Click the link to read the article on the Gunnison Country Times website (Alan Wartes). Here’s an excerpt:
Better than expected monsoonal rains this summer have not led Gunnison County out of the region’s persistent drought — but the moisture has gone a long way to lessen its severity. Beverly Richards, water resource specialist for the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District, shared the message with the Gunnison County Commissioners on Tuesday. As of last week, over 96% of Gunnison County was listed in the National Integrated Drought Information System as falling in the category of “moderate drought,” one step above the least severe rating of “abnormally dry.” The 30-day outlook calls for continued improvement, as forecasts predict at least a 33% chance of above normal precipitation in the next month.
Richards said the wetter-than-forecasted summer has done little to improve the water storage outlook at Blue Mesa Reservoir, however. Current forecasts call for the lake to drop to 33% of capacity heading into winter, up only slightly from the 29% estimate in early summer. The water level in the reservoir peaked at 48% in July and sits at 44% of capacity.