By Clayton Chaney
Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) Manager Justin Ramsey released a public service announcement this past Monday, Nov. 16, outlining the current water levels in Pagosa Springs’ local lakes, including a 1-foot rise in Village Lake.
According to the press release, Lake Forest’s water level dropped 1 inch from last week’s report, bringing the current water level to 4 inches from full.
Hatcher Lake remains the lowest of the five lakes, despite rising 2 inches from last week’s report. The current water level is listed at 61 inches from full.
Stevens Lake’s water level is down 5 inches from last week’s report, bringing the current water level to 50 inches from full.
Lake Pagosa’s water level remains at 12 inches from full, consistent with last week’s report.
Village Lake rose 1 foot from last week’s report, bringing the current water level to 12 inches from full.
The West Fork diversion flow rate is listed at 3 cubic feet per second (cfs) and the Four Mile diversion flow is listed at 1 cfs.
Water production from Nov. 6 through Nov. 12 is listed at a total of 9.31 million gallons. The Snowball water plant contributed 2.64 million gallons, while the Hatcher plant contributed 6.67 million gallons.
Last year, total water production was listed at 10.2 million gallons for those dates.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the San Juan River was flowing at a rate of 77.7 cfs in Pagosa Springs as of 2 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 18.
Based on 84 years of water records, the average flow rate for this date is 90 cfs.
The highest recorded rate for this date was in 1942 at 285 cfs. The lowest recored rate was 28 cfs, recorded in 1976.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Water and Climate Center’s snow pack report, the Wolf Creek Summit, at 11,000 feet of elevation, had 6.4 inches of snow water equivalent as of 2 p.m. on Nov. 18.
That amount is 130 percent of the Nov. 18 median for this site.
The San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River Basins were at 109 percent of the Nov. 18 median in terms of snow pack.