Drought/snowpack/runoff news: The snowpack is all but gone across Colorado, weeks ahead of average

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Click on the thumbnail graphics for the current snowpack map along with the basin high/low graphs for the South Platte and Upper Colorado rivers, from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The median melt out date is usually somewhere in the middle of June.

Bobby Magill has posted two May photos from trail ridge road up on the Restless West Journal. One photo is from 2010 and one from this year. The contrast is stark.

From The Mountain Mail (Mike Campbell):

Amy Larson, spokesperson for Colorado River Outfitters Association, said, “With the Colorado reservoirs at capacity and river levels running ahead of normal, early season rafting offers ideal conditions for families and first-timers looking for some fun and excitement.”

The association’s executive director, David Costlow, said, “There’s a misperception out there this year that, because we didn’t have a lot of spring snow, there won’t be water to raft this year.

Here’s a release from the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District (Diane Johson):

Eagle River Water and Sanitation District customers are reminded that the normal Water Use Regulations apply year-round. The regulations govern how water is used, particularly outdoors, within Eagle River Water & Sanitation District’s service area.

“The district is responsible for protecting an adequate supply of water to its customers,” said General Manager Linn Brooks. “We promote efficient use of water at all times, but given this year’s potential water supply challenges, every customer can lessen the impact of the drought to our community by carefully considering their outdoor water needs.”

As part of the district’s general rules and regulations, the Water Use Regulations are rooted in Colorado water law and state that “water shall be used for beneficial purposes only and shall not be wasted.” This is primarily achieved by watering no more than three days per week and avoiding outdoor water use during hot and windy times of day, when water is lost to evaporation.

The complete Water Use Regulations are available at www.erwsd.org

The district encourages customers to have their irrigation systems properly maintained because water is wasted if sprinkler heads or lines are broken or are spraying onto driveways or roads.

The Colorado Water 2012 travelling exhibit is on display at the Aurora library until June 2

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From email from the City of Aurora (Julie Patterson):

Colorado Water 2012 exhibit on display through June 2 at Aurora Central Library

AURORA, Colo. – “Colorado Water 2012,” a traveling exhibit celebrating Colorado water history and the importance of the state’s water resources, will be on display now through June 2 at the Aurora Central Library.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Aurora Central Library will show a free screening of the documentary “Liquid Assets” at 6 p.m. May 23. This film presents stories from communities across the country to help provide an understanding of hidden water assets, demonstrate watershed protection approaches and illustrate 21st century solutions. It also looks at the 100-year-old aging, neglected and complex infrastructure that delivers water to American communities.

Also, at 6 p.m. May 30, the Aurora Central Library will host a free showing of the documentary “The American Southwest: Are We Running Dry?.” Narrated by Jane Seymour, this film is an intelligent and provocative piece that educates the public about conservation, water reuse, desalination and how population growth will affect future water legislation. The film also includes a significant amount of information about the Colorado River.

Coordinated by the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, the “Colorado Water 2012” exhibit coincides with several water milestones in Colorado history, including the 75th anniversary of legislation that created organizations such as the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Colorado River Water Conservation District that built the foundation for the management of Colorado’s water resources; the centennial of the Rio Grande Reservoir; and the 50th anniversary of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project.

The Aurora Central Library, located at 14949 E. Alameda Parkway, is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 12:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 303-739-6600 or visit www.auroralibrary.org.