From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the San Juan River was flowing at a rate of 27.3 cubic feet per second (cfs) in Pagosa Springs as of noon Wednesday, Sept. 8. That rate is more than 100 cfs below the average flow rate for Sept. 8.
Based on 85 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for this date is 139 cfs.
The highest recorded rate for this date was in 1970 at 1,160 cfs. The lowest recorded rate was 17 cfs, recorded in 1978.
As of noon Wednesday, Sept. 1, the Piedra River near Arboles was flowing at a rate of 40.1, which is up from last week’s instantaneous reading of 31.5 cfs.
However, the flow rate for that date is almost 80 cfs below the average flow rate for Sept. 8.
Based on 58 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for that date is 120 cfs.
The highest recorded rate for this date was 1,300 cfs in 1991. The lowest recorded rate was 8.94 cfs in 2002.
According to a press release from the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) Manager Justin Ramsey, the district remains in a Stage 1 drought per its drought management plan.
…the U.S. Drought Monitor…indicates our area is in a severe to moderate drought.
Ramsey notes that PAWSD is continuing to request voluntary odd/even watering days, “requesting that if your address is an odd number only irrigate on odd calender days and vice-versa for even number ad- dresses.”
There are no other mandatory water use restrictions in place, be- sides limiting irrigation to after 6 p.m. and before 9 a.m…
The NIDIS website indicates 95.29 percent of Archuleta County is abnormally dry, up slightly from the previous report of 94.84 percent of the county being abnormally dry.
The percentage of the county in a moderate drought remains at 67.47 percent.
The NIDIS website also notes that 41.75 percent of the county is in a severe drought stage, which is up slightly from the previous report of 41.2 percent.
Additionally, the NIDIS website notes that 9.12 percent of the county remains in an extreme drought — consistent with the previous report — mostly in the southwestern por- tion of the county.
The NIDIS website notes that under an extreme drought stage, large fires may develop and pasture conditions worsen.
No portion of the county is in exceptional drought.
For more information and maps, visit: https://www.drought.gov/states/Colorado/county/Archuleta.