With increased water flowing into Chatfield Reservoir, water managers with the Omaha District, in conjunction with the state of Colorado, are increasing releases from Chatfield Dam and reducing releases from Cherry Creek Dam to keep overall system releases steady. All Tri-Lakes releases will continue to be adjusted based on reservoir and hydrologic conditions. Chatfield Reservoir currently has 5.3 percent of its flood pool occupied with inflows above 2100 cfs and the release at 2050 cfs. Bear Creek Reservoir currently has 31.1 percent of its flood pool occupied with inflows around 670 cfs and a release of 500 cfs. Cherry Creek Reservoir has 1.7 percent of its flood pool occupied with inflows around 100 cfs and a release of 100 cfs. Chatfield and Bear Creek Reservoirs are currently rising and Cherry Creek Reservoir is slowly dropping.
Heavy rain and mountain snowmelt runoff since the beginning of May have produced high flows along the South Platte River in Colorado and its contributing tributary streams. The three Denver-area dams operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District and referred to as the Tri-Lakes Projects are Chatfield, Cherry Creek, and Bear Creek Dams.
These three reservoirs have captured a combined 25,000 acre-feet of flood water during this period. The combined storage capacity of these three reservoirs is nearly 314,000 acre feet of water.
Runoff from last week's precipitation in Colorado is causing elevated pool levels at the Tri-Lakes dams that are owned and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District. Bear Creek, Chatfield, and Cherry Creek Dams make up the Tri-Lakes Projects and are not experiencing any dam safety issues from the recent heavy precipitation which fell in the Central Rocky Mountains region. As part of a system operations plan to evacuate flood storage, releases from the Tri-Lakes dams are as follows: Bear Creek - 500 cubic feet per second (cfs); Cherry Creek - 250 cfs; Chatfield - increasing from 1500 cfs to 1900 cfs today.