From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):
Pagosa Country is still in a voluntary drought stage, according to a June 21 press release from the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) Manager Justin Ramsey.
To avoid entering the next drought stage, PAWSD has asked for home and business owners to voluntarily implement an odd/ even irrigation schedule. The odd/ even schedule means that houses and businesses with odd numbered addresses will water on odd numbered days of the month and even numbered addresses will water on even numbered days of the month.
“Compliance with this voluntary schedule would all but guarantee that there would be adequate supply for the entire system without the need to implement further restrictions,” Ramsey notes in the press release.
Ramsey explains in his press release that water use increases by up to 300 percent in the summer versus winter, putting a strain on PAWSD’s ability to deliver water throughout the entire 70-square-mile service area…
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the San Juan River was flowing at a rate of 322 cfs in Pagosa Springs as of 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 23.
Based on 85 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for this date is 1,030 cfs.
The highest recorded rate for this date was in 1941 at 4,040 cfs. The lowest recored rate was 32.1 cfs, recorded in 2002.
As of 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 23, the Piedra River near Arboles was flowing at a rate of 170 cfs.
Based on 58 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for this date is 732 cfs.
The highest recorded rate for this date was 2,160 cfs in 1979. The lowest recorded rate was 16.8 cfs in 2002.
According to the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), as of June 15, 100 percent of Archuleta County remains in a moderate drought stage.
The NIDIS website notes that under a moderate drought stage dry-land crops may suffer, rangeland growth is stunted, very little hay is available and risk of wildfires may increase.
The NIDIS website also notes that 99.36 percent of the county is in a severe drought stage.
According to the NIDIS, under a severe drought stage, the fire season is extended.
For more information and maps, visit https://www.drought.gov/ states/Colorado/county/Archuleta.