By Clayton Chaney
Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District (PAWSD) Manager Justin Ramsey released a public service announcement on Monday, Nov. 30, outlining the current water levels in Pagosa Springs’ lakes, diversion flows and water production in the community.
According to the press release, the call on the Four Mile diversion was lifted on Nov. 16.
The West Fork diversion flow rate is listed at 3 cubic feet per second (cfs) and the Four Mile diversion flow is listed at 2 cfs, bringing total diversion flows to 5 cfs.
In an email to The SUN, Ramsey explained that the diversion flow of 2 cfs at the Four Mile site is an approximate flow rate based on fluctuations that occur due to temperature changes.
Ramsey mentioned that the Four Mile diversion is “so high in the mountains the creek freezes at night and flows drop, then during the day it melts and flows go up.”
According to the press release, the Lake Forest water level saw no change from last week’s report, with the current water level at 3 inches from full.
Hatcher Lake rose 2 inches from last week’s report, bringing the current water level to 55 inches from full.
Stevens Lake water level also saw no change from last week’s report, with the current water level remaining at 60 inches from full.
Lake Pagosa’s water level remains at 12 inches from full, consistent with the last three weekly reports.
Village Lake rose 2 inches, according to this week’s report, up from last week’s reading of 16 inches from full. The current water level is listed at 14 inches from full.
Water production from Nov. 20 through Nov. 26 was listed at a total of 10.05 million gallons. The Snowball water plant contributed 2.99 million gallons and the Hatcher plant contributed 7.06 million gallons.
Last year, total water production was listed at 9.61 million gallons for those dates, with the Snowball water plant contributing 3.26 million gallons and the Hatcher water plant contributing 6.35 million gallons.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the San Juan River was flowing below the average rate at 45.4 cfs as of 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2.
Based on 84 years of water records, the average flow rate for this date is 78 cfs.
The highest recorded rate for this date was in 2008 at 253 cfs. The lowest recorded rate was 29 cfs, recorded in 1968.
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 10.8 inches of snow water equivalent as of 9 a.m. on Dec. 2.
The median snow water equivalent amount for today’s date is 8.8 inches.
The amount of 10.8 inches of snow water equivalent is 145 percent of the Dec. 2 median for this site.
Last week’s reading showed that the Wolf Creek summit had 10.6 inches of snow water equivalent.
The San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River Basins were at 82 percent of the Dec. 2 median in terms of snow pack.