Tuesday, August 23, 2011

UPDATE: Where did the water go?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 10:06 AM

We heard from Colorado Springs Utilities on Tuesday morning that nothing untoward is going on at the Catamount reservoirs. Here's the response from Utilities spokeswoman Patrice Quintero:

There's nothing new to report. We are still working on Montgomery Reservoir, which feeds the Catamounts. It's likely this reader has never seen anything like this in eight years because we haven't performed this level of maintenance in that time. The project is expected to be mostly complete by the end of September, and folks can look forward to "normal" conditions by next spring. Thanks ...

————— ORIGINAL POST, MONDAY, AUG. 22, 5:32 P.M. —————

One of our readers has been monitoring water levels in the Catamount reservoirs, as we reported last month, and writes the following:

It's gotten worse by the week, and I wanted you to see this image taken on 8/11/11 [below].
As you may remember the rep./water resource mgr. at Utilities told you that the reservoirs were at 70% of capacity, and that was obviously incorrect even back then!
In this image of the first cove on the north side of North Catamount if you look to the far left of the sandy area you'll see a small pile of driftwood which logically reflects the high water mark for the reservoir.
I would guess the distance from that point down to water's edge to be at least 50', but whatever the actual measurement is, it reflects a much lower water volume, now!
As I recall Utilities point of view could be summarized by the statement: "not to worry", but really?
And if memory serves water was suppose to be flowing in mass in September, but when next month specifically?
From my 8 years of fishing North Cat and my 20 years of working in Conservation, it seems to me (since I've been seeing large trout floating dead in the water lately), that the reservoir may be close to hitting an ecological crises caused by lower levels of "oxygen" coupled with "warmer water" due to extremely low water volume.
So, I would encourage you to have another look at this issue of importance to the Aquatic ecology of the Catamounts.
What's really going on here, and how forthcoming was Utilities in providing information for your first article, is a reasonable question, I feel.


We contacted Colorado Springs Utilities this morning for an update on reservoir levels but haven't heard back. We'll update when we hear something.

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