Valley enjoys above average water forecast


ALAMOSA — With rain coming down outside and basin snowpack levels around 100 percent of normal or better, Kip Canty of the Colorado Division of Water Resources Division 3 office told Rio Grande Roundtable leaders on Tuesday that the water year is looking pretty good for the San Luis Valley.

Canty said basin snowpack is currently at 99 percent of normal, basin wide. The annual forecast for the Conejos River system is 435,000 acre feet, with about half of that obligated to downstream states through the Rio Grande Compact, resulting in a current curtailment of about 40 percent. The forecast for the Rio Grande is 760,000 acre feet with about a third of that obligated to downstream states, resulting in a curtailment of about 19 percent.

Temperatures in the next month are equal chances of being normal and above average in the next three months, Canty explained, while precipitation in the next month is predicted to be above average and in the next three months about 40 percent above average.

“That’s really pretty good,” he said.

He added that the southern end of the Valley would have a pretty good supply of water this year, which correlates to the higher delivery obligation and curtailments. The northern part of the Valley is also looking pretty good at this point, he added.

Streamflow forecasts as of May 1 were 154 percent of average for the San Antonio River at Ortiz, 137 percent of average for Los Pinos River at Ortiz and 111 percent of average for the Conejos River at Mogote. Saguache Creek was forecast at 109 percent of average. The Rio Grande at Del Norte was just under 100 percent streamflow forecast as of May 1.

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