Irrigation Shortages Are On The Horizon
Irrigation shortages loom as the Colorado River level continues to drop.
For the near future, farmers dependent on the Ute Water Conservancy District need to plan for a limited water supply. The continued drought conditions and the Colorado River's extremely low water level means less water for the more than 45,000 acres of irrigated land across the Grand Valley.
This year’s extreme situation required the water district to implement Voluntary Water Restrictions back in May. Now the district will start accessing a compensatory water supply earlier than usual. The current pool's normal level is usually 66,000 acre-feet of water. As of this week, it's said to only have about 8,700 acre-feet of water remaining. To help combat the shortage, officials say they'll need to tap the Ruedi Reservoir to continue supplying water through the fall.
The region is desperate for moisture. The combination of a lower than normal snowpack along with the lack of rain has the Colorado River flowing at historic low levels.