Jackson Gulch water content is low

Municipalities will have water

As of Monday, Jackson Gulch Reservoir's content was low, real low.

"This is the lowest I have seen it and I have been here 23 years," said Gary Kennedy, Superintendent Mancos Water Conservancy District.

As of Monday, the content of Jackson Gulch was 2,350 acre feet or 23.5 percent, with an inflow at about 20 cubic feet per second. At this time of year, the lowest Kennedy had seen it before was 36 percent, in 1996.

Kennedy said he has a difficult time predicting how much water the reservoir will get this year, but says that this year isn't looking good and the wind and dry weather isn't helping.

"The wind will take the water right out of the snow," he said.

So far, Kennedy is projecting that the reservoir can have a full diversion until May 13. After that, the board will meet to discuss limitations on irrigation, if there has to be any.

The reservoir has been low before. In 1996, it was almost as low, and 2002 was another bad year, which ended with only 18 percent of the allocations given for irrigation.

Kennedy said all the municipal water customers will get water. Those include rural Mancos, the Town of Mancos and Mesa Verde National Park. Kennedy is hoping for some late April/early May storms to help boost the reservoir.

After that, "Let's hope for lots of rain."

In 1997, the reservoir was only used for 14 days because it rained all summer.

"Every year is so different," he said.