Surface Creek Valley water managers began looking ahead during last year's dry spell and made plans to help ensure there will be supplies of water available for domestic providers if a second low-snowpack year is in store for 2013.
During last week's water forums in Orchard City and Cedaredge, Austin Keiser, president of the Grand Mesa Water Conservancy District board, announced that the district had held back reservoir water for domestic use this year if needed.
Keiser explained to the Delta County Independent that a survey of domestic providers last year determined they might expect to draw 480 acre feet from their reservoir reserves on Grand Mesa during 2013.
So, to provide an additional backstop for that use, the district has held 500 acre feet in reservoir storage as a down payment against the chance reservoirs may not fill with snowpack runoff this year.
The announcement may help quell any concerns the valley's domestic water users have about available supply during the coming summer months.
The 2012 dry spell has been compared in some ways with the historic 2002-03 drought. If, as some experts say, drought in the arid West occurs generally in seven-to-ten year cycles, and that dry years tend to occur in sequence, then moving to shore up domestic supply for this summer could turn out to have been a wise move.
The hope of local water managers is that the next few months will produce snowpack sufficient to refill the Grand Mesa's reservoirs. If not, then the winter of 2013-14 could be a critical and essential time for accumulating water reserves on the Grand Mesa.blog comments powered by Disqus