The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District no longer in Stage 1 #Drought — The #PagosaSprings Sun #SanJuanRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):

The Pagosa Area Water and Sani- tation District (PAWSD) Board of Directors voted to exit the Stage 1 Drought, as defined in its drought management plan, at its regular meeting held on Oct. 28.

The board initially voted to enter the Stage 1 Drought on July 19.
District Manager Justin Ramsey explained during the meeting that the primary driver of the district’s drought management plan is the San Juan River flow in conjunction with the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Ramsey noted that the district has met conditions to exit the Stage 1 Drought for almost a month now.

He explained that since the only restriction was irrigation times, and not many people are still irrigating this time of year, he didn’t feel the need to call for a special meeting for the board to vote on exiting sooner…

Snow report

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Water and Climate Center’s snow pack report, the Wolf Creek summit, at 11,000 feet of elevation, had 3.2 inches of snow water equivalent as of 10 a.m. on Nov. 3.

The San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River Basins were at 106 percent of the Nov. 3 median in terms of snow pack.

The USDA website notes that readings “may not provide a valid measure of conditions” in regard to the basins.

River report

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the San Juan River was flowing at a rate of 68.7 cfs in Pagosa Springs as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Based on 86 years of water re- cords at this site, the lowest recorded flow rate for this date is 22 cfs, recorded in 1956.

The highest recorded rate for this date was in 1987 at 657 cfs. The average flow rate for this date is 116 cfs.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, the Piedra River near Arboles was flowing at a rate of 53.2 cfs.

The highest recorded rate for this date was 800 cfs in 1987.

A new lowest recorded rate was recorded this year for this date, earlier in the day at 37.5 cfs.

Based on 59 years of water records at this site, the average flow rate for that date is 146 cfs.

Colorado Drought Monitor map November 2, 2021.

Drought report

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) was last updated on Oct. 26.

The NIDIS website indicates 100 percent of Archuleta County is ab- normally dry.

The percentage of the county in a moderate drought is listed at 70.79, which is up slightly from the previous report of 69.81 percent. The NIDIS website also notes that 47.66 percent of the county is in a severe drought stage, consistent with last week’s report. Additionally, the NIDIS website notes that 10.33 percent of the county remains in an extreme drought. This is up slightly from last week’s report of 9.12 percent. No portion of the county is in
exceptional drought.

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