Rains bring quick turnaround in Pueblo
But guess what: Precipitation still trailing normal for this time of year
Things turned around in a hurry for Arkansas Valley water users.
“Last week was a wild week of water,” Alan Ward, water resources manager for the Pueblo Board of Water Works said Tuesday.
During his report to the water board, he explained that at the beginning of the week, exchanges into Lake Pueblo were curtailed because of low flows in the Arkansas River through the city.
By the end of the week, Pueblo was able to store some water under its flood rights.
“Our storage is about 7,000 acre-feet ahead of last year,” Ward said.
Pueblo’s storage is at about 38,000 acre-feet, which is more than enough to supply basic needs for a year. The water board’s goal this year is to rebuild storage levels lost in 2012, the second-driest on record.
Recent rains have been a mixed blessing for Pueblo.
While they provide needed moisture after three years of drought, much of it has come too late in the season to benefit farmers in the Arkansas Valley. It’s been spotty, so not everyone has enjoyed the monsoon weather.
On Friday, Fountain Creek at Pinon passed flood stage for about 12 hours. Later, the Arkansas River at Avondale crested at 9.5 feet, about 2.5 feet above flood stage, and remained high for nearly a full day. It briefly reached flood stage again on Monday afternoon, but quickly dropped.
The worst part is total rainfall for the year — 8.82 inches, officially, remains about 2 inches below average because of the dry winter and spring.
“We’ll be watching the snowpack closely this year,” Ward said.