Colorado and the Arkansas River Basin continue to see improvements in drought conditions with almost 16% of the state no longer experiencing drought, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report. The report shows most of the basin as abnormally dry or drought-free with moderate drought in some areas.
The CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow) Network reports the following precipitation amounts for the past week in the Arkansas Basin:
The past week saw water storage in Pueblo Reservoir decrease by almost 3,000 acre-feet to 179,688 acre-feet, putting the reservoir at 55.6% full. Water storage in Turquoise Lake decreased to 87,593.8 acre-feet or 67.7% full. The water level in Twin Lakes increased to 118,229 acre-feet, bringing the reservoir to 83.9% full. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports 14,361 acre-feet of water currently stored in John Martin Reservoir.
Arkansas River flows continue to diminish, with the gauge near Leadville reporting 29.6 cfs, while the gauge below Granite currently registers 197 cfs. The flow at the Wellsville gauge is 386 cfs, and the flow at Cañon City is currently 318 cfs. The river flow below Pueblo Reservoir is 104 cfs, and the gauge near Avondale reports 214 cfs. The gauge near Rocky Ford reports 96.7 cfs, flows are 51.7 cfs below John Martin Reservoir, and the gauge at Lamar currently reports 52.5 cfs.
Calling Water Rights
Calling water rights in the basin jumped to 19 this week with six calls on the mainstem: the Lamar Canal (1875 priority), Bessemer Ditch (1882), the Fort Lyon Canal (1884 priority), the Buffalo Canal (1885), the X-Y Irrigating Ditch (1889) and the Arkansas River Compact call at the Kansas state line.
The most senior calling water right in the basin is currently the Talcott and Cotton Ditch with an 1864 priority date on Fountain Creek at its confluence with the Arkansas River. Next most senior are the Titsworth Ditch on Fourmile Creek, the Hayden Supply Ditch on Greenhorn Creek and the Hoehne Ditch on the Purgatoire River, all of which have 1865 priority dates.
With 1866 priority dates, the Baxter Pioneer Ditch is calling for water on the Huerfano River, and the Gonzales Ditch has a call on the Apishapa River. The Coleman Ditch (1867) has a call for water on Hardscrabble Creek, and the Gomez Ditch (1868) has a call on the Cucharas River. Additional calling water rights include the MuelBach Pleasant Valley diversion (1873) on Hayden Creek, the Hill Ditch (1873) on Howard Creek, the Supply Ditch (1874) on Cottonwood Creeek, the Seth Brown Ditch (1876) on Stout Creek and the Dotson Ditch No. 1 (1881) on the St. Charles River..