The Pagosa Area #Water & Sanitation District providing water to #Chama — The #PagosaSprings Sun #SanJuanRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Ranch near Chama, New Mexico. By Jeff Vanuga / Photo courtesy of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service., Public Domain,

Click the link to read the article on the The Pagosa Springs Sun website (Josh Pike). Here’s an excerpt:

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) is currently providing water for Chama, N.M., with that community facing a water shortage and lack of running water. District Manager Justin Ramsey explained in an interview with The SUN that PAWSD is currently working with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) to provide water for Chama.

According to Ramsey, DHSEM has a contract with PAWSD for up to 150,000 gallons of water a day for five days, which they are currently drawing from to help provide water for Chama, which is facing extensive water line breakages and extreme water shortages from a lack of running water.
“I know it’s gonna seem odd ‘cause we just went into drought restrictions, but this is an emergency,” Ramsey said of PAWSD’s involvement. “They have no water … to water their grass and their vegetables, … so we opted to be good neighbors.”

Ramsey also commented, “We’re trying to get ‘em to take it from … the fill station at [the PAWSD Vista office] and the fill station at Trails so that it’s coming from our San Juan plant. … Once it passes that diversion at San Juan, it’s gone, we don’t have it anyway, so that’s where we’re trying to grab it from. It’s water that would flow by us anyway.”

Rivers and drought

Stream flow for the San Juan River on June 29 at approximately 9 a.m. was 402 cubic feet per second (cfs), according to the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) National Water Dashboard. This is down from a recent peak of 911 cfs at 6:30 a.m. on June 27 and up from last week’s reading of 220 cfs at 9 a.m. on June 22.

Colorado Drought Monitor map June 28, 2022.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Integrated Drought In- formation System (NIDIS) reports that 100 percent of the county is experiencing drought. The NIDIS indicates May 2022 was the 19th driest May in 128 years, with 1.03 fewer inches of precipitation than normal, and with 2022 to date being the sixth driest year in the last 128 years, with 5.22 inches of precipitation less than normal. The NIDIS places the entire county in a severe drought, which the website notes may cause farm- ers to reduce planting, producers to sell cattle and the wildfire season to be extended, among other impacts. The NIDIS also notes that a severe drought is associated with low surface water levels and reduced river flows. The NIDIS also places a portion of the county in an extreme drought…

The forecast for the area indicates that in the next two weeks, the majority of Archuleta County will be experiencing extreme wet conditions, while the four-week forecast shows the county will be experiencing a mix of extreme wet and exceptionally wet conditions.

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