PALISADE, Colo. (KDVR) — A supply of fresh water from the Ruedi Reservoir will be released on Saturday to ease the plight of drought-stressed fish relying on flow in the Colorado River the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Thursday.
The Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, humpback chub and bonytail are the four endangered fish that will benefit from enhanced streamflow.
“Our public and private partners are amazing at coming up with flow solutions to benefit fish, including in drought years like this,” said Tom Chart, Recovery Program Director. “Without their collective expertise and collaborative efforts, we’d struggle to find sufficient water for these fish.”
The additional water is coming from a collaboration, including XTO Energy (donating 5,000 acre-feet of water), the Ute Water Conservancy District and the Town of Palisade. The Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Colorado Water Trust are essential partners in the water transfer.
In total, 8,685 acre-feet of water of Ruedi Reservoir water is available.
An acre-foot is approximately enough water to cover a football field one foot deep, or enough to supply about two typical households with water for a year, according to the USBR.
“In Colorado, regardless of being a public or private entity, we all have in common an understanding of and passion for conserving our water for our state’s native fish and for present and future generations,” said Colorado Water Conservation Board Director Rebecca Mitchell. “Especially during severe drought conditions, this effort at Ruedi Reservoir is an example of how Colorado businesses and individuals come together to make our state a better place for all.”