Rio Grande Basin: Annual Rio Grande Compact Commission meeting recap

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Matt Hildner):

Although last year’s spring runoff came earlier than usual, Colorado sent 299,300 acre-feet of water across the New Mexico state line. The state also accrued a 1,500-foot credit…

The compact, signed in 1938, uses a sliding scale that allows Colorado to keep much of its water in dry years while hiking delivery requirements in wet years. In a year with an above-average snowpack, flows in excess of 560,000 acre-feet on the Rio Grande must be sent downstream. On the Conejos River, which is managed by a similar sliding scale, flows in excess of 224,000 acre-feet must be delivered to New Mexico in an above-average year…

Colorado State Engineer Dick Wolfe, who serves as the state’s commissioner, said they would keep a close eye on the efforts of the other two states to deal with endangered species like the silvery minnow and the southwest willow flycatcher, which impact how the other two states manage the Rio Grande. Although Colorado is working on a habitat conservation plan for the flycatcher, a small bird, the management decisions the other two states have to make on the river for the species have not effected Colorado.

San Luis Valley water leaders Doug Shriver and Ray Wright died in a freak snow-slide accident a while back. The Compact Commissioners passed a resolution acknowledging their efforts. Here’s a report from Ruth Heide writing for the Valley Courier.

More Rio Grande Basin coverage here.

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