Water-use reduction suggested


By Justin Ramsey

Special to The SUN

Area residents are being encouraged to use less water.

The Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) is officially in the voluntary stage of drought restrictions.

The 2018 Drought Management Plan sets trigger points for voluntary drought procedures and four mandatory drought restriction stages from low through severe.

The trigger points for the voluntary drought restrictions are any one of the following:

• A curtailment order on Four Mile Creek prior to May 1 — A curtailment order occurred on Four Mile Creek on April 16.

• A maximum snow water equivalency (SWE) less than 75 percent of median — The maximum SWE for the 2018 water year was at 48.3 percent of median.

• Reservoir levels with the addition of diversion flow less than 90 percent — The San Juan Diversion is currently pumping 4.5 cubic feet per second (CFS) into the PAWSD reservoir system. The current volume of the reservoirs in addition to the diversion flow is at 94.7 percent (as of June 3).

The voluntary water reduction stage is intended to give the community advance notice of developing drought conditions and to begin to foster water conservation and voluntary water use reduction with a reduction goal of 10 percent. The voluntary stage does not trigger the drought surcharge or tier rate multipliers.

PAWSD will implement Level 1 mandatory drought restrictions in the event the reservoir levels drop below 70 percent.