#Drought news (January 6, 2020): #AnimasRiver shatters all-time record low flow based on 109 years of data — The #Durango Herald #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

From The Durango Herald (Jonathan Romeo):

1913 record is broken amid prolonged drought

Records show the Animas River recently broke the all-time low flow set on the water gauge behind the Powerhouse Science Center, which has collected data for 109 years.

The previous record low flow at the U.S. Geological Survey’s water gauge was set March 2, 1913, when the Animas River was running at 94 cubic feet per second…

On Dec. 21, flows on the Animas dipped below 94 cfs and continued to fall. At its lowest point, the river was running at 79.6 cfs on Christmas Day, as well as the day after.

As of Tuesday, the Animas was running around 120 cfs, nearly half the historic average on the more than century-old water gauge.

“It’s one of the oldest gauges in Southwest Colorado,” said Steve Harris, with Harris Water Engineering…

A few years ago, the USGS, looking to cut costs, floated the idea of decommissioning the gauge by the Powerhouse Science Center. In response, local stakeholders banded together to form a partnership to help with funding…

The fact the Animas recorded an all-time record low in 109 years of records is a testament to the prolonged drought hitting the region.

As of Tuesday, the U.S. Drought Monitor had Southwest Colorado listed in an “exceptional” drought – the highest category of drought…

West Drought Monitor December 29, 2020.

And snowpack, so far, in Southwest Colorado is behind – federal records show snowpack is just 74% of historic averages as of Tuesday.

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map January 4, 2021 via the NRCS.

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