Water – The Pagosa Springs SUN http://www.pagosasun.com The most trusted source for news and information about Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Thu, 17 Oct 2019 16:14:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Water conservancy district debates funding cloud seeding http://www.pagosasun.com/water-conservancy-district-debates-funding-cloud-seeding/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 21:00:44 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=189032 Following a presentation earlier in the day, the San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) Board of Directors opted to see if efforts from cloud seeding could produce any results that could be seen locally before providing funding to cloud seeding efforts.

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Total diversion flows up, lake levels show slight changes http://www.pagosasun.com/total-diversion-flows-up-lake-levels-show-slight-changes/ Thu, 10 Oct 2019 21:00:51 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179634 Since last week, total diversion flows have increased by 1 cubic foot per second (cfs), according to a press release from Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Manager Justin Ramsey.

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Water conservancy district discusses budget, possible URA http://www.pagosasun.com/water-conservancy-district-discusses-budget-possible-ura/ Thu, 03 Oct 2019 21:00:19 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=179145 As part of its preliminary budgeting process, the San Juan Water Conservancy District (SJWCD) analyzed an early draft form of its 2020 budget and made suggested changes to certain line items during a meeting on Sept. 30.

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Water and drought planning topic of Resilient Archuleta meeting http://www.pagosasun.com/water-and-drought-planning-topic-of-resilient-archuleta-meeting/ Mon, 23 Sep 2019 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=178113

Photo courtesy John Shepard
Brent Newman, from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB), talks to the audience at a Resilient Archuleta meeting on Sept. 4 about the structure and role of the CWCB and its involvement in planning to meet water needs now and into 2050.

By Gabrielle Dorr
Special to The SUN
On Sept. 4, Resilient Archuleta welcomed Brent Newman from the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) as a speaker in an ongoing public speaker series and discussion.
Newman, visiting from Denver, talked about the structure and role of the CWCB and its involvement in planning to meet water needs now and into 2050.
Key takeaways from Newman’s presentation included a discussion about the Interbasin Compact Committee (IBCC) and how it impacts Colorado’s water supply and a feasibility study that the board is currently conducting for demand management.
Touching on the IBCC, Newman discussed enforced agreements that upper basin states have with lower basin states to provide a particular amount of water for their use. At this point, Colorado as an upper basin state is meeting all of the requirements. He cautioned that if there was a severe drought in the future, we may not be able to meet those needs.
“To be more proactive in our water planning, the water board is now exploring the feasibility of a demand management program which would compensate water users who are voluntarily participating in water conservation,” Newman said.
The idea is that through voluntary water conservation measures, Colorado could send more water to lower basin states to fulfill its agreement now and bank some for the future. One of the caveats for this program to be successful is that lower basin states, like California, have to agree to conserve water as well. The lower basin states are already conserving water following an agreement signed earlier this year. The other advantage of a program like this is that it could prevent a future scenario where Colorado would be under a nonvoluntary and non-compensated water conservation program.
“I want to emphasize that the water board is only exploring the demand management idea at this time and we are not implementing any programs. The best way to be involved with local water issues like this one is to participate in basin roundtable discussions in your region,” said Newman.
The water board is holding workshops around the state right now to hear from stakeholders about this program and it has received some very thoughtful comments so far.
Also during the public meeting, the audience heard from representatives with the Watershed Enhancement Partnership (WEP) and the Growing Water Smart Work Group.
The WEP is a community-led, voluntary process to understand local water supply needs in the San Juan River Basin. The WEP also engages in collaborative projects that benefit all water users.
Likewise, the Growing Water Smart Work Group is made up of local government organizations and other interested groups within Archuleta County that are planning for future water needs based on population projections.
The meeting concluded with a public discussion centered around opportunities for water conservation in Archuleta County and how to increase public involvement. The idea of water storage was brought up several times by different members of the public. Other ideas were rebate programs for low-flow toilets and holding workshops about water efficient landscaping. Some meeting participants mentioned working with homeowners associations and realtors to distribute education materials about water conservation, especially to second-home owners.
About Resilient Archuleta
Resilient Archuleta is a voluntary committee of citizens, government officials and state representatives who are working to create a resilient community in Archuleta County.
Robin Young, CSU Extension director, is facilitating the efforts. The goal of the committee is to identify current and future threats to Archuleta County, like fire, and work with local organizations to plan for mitigation of their impacts and to improve safety, economic viability and growth.
For more information, email Robin.Young@colostate.edu.
About the CWCB
The CWCB is made up of 15 members with eight voting members that represent the eight water basins in Colorado, including the Southwest Basin, and an additional member that represents the city of Denver. Board members are appointed by the governor and serve three-year terms. The basins were created based on the location of major river basins in Colorado. To learn more, visit www.cwcb.state.co.us. If you would like to make a public comment about demand management, you can send an email to demandmanagement@state.co.us.
To learn more about the WEP, email Aaron Kimple (akimple@mountainstudies.org) or Mandy Eskelson (mandy@mountainstudies.org). For Growing Water Smart Work Group information, email James Dickoff (jdickhoff@pagosasprings.co.gov).

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Water production down 1.39 million gallons from last week, all lake levels remain consistent http://www.pagosasun.com/water-production-down-1-39-million-gallons-from-last-week-all-lake-levels-remain-consistent/ Thu, 19 Sep 2019 21:00:13 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=178152 From Sept. 6 through Sept. 12, water production totaled 15.53 million gallons — a 1.39 million gallon decrease from last week, per a press release from Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District Manager Justin Ramsey.

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San Juan River flows under 100 cfs for second consecutive week http://www.pagosasun.com/san-juan-river-flows-under-100-cfs-for-second-consecutive-week/ Thu, 05 Sep 2019 21:00:21 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=176888 For the second straight week, San Juan River flows are below 100 cubic feet per second (cfs), with a reported flow of 70.9 cfs as of Sept. 4.

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San Juan River flows below 200 cfs, multiple lakes drop slightly from full http://www.pagosasun.com/san-juan-river-flows-below-200-cfs-multiple-lakes-drop-slightly-from-full/ Thu, 22 Aug 2019 21:00:35 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=175960 As of Aug. 21, the San Juan River had a reported flow of 157 cfs.
This is a decrease of 192 cfs from last week’s reported flow of 349 cfs. But, despite the near 200 cfs decrease, the San Juan River is still above the average flow level for Aug. 21.

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Kugel signs offer to become executive director for Southwestern Water Conservation District http://www.pagosasun.com/kugel-signs-offer-to-become-executive-director-for-southwestern-water-conservation-district/ Thu, 15 Aug 2019 21:00:05 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=175468

Frank Kugel

The Southwestern Water Conservation District (SWCD) has made a conditional offer of employment to Frank Kugel to fill the position of executive director, which was formerly held by Bruce Whitehead.

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Hatcher Lake drops slightly below full, San Juan River close to 500 cfs http://www.pagosasun.com/hatcher-lake-drops-slightly-below-full-san-juan-river-close-to-500-cfs/ Thu, 08 Aug 2019 21:00:25 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=174880 As of Aug. 7, the San Juan River had a reported flow of 461 cubic feet per second (cfs) — an increase of 147 cfs from last week’s reported flow of 314 cfs.

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Four Mile diversion put on administration, water levels OK http://www.pagosasun.com/four-mile-diversion-put-on-administration-water-levels-ok/ Thu, 01 Aug 2019 21:00:57 +0000 http://www.pagosasun.com/?p=174207 San Juan River flows have dropped marginally — 41 cubic feet per second (cfs) — in the past week, with flows sitting at 314 cfs on July 31.

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