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Purgatoire River report shows snowpack and runoff close to 100 percent

TRINIDAD — The Purgatoire River Water Conservancy District (PRWCD), during its regular meeting March 10, reported the snowpack and runoff forecast for the Purgatoire River in Las Animas County is at 90 percent or above. The report shows the water supply stored at the Trinidad Reservoir for the irrigation season is at or near 100 percent. The yields are bracketed in two categories shown as “reasonable minimum yield” and “most probable yield”. The “probable as percent of full supply” is also shown. The forecast date for January is shown as Jan. 15, with a reasonable minimum yield of 55,680 acre feet (A.F.) with a most probable yield of 71,280 A.F., showing a probable as percent of full supply being 116.50 percent. The forecast for Feb. 22, is 49,200 A.F. giving a most probable yield of 63,600 A.F. producing a probable as percent of full supply of 103.92 percent. The reporting period for March was a partial month stopping at the ninth, however the reasonable minimum yield already had reached 46,920 A.F., with the most probable yield posted at 61,320 A.F. and the probable as percent of full supply showing an already 98.69 percent. The supply of water

found in the snowpack and runoff report prompted Jeris Danielson, General Manager of the PRWCD, to note any more snow fall that contributes to the snowpack could result in releasing water from the Trinidad Reservoir. The water content at five of the reporting stations; the Apishapa Snotel Site, Trinchera Snow Course, Culebra #2 Snow Course, North Costilla Snotel Site, and the Whiskey Creek Snotel Site, when averaged out, is at 90 percent. So far, the summary forecast of available water for 2016 looks at the reasonable minimum of 46,884 A.F., with the most probable forecasted to be around 61,284 A.F. The most probable as a percent of full supply is at nearly 99 percent, with the reasonable maximum being 78,084 A.F. Total contract acres along the ditches are 20608. The total irrigated acres for 2015 are 10,125. The City of Trinidad’s dry up acres is listed as 1,149, and the dry up acres for Colorado State Parks in Las Animas County is 805.40. The total irrigated acres plus the dry up acres under the PRWCD are 12,079.53. The PRWCD storage accounts at the Trinidad Reservoir are totaled at 28,098 A.F. This includes the storage accounts of the Joint Use Pool at 2,840 A.F., the Fishery and Recreation Pool at 14,188 A.F., the Project Pool at 11,070 A.F. The Flood Control Pool has a capacity of 51,000 A.F. but currently reports zero content. The Purgatoire River Water Conservancy District also reports it is seeking to DeBruce in order to begin pooling funds to match a grant it is seeking for future projects. The amount needed if the grant is a 50-50 split on the funding to matching split will be $200,000 with the state putting up about $90,000 to the PRWCD’s $100,000. The effort to DeBruce by the PRWCD will also be joined by both Las Animas County and the Trinidad School District. All are seeking voter approval for the effort. If DeBruced, all three entities will see a stabilization in the mill levies that dictate the amount of revenues they collect. If the tax collections are greater then anticipated, than they will get to keep and use the revenues without having to return any taxes to the taxpayers as long as growth rates don’t exceed 5.5 percent.