be able to run the lower Dolores River in late May – including over Memorial Day weekend.
The Dolores Water Conservancy District announced on its website on Monday that recent heavy precipitation, including what’s in the forecast for this week, would likely fill McPhee Reservoir and allow for a boating release. If it happens, it would be the first since 2011.
The water district said that the precipitation combined with a cool, slow start to irrigation season has left the reservoir just 12 feet below full.
“A boating release will likely cover the Memorial Day weekend and last 5-10 days at 1,000 +/- CFS (cubic feet per second),” the website says.
The district says it will continue to keep boaters updated through the week.
The Dolores River was dammed in the late 1980s, which created McPhee Reservoir to ensure domestic water supply for Cortez and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, and irrigation for more than 70,000 acres of otherwise arid land.
For the latest on the reservoir levels, visit www.doloreswater.com/releases.htm.