From The Pueblo Chieftain (Matt Hildner):
While the move still requires approval of state water officials, the Conejos Water Conservancy District hopes the proposal will return some water to its users while allowing for a more accurate accounting of delivery requirements under the Rio Grande Compact. The district, which has 86,000 acres of irrigable land in the southwestern corner of the San Luis Valley, wants to add 72 electronic gauging stations and automate four of the most-used headgates in the river basin. The district and ditch companies inside its boundaries would put up $92,000 in matching funds.
The Conejos, like the Rio Grande, is subject to the Rio Grande Compact, which has fluctuating requirements for how much water must be sent downstream to New Mexico and Texas, depending on the amount of snowpack in a given year. As much as 70 percent of the river’s flow is allowed to head downstream in a wet year and as little as 25 percent in a dry year…
The added gauges may also help the district pin down return flows from diversions, a task that’s complicated by a jumble of river channels and irrigation ditches near the junction of the Conejos with the Rio Grande. The district also hopes the gauges would allow for a more accurate tracking of releases from Platoro Reservoir, which has a capacity of 59,000 acre-feet.
More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.