Rio Grande Roundtable meeting recap: Rio Grande compact requirements will likely prevent an increase in the pool at Platoro Reservoir

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Matt Hildner):

Although compact requirements are a moving target throughout the year, Division 3 Water Engineer Craig Cotten said the amount of water moved past the state line in winter and early spring can limit curtailments on local irrigation ditches. “They really depend on how much water we get through the wintertime, especially in March,” he told a meeting of the Rio Grande Basin Roundtable Tuesday. “Our flows are going up so we’re getting a lot more through.”[…]

Irrigation ditches along the Rio Grande would face a 15 percent curtailment on all flows as of now. The state’s obligations under the compact, which governs the use of the Rio Grande between Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, vary according to streamflow…

The Conejos River, which runs through the southwestern corner of the San Luis Valley and shares in the state’s compact requirements, is expected to produce 265,000 acre-feet this year. The state must send 85,000 acre-feet downstream. Irrigation ditches there currently face a 20 percent requirement.

Water users in the Conejos Water Conservancy District will likely not have the luxury of increasing storage at Platoro Reservoir, a 59,000 acre-foot reservoir that sits at the river’s headwaters in the San Juan Mountains. Platoro can only increase its storage when there is 400,000 acre feet or more of usable water in Caballo and Elephant Butte reservoirs in New Mexico.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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