Below is the westwide basin-filled map from December 28, 2016. NRCS maps have not been updating over the holiday weekend.
From The Pueblo Chieftain (Jon Pompia):
As 2016 draws to a close, the yearlong precipitation level is lower than in 2015 but not far off from the average annual precipitation.
Through Friday, 2016’s precipitation level was 11.91 inches, down when compared to 2015’s mark of 16.66 inches. When compared to the average annual precipitation of 12.55 inches, however, this year’s moisture level is only slightly lower.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey water supply website, Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River are currently above average; flows were mostly above average throughout the year.
From a standpoint of moisture content in the state’s snowpack, recent holiday weather fronts proved to be a welcome gift. The fronts deposited enough snow in the mountains to put the state over the average for the year in terms of moisture content.
As of Friday, the Arkansas basin’s moisture content was at 115 percent of average, and the Rio Grande basin was at 106 percent of average.
The National Weather Service’s three-month temperature outlook indicates that Pueblo will be above average, with an equal chance of conditions being wet or dry through that timespan.
Chris Woodka of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District points out that, “We imported 59,214 acre-feet of water this year (2016) from the Fryingpan River watershed, which was just slightly above the average of 55,907 acre-feet for the Fry-Ark Project.
“It was a good year, because we were able to provide 45,000 acre-feet of supplemental water for municipal, domestic and agricultural use in the Arkansas River basin,” he said.
Statistics provided by the Board of Water Works indicate that city water consumption was higher in 2016 than the previous year: 7,900,914 gallons to 7,511,255, but under the five-year average of 8,104,317.
As far as pumpage, the water that is treated and then sent out from the plant, 8,481,644 gallons were pumped, an increase over 2015’s 7,924,727 but below the five-year average of 8,614,500.
Meanwhile Denver was drier over the past year: