From the Valley Courier (Ruth Heide):
Colorado Division of Water Resources Division 3 Engineer Craig Cotten told members of the Valley-wide water group, the Rio Grande Roundtable, this week that in a distressing pattern, streams from Conejos to Saguache were running well below average this year.
He said streams and rivers peaked early on and then dropped off significantly. For example, the Rio Grande at Del Norte was only running about 400 cubic feet per second (cfs) the first part of July, when it usually runs 1,500 cfs at that time of year.
Saguache Creek experienced hardly any peak at all this year and peaked about a month earlier than normal. The average peak on Saguache Creek is 200 cfs. This year it peaked at 80 cfs, Cotten said.
Sangre de Cristo had one good peak occurring a month earlier than normal and then dropped off significantly, according to Cotten who said the creek was down to about 100 cfs before the recent rains came and kicked it back up a bit.
Culebra Creek is also running significantly below the long-term average.
On the Conejos River near Mogote early run-off caused the river to peak a month earlier than normal and then drop off significantly, Cotten said…
He added that in terms of Allen Davey’s longitudinal study of the unconfined aquifer storage, this year is shaping up to provide a new low. Last year the study recorded the lowest point in the unconfined aquifer since the study began in 1976…
He said he knew of at least one farmer whose wells had gone dry, so he was done farming for the year.
More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.