Drought/snowpack news: Gore Creek may have started melting out #COdrought




From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Gary Harmon):

Grand Valley residents will be asked to limit their water use, but no measures aimed at limiting use by high rates or rationing are on the horizon. The main suppliers of domestic water — Clifton Water, Grand Junction, Ute Water Conservancy District and Palisade — asked Friday, though, that residents water and wash with one eye on the state’s parched peaks.

The winter of 2012-2013 “makes for two years in a row of below-average snow and moisture levels,” said Dave Reinertsen, chairman of the Mesa County Drought Response Information Project, noting that snowpack statewide and its equivalent water content has been well below historical averages. “Grand Valley residents have always stepped up to volunteer for the various needs of the community,” Reinertsen said. “We’re asking for the community to once again step up and volunteer to help us all preserve our most valued and precious resource — our limited water supplies in our high-desert environment.”

A continued dry spring and summer could force a second look at the valley’s water supply, so it’s possible that conservation measures could be instituted, said Reinertsen, also the assistant manager of Clifton Water.

Among the steps residents can take is reducing watering from two or three times a week to one or two deep waterings per week.

Residents also can log on to http://www.thedripwebsite.com for links to water-conservation measures anyone can take to reduce water use through efficient practices.

Below is the snowpack graph from Vail Pass above Gore Creek, via Diane Johnson.

From USA Today (Doyle Rice):

The nation is seeing a sharp divide between dry and wet as summer approaches: While the eastern USA is almost entirely drought-free, drought continues to persist and intensify in much of the country to the west of the Mississippi River.

Many areas of the West are ending the wet season with “bleak spring runoff prospects and increasing drought concerns,” according to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly federal website that tracks drought. Every state west of the Mississippi, except for Washington, is enduring some level of drought conditions. In all, 66% of the Western U.S. is in a drought, with the worst conditions in Texas, Colorado, Kansas and New Mexico.

In the East, the only states where drought is occurring are small portions of the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida.

Nationally, 47% of the contiguous U.S. is in a drought.

From from The Grand Junction Free Press (Caitlin Row):

Though the Western Slope of Colorado remains in drought, there’s one silver lining. Ute Water Conservancy spokesman Joe Burtard recently announced that Mesa County’s Drought Response Information Project (DRIP) decided universally to keep the area in a Stage 1 Drought, not bump up to Stage 2…

“The recent storm really boosted all our water sheds,” Burtard said. “With a colder spring, that’s a big player in preserving the snowpack we have. It’s (still) not the greatest, but we will maintain at Stage 1.”

Here’s the NWS Grand Junction April 26 2013 Dust/Snowpack Briefing:

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