PICT 64J1 Arkansas River at Salida - Joe Stone

Arkansas River Report – September 29, 2022

Arkansas River at Salida - Joe Stone

Arkansas River Basin drought conditions continue to improve, with the U.S. Drought Monitor showing moderate drought in small portions of the lower basin and drought-free to "abnormally dry" conditions across the rest of the basin.  


The CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow) Network reports the following precipitation amounts for the past week:

  • Leadville - 0.69 inch.
  • Buena Vista - 0.65 inch.
  • Salida - 1.04 inches.
  • ​Westcliffe - 0.53 inch.
  • Cañon City - 0.20 inch.
  • ​Walsenburg - 0.20 inch.
  • Trinidad - 0.26 inch.
  • Pueblo - 0.15 inch.
  • Colorado Springs - 0.10-0.32 inch.
  • Rocky Ford - 0.11 inch.​
  • Pritchett - 0.27 inch.
  • Lamar - 0.02 inch.

Reservoir Storage

Water storage in Pueblo Reservoir remains the same as it was a week ago – 178,299 acre-feet and 55.2 percent full. Water storage in Turquoise Lake and Twin Lakes dropped by 0.1 percent 66.5 percent and 84.4 percent  full, respectively – 86,039.2  acre-feet in Turquiose and 118,969 acre-feet in Twin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports the water level in John Martin Reservoir dropped to 12,373 acre-feet.

River Flows

Most of the gauges that track Arkansas River flows are reporting decreased flows compared to a week ago. The flow near Leadville steadily decreased this week to 28.2 cfs.  Below Granite the river flow dropped to 180 cfs. The Wellsville gauge reports 353 cfs, down from 432 cfs a week ago. The flow at Cañon City increased into the weekend, peaking at 439 cfs before dropping to the current reading of 322 cfs. The gauge below Pueblo Reservoir currently registers 131 cfs, while the gauge near Avondale reports 233 cfs. At Rocky Ford the river is flowing at 102 cfs. Flows are 56.4 cfs below John Martin Reservoir and 34.7 cfs near Lamar.

Calling Water Rights

The number of calling water rights in the Arkansas Basin remains at 20, the same number as last week, with the six most senior calling rights unchanged:

  • Hardscrabble Ditch (1860 priority) on Hardscrabble Creek.
  • Titsworth Ditch (1865) on Fourmile Creek.
  • Hayden Supply Ditch (1865) on Greenhorn Creek.
  • Hoenhe Ditch (1865) on the Purgatoire River.
  • Bannister Ditch (1866) on Fountain Creek.
  • Gonzales Ditch (1866) on the Apishapa River.

The Fernandez Ditch (1868) has a call for water on Turkey Creek, as does the Gomez Ditch (1868) on the Cucharas River. Next in seniority are the Jose Maria Ditch (1873) on Huerfano River and the Cottonwood and Maxwell Ditch (1874) on Cottonwood Creek. Additional calls the Risser and Locke Ditch (1875) on Grape Creek, and the Lamar Canal (1875) on the Arkansas River mainstem. Rounding out the list are:

  • Muelback Pleasant Valley Ditch (1876) on Hayden Creek.
  • Seth Brown Ditch (1876) on Stout Creek.
  • Dotson Ditch No. 1 (1881) on the St. Charles River.
  • Missouri Park Ditch (1882) on the South Arkansas River.
  • Fort Lyon Canal (1884) on the mainstem.
  • Buffalo Canal (1885) on the mainstem.
  • X-Y Irrigating Ditch (1889) on the mainstem.
  • The Arkansas River Compact call on the mainstem at the Kansas state line.