April 20, 2021: San Juan River Basin Water Supply Outlook
Farmington City Council heard a presentation this week from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center. The purpose of the presentation was to get an idea of what our water situation will be like in the upcoming months and prepare our community for the possibility of water shortage advisories.
Here are the key points from the presentation:
- Below normal water year precipitation in the San Juan River Basin
- Below normal snow conditions
- Near/record low antecedent soil moisture conditions entering water year 2021 snow accumulation & runoff season
- Two consecutive years of poor monsoon
- Limited groundwater recharge since 2019 runoff
- April water supply forecasts (% of normal):
* April 1st forecasts range between 35-75% of average
* Forecast guidance has decreased by ~5-10% since the April 1st
* Best conditions are located in the eastern headwaters and deteriorate moving west towards the Animas River Basin.
- Dry soils will most likely impact runoff with a portion of the snowmelt being absorbed into the ground.
- The weather pattern will remain unsettled for most of the week with no significant precipitation expected.
What does this mean?
The forecast shows that it’s almost inevitable that we’ll be in some level of water shortage advisory this summer. We want to prepare the community so you aren’t caught off guard.
There are things you can do now to help eliminate water waste every day such as:
Fixing leaky faucets
When upgrading fixtures and appliances, consider low water consumption models
Ensuring irrigation sprinklers are in good working condition and properly timed
Use your broom, not your hose, to clean outdoors.
The City of Farmington has been very proactive for many years regarding water management. This includes well-maintained and modern infrastructure, prudent investment in water rights, redundant supply — and most significant, construction of a large water reservoir. This certainly does not mean we are immune to drought conditions. Stewardship of this scarce resource is vital. However, your City is well prepared to mitigate impacts and to maintain quality of life and economic viability as reasonably possible.
Report Water Waste
- For leaks and breaks related to water or sewer: (505) 326-1918
- For sprinkler over-spray and/or breaks in parks, medians, or at City of Farmington facilities: (505) 320-2993
- For neighborhood stage 2 watering schedule violations and sprinkler over-spray and/or breaks at local businesses: (505) 334-6622
- For sprinklers on Farmington Municipal School (FMS) property: (505) 599-8621
Drought Management Links
- Colorado Basin River Forecast - National Weather Service
- Snow Pack Condition Map - Upper Colorado Region
- Three Month Outlook for Precipitation Probability - National Weather Service
- Current Palmer Drought Severity Index - Drought Monitoring - National Weather Service
- Streamflow - USGS Current Conditions Aztec River
Drought Tips and Announcements: