Rain extends Mancos-area reservoir use

The Weber fire didn’t directly affect the Mancos Water Conservancy District. “We turned out a little extra water,” said Gary Kennedy, superintendent for the district. “We sent some water down there for use on the fire, but we don’t know whether it was used or not.”

While some have been comparing this year to 2002 when conditions were in the drought category, Kennedy said that this year hasn’t been too bad. “We’re at about 59 percent of storage capacity,” he said.

The district started getting water from the Jackson Lake Reservoir the second week of May, said Kennedy, which was about 2 to 3 weeks early.

In 2002, there was no winter, he said, and they were only able to capture about 1,000 acre feet, which took them from 24 percent to 34 percent. “We didn’t allow a whole lot of water to go out that year ... That was probably our worst year.”

But this year, he said, everyone is getting their water and getting their hay in.

The storms that are predicted for the next couple of weeks changes the picture completely, cooling everything down. When storms come in and there is rain, as is predicted, it extends the water in the Jackson Reservoir that much more.

“This time last year we were basically full on the reservoir, so nobody was using it for water,” Kennedy said.