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DRAFT - Upper Colorado River Basin Resource Guide: Gunnison River

Sponsored by the The Water Center at Colorado Mesa University

GUNNISON RIVER BASIN

Detailed map

 

  • Drainage Area:The Gunnison River Basin covers ~ 8,000 square miles in western Colorado

  • Length :  Formed by the confluence of Taylor and East Rivers. Flows 180 miles southwest, west and northwest through Gunnison, Montrose and Delta counties entering Colorado River at Grand Junction, Mesa County, Colorado. 
  • Largest cities/towns in the basin:
    • Montrose (pop. 19, 132)
    • Delta (pop. 8,915)
    • Gunnison (pop. 5,854)
  • Land use: Agricultural, mining, recreation, tourism, hydropower (57% forested)
  • Storage-Major reservoirs:
    • Taylor Park Reservoir - 106,200 ac-ft
    • Aspinall Unit
      • Blue Mesa Reservoir - 940,800 ac-ft
      • Morrow Point Reservoir - 117,190 ac-ft
      • Crystal Reservoir - 26,000 ac-ft
    • Ridgway Reservoir - 94,126 ac-ft
    • Paonia Reservoir - 20,950 ac-ft
    • Crawford Reservoir - 14,395 ac-ft

  • Major Exports from Basin:
    • Redlands Canal - 510,930 ac-ft (annual average diversion)
    • Hallenbeck Reservoir #1- 4,324 ac-ft (annual average diversion)
    • Grand Junction FL+WW - 2,484 ac-ft (annual average diversion)

Sources: Gunnison River Facts and Gunnison Basin Fact Sheet