When is it OK to water in the winter? – News on TAP

Experts recommend using a little water during prolonged dry spells when temperatures are above 40 degrees.

Source: When is it OK to water in the winter? – News on TAP

Seriously? Yes, seriously: Drought-busting moisture levels in parts of the state don’t mean the Arizona drought is done

Arizona Water News

Record snowfall in the Sierra Nevada…double the average snow in parts of the Rockies… one “atmospheric river” after the next hitting the coast…and enough snowpack in the eastern Arizona mountains to give Lake Roosevelt an outside chance of filling up this spring…yet Arizona remains in drought? Yep

The news is abundant in the West about all the moisture abundance occurring nearly – accent, nearly – everywhere.

Western saturation is the biggest story of the winter in the U.S.

In some areas of northern California, rain totals reached 400 percent of normal in December.  January snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains stood at 173 percent of normal, the equivalent of 5.7 trillion gallons of water.

It wasn’t just California experiencing all those remarkably wet atmospheric rivers. As early as mid-January, the Colorado River snowpack stood at 57 percent above the long-term median for that time of year and that…

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Tenth Water Leaders Cohort Prepares for First Class

Your Water Colorado Blog

trolly 2 Participants in the 2016 Water Leaders class brainstorm how to use our strengths in solving problems, with the help of facilitator Cheryl Benedict.

The Colorado Foundation for Water Education is excited to announce its 2017 Water Leaders class, as participants ready for their first day of an eight-month journey that begins next week on Monday, March 13. The Water Leaders program is recognized as the premier professional development course for Colorado’s water community. This year will mark the 10th graduating class of Water Leaders, and CFWE could not be more proud of program’s evolution.

Through the Water Leaders program, CFWE aims to positively impact the Colorado water profession by developing a pipeline of water leaders across diverse fields with the knowledge and skills to navigate the complex world of Colorado water.

The 15 participants in the 2017 cohort have been selected through a very competitive application process. Welcome to the 2017…

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Colorado Water Supply Outlook Report February 1, 2017 — NRCS

Click here read the report. Here’s the summary:

Colorado received well above normal mountain precipitation and snowpack accumulation throughout the month of January, with all but one major basin receiving more than twice the normal amount of monthly precipitation. The combined Yampa, White, and North Platte basins experienced the lowest January precipitation at 187 percent of average and the Gunnison had the highest at 251 percent. Statewide January precipitation was 217 percent of average. This substantial accumulation of precipitation left the statewide snowpack at 156 percent of normal as of February 1st, a notable increase from the 114 percent that was recorded as of January 1st. Streamflow forecasts across the state range from near to well above normal seasonal volumes. On the low end there are several forecast points in the South Platte basin that are currently forecast to have between 101-110 percent of their average April-July streamflow volumes. While most streamflow forecasts in the state range between 110-150 percent of normal, there are several streams in the Upper Rio Grande basin that are forecast to have between 175-185 percent of average streamflow this season. Reservoir storage has remained relatively constant, relative to normal, throughout this water year and is currently 106 percent of average statewide.

Statewide Time Series snowpack summary March 6, 2017 via the NRCS.

Boating halted at Narraguinnep Reservoir to prevent quagga infestation

Quaggas on sandal at Lake Mead

From The Durango Herald (Jim Mimiaga):

The permanent boating ban went into effect Tuesday, said Brandon Johnson, general manager of the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Co., which owns the reservoir.

“We can’t afford to get the mussel in there because of the damage they cause to our infrastructure,” he said. “We had to take drastic action against this threat because we’re in the irrigation business, not the recreation business.”

Mussels from infected lakes, including Lake Powell, can travel in standing water of boats and contaminate other lakes, clogging pipes, valves and canals.

“If they get in there, we can’t deliver water to our stockholders, costs will increase to mitigate them, and they will get into side rolls and pipes,” Johnson said.

The Narraguinnep ban is for all boats, motorized and non-motorized, and includes jet skis, fishing boats, row boats, kayaks and canoes. Colorado Parks and Wildlife would enforce the ban and issue tickets.

Whether paddle boards and windsurfing would be allowed is not clear. “The board decided on a boating ban,” Johnson said. “Whether those two are boats is up to the enforcement agencies.”

MVIC also owns Groundhog Reservoir and is evaluating whether it will close that lake to boating, Johnson said.

Boating could possibly continue at Narraguinnep if there were a boat inspection program, he said, but the irrigation company cannot afford it.

“Recreation is the responsibility of Colorado Parks and Wildlife,” Johnson said.

Parks and Wildlife operates local boat inspection programs, including for McPhee Reservoir, to check for the mussel and decontaminate boats.

But CPW spokesman Joe Lewandowski said the agency does not have the funding to add more boat inspection programs.

“We’re scrambling for funding for the lakes where we do have inspection stations. They are costly to operate,” he said…

McPhee Reservoir is also restricting access to the lake beginning this year to prevent a mussel contamination. Boat ramps at McPhee and House Creek will be gated, and trailered boats can launch only when boat inspection stations are open.

The McPhee boating restriction does not include hand-launched, non-motorized boats such as canoes, kayaks, rafts, windsurfers and paddle boards. Non-motorized, hand-launched boats are free to launch anytime from anywhere on McPhee. However, all boat owners should make sure to clean, drain and dry all boats before and after entering any waterway to avoid invasive species contamination.