#Snowpack levels up more than 100 percent compared to last month — The #PagosaSprings Sun #SanJuanRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Colorado snowpack basin-filled map January 9, 2022 via the NRCS.

From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):

Less than a month ago, on Dec. 8, 2021, the snowpack level for the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river basins was at 31 percent of that date’s median, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Water and Climate Center’s snow pack report.

As of 11 a.m. on Jan. 5, the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river basins were at 136 per- cent of the Jan. 5 median.

According to the USDA, as of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 5, the Wolf Creek summit, at 11,000 feet of elevation, had 22.6 inches in snow water equivalent.
That amount is 149 percent of that date’s median snow water equivalent…

River report

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the San Juan River was flowing at a rate of 53.7 cfs in Pagosa Springs as of noon on Wednesday, Jan. 5. Based on 86 years of water records at this site, the lowest recorded flow rate for this date is 26 cfs, recorded in 1990. The highest recorded rate for this date was in 1987 at 116 cfs. The average flow rate for this date is 59 cfs.

An instantaneous reading was unavailable for the Piedra River near Arboles.

Colorado Drought Monitor map January 4, 2022.

Drought report

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) was last updated on Dec. 28, 2021. The NIDIS website indicates 100 percent of Archuleta County is abnormally dry and also in a moderate drought. The NIDIS website also notes that 47.66 percent of the county is in a severe drought stage. Additionally, the NIDIS website notes that 10.33 percent of the county remains in an extreme drought. No portion of the county is in exceptional drought.

For more information and maps, visit: https://www.drought.gov/states/Colorado/county/Archuleta.

Archuleta County Board of County Comissioners grants river enhancement funds The #Pagosa Springs Sun #SanJuanRiver

Yamaguchi South Planning Project site layout via the City of Pagosa Springs.

From The Pagosa Springs Sun (Clayton Chaney):

On Dec. 21, 2021, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) committed $10,000 through a letter of commitment to be used as part of the cash match for the Town of Pagosa Springs and the Upper San Juan Watershed Enhancement Partnership’s ( WEP) grant application for the south Yamaguchi Park project.

The funds will be taken from the county’s Conservation Trust Fund, which can only be used for outdoor recreation purposes.

The grant being applied for will be dispersed by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) next March.

WEP representative Al Pfister first approached the BoCC in regard to the matching fund request on Dec. 7, 2021.

Pfister previously explained that the total cost of the project is just over $664,000, with more than $500,000 coming from the grant.

The WEP needs a 25 percent cash match, or just over $166,000, to be awarded the grant. Six other entities have been asked to com-mit funds including the Town of Pagosa Springs, San Juan Water Conservancy District, Trout Unlimited, Friends of the Upper San Juan, The Nature Conservancy and Weminuche Audubon.

County Attorney Todd Weaver noted that “it’s a community col- laborative effort.”

The letter of commitment sent to the CWCB reads, “This project is part of the Upper San Juan Basin Integrated Water Management Plan and would create various new and/or improved river access points and channel features for the San Juan River, thereby enhancing recreation options at various river flows, reducing access conflicts, create diverse aquatic habitat to support fisheries, and develop a more resilient river facing changing hydrology and temperatures in the future.”

Commissioner Warren Brown mentioned he felt it was a “worthwhile” project to support, noting it will likely have a positive impact on tourism in the community.

Commissioner Ronnie Maez mentioned the project will be a “huge improvement.”

Commissioner Alvin Schaaf noted it will serve as a benefit “to all of the community.”

The letter of commitment of funds was approved unanimously.

Paper: Increasing co-occurrence of fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone extremes in the western United States — Science Advances

Smoke from the East Troublesome fire looms over Granby Reservoir. Photo credit: Evan Wise via Water for Colorado

Click here to access the paper (Dmitri a. Kalashnikov Jordan l. Schnell John t. Abatzoglou Daniel l. Swain and Deepti Singh). Here’s the abstract:

Wildfires and meteorological conditions influence the co-occurrence of multiple harmful air pollutants including fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ground-level ozone. We examine the spatiotemporal characteristics of PM2.5/ozone co-occurrences and associated population exposure in the western United States (US). The frequency, spatial extent, and temporal persistence of extreme PM2.5/ozone co-occurrences have increased significantly between 2001 and 2020, increasing annual population exposure to multiple harmful air pollutants by ~25 million person-days/year. Using a clustering methodology to characterize daily weather patterns, we identify significant increases in atmospheric ridging patterns conducive to widespread PM2.5/ozone co-occurrences and population exposure. We further link the spatial extent of co-occurrence to the extent of extreme heat and wildfires. Our results suggest an increasing potential for co-occurring air pollution episodes in the western US with continued climate change.