From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):
Pagosa Country also remains in a voluntary drought stage…
“Under the Volun- tary Drought State there are no mandatory water use restrictions, however PAWSD does encourage responsible water use. This spring we have seen higher than normal temperatures. These high tempera- tures along with a reduction in late spring precipitation resulted in a quicker than normal melting of the snowpack reducing our available water and could lead to water use restrictions.”
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the San Juan River was flowing at a rate of 221 cfs in Pagosa Springs as of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30.
Based on 85 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for this date is 759 cfs.
The highest recorded rate for this date was in 1957 at 3,020 cfs. The lowest recorded rate was 19.9 cfs, recorded in 2002.
As of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, June 30, the Piedra River near Arboles was flowing at a rate of 176 cfs.
Based on 58 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for this date is 764 cfs.
The highest recorded rate for this date was 2,030 cfs in 1979. The lowest recorded rate was 10.6 cfs in 2002.
According to the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) as of 10 a.m. on June 22, 100 percent of Archuleta County is in a moderate drought stage.
The NIDIS website notes that under a moderate drought stage dry-land crops may suffer, range- land growth is stunted, very little hay is available and risk of wildfires may increase.
The NIDIS website also notes that 71.17 percent of the county is in a severe drought stage.
According to the NIDIS, under a severe drought stage, fire season is extended.
Additionally, the NIDIS website notes that 51.04 percent, mostly the western portion, of the county is in an extreme drought.
The NIDIS website notes that under an extreme drought stage, large fires may develop and pasture conditions worsen.
According to the NIDIS, 6.24 percent of the county, in the south- western portion, is in an exceptional drought stage.
Under an exceptional drought stage, agricultural and recreational losses are large and dust storms and topsoil removal are widespread.
For more information and maps, visit: https://www.drought.gov/states/Colorado/county/Archuleta.