McPhee Reservoir

May 15, 2013--City starts water limits (Cortez Journal)

Cortez officials are encouraging residents to conserve water during this summer’s predicted drought. As motivation, they plan to step up enforcement of water restrictions and levy fines to repeat offenders. From May 15 until September 15 lawn watering in Cortez will be prohibited from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days per week.

May 10, 2013--A thirst for innovation (Durango Herald)

The bright green alfalfa fields appear like a surreal oasis tucked into the rolling hills of desert shrubbery that extend south as far as the eye can see. Here, 12 miles southwest of Towaoc, the Ute Mountain Ute Farm & Ranch Enterprise cultivates 7,600 acres of farmland thanks to a ribbon of water that flows south from McPhee Reservoir 50 miles to the north.

May 2, 2013--DWCD buys into hydropower study (Cortez Journal)

The Dolores Water Conservancy District took a small step this month toward determining whether a large hydroelectric plant could be built at Plateau Creek, a tributary of McPhee Reservoir.

April 16, 2013--Irrigators, rafters face bleak summer (Cortez Journal)

Area boaters have come to terms with the fact that another dry year has dashed any chance for rafting on the lower Dolores River this summer. But revised runoff forecasts and precipitation reports are predicting a situation for farmers and local fish populations that just keeps getting worse.

March 21, 2013--Water world: Dust to dust (Durango Telegraph)

With persistent drought conditions across Colorado and low reservoir levels in the southwest, water resource managers are looking at a potentially long and arid summer. Following a dry 2012, the warmest year on record, reservoir levels were already on the low side. Reservoir storage exactly one year ago sat at 104 percent of average, which helped the area get through late summer shortages.

March 19, 2013--Water levels remain low (Cortez Journal)

When a wildfire suddenly broke out last Friday in Lory State Park, west of Fort Collins, Coloradans breathed an anxious, collective sigh: not again. The early season blaze stirred unpleasant memories of last year's trying fire season, which scorched about 385,000 acres in the state, according to the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.

January 1, 2013--McPhee 'flats' damage a concern (Cortez Journal)

Low levels at McPhee Reservoir have U.S. Forest Service officials concerned over more than just the area's water supply. Off-road enthusiasts drawn to the mud flats left behind by the receding waterline are threatening sensitive ecosystems and archaeological resources normally protected beneath the surface of the reservoir.

December 18, 2012--Bleak water levels for Dolores River, McPhee (Cortez Journal)

The Dolores River looks a bit low this year, along with McPhee Reservoir, but things have been worse. The Dolores River is flowing at around 20 cubic feet per second. But it has been lower, said Mike Preston, manager of the Dolores Water Conservancy District. Preston estimated that it's at the third lowest level ever.

December 1, 2012--Drought impacts salmon run (Cortez Journal)

Withered crops and steep hay prices. Underwhelmed river guides. Overworked firefighters. Neighborhood visits from hungry, foraging bears. Drought conditions have thrown the rhythms and daily routines off kilter for many Colorado subgroups in 2012, including aquatic species.

September 8, 2012--Narraguinnep at lowest point in 10 years (Cortez Journal)

The Narraguinep Reservoir is at its lowest point in 10 years, but there is enough water to supply irrigation needs for the rest of the season. That’s the word from Don Magnuson, general manager for the Montezuma Valley Irrigation Co. On Thursday, Magnuson said the reservoir was at a depth of 20 feet and held more than 1,000 acre-feet of water.

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