From The Fort Morgan Times:
Their decision, which they based on low snowpack and precipitation conditions, bolsters this year’s supplemental water supplies with a 40 percent increase from the initial quota set earlier this water year.
The C-BT quota sets the percentage of an acre foot that a C-BT allottee will receive during the current water year for every unit of C-BT water the allottee owns. The 90 percent quota means that each unit will yield nine-tenths of an acre foot. This is the first year since 1977 that the board set an April quota of 90 percent or above.
Every year the directors base their April quota decision on updated snowpack, precipitation and reservoir storage information while striving to balance the overall needs within Northern Water’s district boundaries.
As of today, snowpack in watersheds integral to C-BT is significantly below average for this time of year, at 34 percent of average in the Upper Colorado River Basin and 53 percent in the South Platte River Basin. To add to that, the year’s precipitation within district boundaries is sitting at 59 percent of the historical average.
Northern Water is also forecasting below-average streamflows this season.
More coverage from the North Forty News (Kate Hawthorne):
The quota will make 279,000 acre feet of C-BT water available to agricultural, municipal and industrial users in the district — a 40 percent increase in supplemental supplies over the initial quota for the 2012 water year. This is the first time since 1977 that the April quota has been 90 percent or above…
“This is one of those years why we have the C-BT,” said Director Kenton Brunner from Weld County in a prepared statement announcing the April quota. “Farmers need to get their crops in and they need the water.” The board can make additional water available anytime through October if they see the need, according to the district.
More coverage from the Loveland Reporter-Herald:
It is the highest amount of water allowed to be released from reservoirs such as Carter Lake and Horsetooth Reservoir in several years…“This will allow the project to do what it is intended to do: Get us through the dry years,” said Director John Rusch, who represents Morgan and Washington counties, in a release from the agency.