Drought is severely impacting reservoirs

Dry, dry, dry sums up the local weather in San Juan County after another dryer-than-normal month.

Blanding had only 0.01" of precipitation in the month of April, with Bluff not far behind at 0.05" and Monticello at 0.08".  The average precipitation for April, generally one of the driest months of the year, is 0.74" in Blanding, 0.47" in Bluff, and 0.86" in Monticello.

The dry month contributes to the dry water year, with year-to-date precipitation in Bluff at less than half the average amount.  Since the water year began on October 1, Bluff has received just 2.3" of precipitation, which is 48 percent of the average of 4.75".

Monticello has 66 percent of average and Blanding is at 58 percent of average.

The dry conditions have severely impacted local reservoirs, with Loyds Lake, west of Monticello, at 62.1 percent of capacity, while Recapture Reservoir, northeast of Blanding, at 44.8 percent of capacity.

The San Juan River at Bluff is running less than 1,000 cubic feet per second on May 11.  The average May 11 flow is 4,500 cubic feet per second.

The largest reservoir in the county, Lake Powell, is at just 34.5 percent of capacity and as of May 10, the reservoir is still releasing more water than is coming in.

Generally by mid-May the lake is taking in significantly more water than is being released.

Lake Powell is nearly 40 feet lower than it was one year ago.

San Juan Record

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Monticello, UT 84535

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