Snowpack news (January 24, 2021): Snow dances are in order

San Juan River Basin snowpack January 24, 2021 via the NRCS.

From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):

The Pagosa Springs area received over 10 inches of snow…[January 19, 2021], bringing some much-needed additional snowpack to the area…

According to the U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture National Water and Climate Center’s snowpack report, the Wolf Creek Summit, at 11,000 feet of elevation, had 16.4 inches of snow water equivalent as of noon on Jan. 20.

That amount is 87 percent of the Jan. 20 median for the site.

The San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River basins were at 67 percent of the Jan. 20 median in terms of snowpack…

River Report

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the San Juan River was flow- ing at a rate of 44.4 cfs in Pagosa Springs as of 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

Based on 85 years of water records, the average flow rate for this date is 57 cfs.

The highest recorded rate for this date was in 2005 at 116 cfs. The lowest recored rate was 30 cfs, recorded in 1961.

Roaring Fork River snowpack January 24, 2021 via the NRCS.

From The Aspen Times (Scott Condon):

Aspen Mountain and Snowmass racked up decent snowfall amounts in November and December but Mother Nature closed the spigot in January. Snowmass recorded only 5 inches of snowfall in January through Tuesday while Aspen Mountain managed only 3 inches, according to Aspen Skiing Co.

From Nov. 1 through Jan. 19, Snowmass received 99 inches of snow while Aspen Mountain scored 83 inches, according to Jeff Hanle, Skico vice president of communications…

By his calculations, Snowmass was at 89% of average for November and December. It’s falling further behind average during the dry January…

The dry conditions aren’t isolated to Aspen and Snowmass. Breckenridge Ski Resort finally topped 100 inches for the season last weekend. In the 2019-20 ski season, it topped the century mark for snow in mid-December, according to the Summit Daily News.

An automated snow telemetry site on Vail Mountain shows the snowpack there is just 69% of average in snow water equivalent — the amount of water in the snow, according to the Vail Daily.

The snowpack at the headwaters of the Roaring Fork River east of Aspen is at 76% of normal, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service…

The statewide cumulative snowpack was just 83% of median as of Jan. 1 and only 70% of last year’s snowpack on the same date.

Barefoot Dance In The Snow New York, New York March 8, 1916. Girls of the Marion Morgan School of Dance in Los Angeles perform barefoot in the snow in Central Park. Underwood Archives by Underwood Archives

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District approves rate increase — The #PagosaSpring Sun

San Juan River from Wolf Creek Pass

From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Chris Mannara):

Changes were approved to water rates by the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) at a regular board meeting on Jan. 14.

Back in September of 2018, the PAWSD board approved changes to its rates for water service customers that would take place in 2021, ac- cording to a public notice.

These changes, according to the notice, will increase the minimum monthly service charge per equiva- lent unit (EU) and will also increase the volume rate charges by 6 percent annually through 2023. They will equate to a 33.74 percent cumulative increase over a five-year period.

For 2021, the monthly service charge per EU will increase from $26.40 to $27.98, the release notes.

For those who use between 2,001 to 8,000 gallons, the rate per 1,000 gallons will increase from $4.74 to $5.02, according to the release.

Additionally, from 8,001 to 20,000 gallons, the rate per 1,000 gallons will increase from $9.48 to $10.05. For over 20,001 gallons usage, per 1,000 gallons, the charge will increase from $11.90 to $12.61.

The water fill station charge per 1,000 gallons will also increase from $10.25 to $10.84, the release notes.

Water availability of service and the wastewater availability of service charges will remain the same at $14.30 and $12.50, respectively, the notice reads.

The release also notes that the capital investment fees for both water and wastewater will increase by 3 percent per year.

Wastewater charges

PAWSD will also be implementing increases to wastewater charges in 2024 and will end in 2027, according to the release.

The changes will include a 2.5 percent annual rate increase, which amounts to a 10.38 percent cumu- lative increase over the four-year period, the release notes.