August 7, 2012--McPhee at its lowest in nine years (Cortez Journal)

If you haven’t been to McPhee Reservoir lately, prepare to walk a bit longer to get to the water. The water is low and it will get lower, according to Mike Preston, manager of the Dolores Water Conservancy District. A dry winter and high irrigation demand continues to cause water to drop in McPhee. “It’s going to come down another 24 feet,” Preston said. There is enough water in the reservoir to meet demands this year and when the irrigation season ends, typically on Nov. 1, the lake is projected to have 36,000 acre feet of water inside and be at the elevation of 6,870 feet. This week, the elevation of the lake was at 6,893, a drop of 12 feet in less than a week. Preston said the lake will continue to drop and will like look more dramatic at shallow shorelines. But even though the lake will likely drop another 24 vertical feet, it won’t be the lowest the lake has been. At the end of 2002 there was only 4,567 acre feet of usable water left in the reservoir following the Nov. 1 end-of-season date and the elevation was 13 feet lower (6,857) than it is projected to end this year.

To view the full article, visit the Cortez Journal. For a copy of the original article contact the WIP at (970) 247-1302 or stop by the office at 841 East Second Avenue in Durango, Colorado.