July was the fifth wettest July in the past 128 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), with 3.05 inches more precipitation than average. 2022 to date is the 55th wettest year in the past 128 years according to the NIDIS, with 0.1 inches more precipitation than average.
The NIDIS also indicates that the levels of drought in the county have declined significantly from July and early August, with 36.2 percent of the county being affected by drought, down 1 percent from last week and 64 percent from last month.
Stream flow for the San Juan River on Aug. 17 at approximately noon was 134 cubic feet per second (cfs), according to the U.S. Geological Service National Water Dashboard. This is down from a nighttime peak of 168 cfs at 7:45 p.m. on Aug. 16. These numbers are down from last week’s reading of 237 cfs at noon on Aug. 10.
Click the link to read the article on the KUNC website (Luke Runyon). Here’s an excerpt:
The seven states that rely on the river blew past an August 16 deadline without a plan to conserve 2 to 4 million acre-feet of water. They were given that task by officials with the Bureau of Reclamation and from within the Interior Department. The agency’s models show that amount is what is necessary to keep the river’s biggest reservoirs — lakes Mead and Powell — from reaching critical levels.
“Our common deadline is as soon as possible,” said Tanya Trujillo, the Interior Department’s assistant secretary for water and science, on Thursday. “While we’re working on those shorter term efforts, we’re also at the same time trying to continue working on those longer term strategies.”
Federal officials announced they would be implementing a series of water cutbacks for Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico in 2023. Those cuts were previously agreed to under the 2019 Drought Contingency Plan and the 2007 Interim Guidelines.
In a statement, the Bureau of Reclamation said it would be considering “other operational actions to establish flexibility” in the river’s Upper Basin and Lower Basin operations at facilities the agency owns and operates, but didn’t elaborate further on what those actions might be.