Water is being delivered to the town of Dove Creek, Colorado, to prevent a municipal supply shortage caused by drought conditions.
According to The Durango Herald, the normal timing for water delivery from McPhee Reservoir to the town’s municipal storage and treatment plant was disrupted this year.
There is a 90% water shortage driven by a below-average snowpack, which has caused the Dove Creek Canal to dry up in July.
The Bureau of Reclamation and Dolores Water Conservancy District have arranged to deliver 40 acre-feet of water down the canal to fill the town’s municipal reservoir, reported The Durango Herald. More water than originally planned was sent down to create sufficient flow along the 39-mile canal route. Some water seepage into the canal’s earthen base is expected due to this and from evaporation.
According to DWCD General Manager Ken Curtis, the canal is designed to run at a higher flow rate.
The water delivery will provide enough supply through spring and into summer, and when the canal runs in May, town storage will be refilled, reported The Durango Herald.
Public Works aims to build a second 95 acre-foot reservoir to store the full 280 acre-foot allocation earlier in the season, with both reservoirs providing an estimated two-year supply. The town is also working with Montezuma Water Co. to provide an additional water source in the event it is needed.
Dove Creek has rights on the Dolores River and in McPhee Reservoir.
The Dove Creek pumping station has remained idle for years because it is in need of repairs, so the town plans to investigate potential grant funding to address the issue.