#Durango to explore pipeline from Lake Nighthorse to Terminal Reservoir — The Durango Herald #AnimasRiver #SanJuanRiver #ColoradoRiver #COriver #aridification

Lake Nighthorse and Durango March 2016 photo via Greg Hobbs.

Click the link to read the article on the Durango Herald website (Christian Burney). Here’s an excerpt:

The proposed solution is a new water pipeline from Lake Nighthorse to Durango’s Terminal Reservoir, on College Mesa, which stores water short term until it is pumped into the city’s treatment facility and made ready for use. The pipeline would allow the city to access its share of water at Lake Nighthorse in the event its access to the Florida or Animas rivers is compromised or those waters become unavailable or unsafe for use.

City Council approved an allocation of $500,000 to the city’s water fund for a feasibility study and a preliminary design report. Justin Elkins, Durango utilities manager, said on Thursday he hopes the study will be completed by the end of the year. He said the feasibility study is intended to determine if a pipeline from Lake Nighthorse to Terminal Reservoir can be installed and, assuming it can be, what materials would be used and the size of the pipe; where it would be installed; any land-use or zoning obstacles; and how much the project would cost. The study will also examine if Durango is using its water in the most efficient way or if it will need to adapt in the future, he said…

“From the two watersheds that we draw from – the Animas and the Florida watersheds – we do have statistically significant reduction over the past 20 water years in precipitation, in total runoff, in the watershed’s ability to convert runoff,” he said.

[Allison] Baker said at the City Council meeting August 2, 2022 that the downward trend started in 1980. [ed. emphasis mine]

“Personally, what I look at more than the trends … is that there is a lot of extreme years where we are extremely high or extremely low (in precipitation),” she said.

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