At the request of Colorado State Parks and Arkansas River Outfitters Association, Chaffee County commissioners unanimously agreed to delay placement of a call for water under its boating park water rights until the day before FIBArk.

The decision was made at a special meeting May 18.

Because of low snowpack and runoff, the Bureau of Reclamation, in consultation with the Southeastern Water Conservancy District, has been exchanging water from Pueblo Reservoir back to Twin Lakes and Turquoise reservoirs.

The increased storage will allow for greater releases of water later in the summer under the Voluntary Flow Management Program that will also benefit boating parks.

“This is a common-sense, cooperative approach to coordinate with other water users for the benefit of everyone on what will be a difficult year for river flows,” Commissioner Dennis Giese said.

The county also plans to work with holders of senior exchange rights under the existing memorandum of understanding in an effort to maximize flows June 14-17 during FIBArk, the nation’s oldest whitewater festival.

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