Boaters, Scientists, and Water Managers Reflect on 2017 Lower Dolores River Spill

Aug 17, 2017

About 24,000 people boated the Lower Dolores River this summer, according to estimates from the Bureau of Land Management. At a public meeting Wednesday night, leaders from Dolores River Boating Advocates, American Whitewater, and The Nature Conservancy told the Dolores Water Conservancy District they appreciated this season’s regular communication with boaters and other stakeholders about releases from McPhee Dam. However, some said they would have preferred more advance notice on the late summer releases. DWCD managers and Greg Smith of the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center said they hope to refine snowmelt-monitoring technology to reduce uncertainty in future seasons. But boater and irrigator Lisa Allee reminded them that a changing climate will make seasonal predictions more difficult, and that they should prioritize river health into the future.