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Officials hopeful rain in Silverton could increase flow in Animas River

Hannah Grover
Farmington Daily Times
Water flows above the river rock on Monday in the Animas River at Riverside Park in Aztec.

FARMINGTON — The Animas River levels at Cedar Hill are less than 100 cubic feet per second, according to the stream gauge data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The gauge read 95.3 cubic feet per second Monday morning, which is about 15 percent of the average flow on record at that gauge for this time of year. A gauge in Farmington registered 9.38 cubic feet per second, which is about 2 percent of the average flow for this time of year.

Bill Enenbach, the water resource specialist for the Office of the State Engineer in Aztec, said his office has been receiving calls from users of ditches that cannot pull enough water.

Enenbach said the ditches began a rotating schedule Monday.

Ditches that draw water from the Animas River began a rotating schedule Monday due to drought conditions. Low water levels in the Animas River are seen on Monday at Riverside Park in Aztec.

State Rep. Paul Bandy, R-Aztec, uses water from the Stacey and Sargent ditches to irrigate crops in the Aztec area.

“It’s getting worse and worse,” Bandy said.

Farmington Public Works Director David Sypher is hopeful rain in Silverton, Colorado, will help bring the river levels up. The headwaters of the Animas River are in the Silverton area and Sypher said it is forecast to rain every day this week in the Silverton area.

Until the river levels increase, Sypher said a ditch rotation program is in place.

The banks of the Animas River are pictured on Monday at Riverside Park in Aztec.

He said Farmington Lake, which stores water for the city of Farmington, is 96 percent full.

Farmington and Aztec have implemented water restrictions that limit the number of days people can water landscaping. Information about those water restrictions can be found at fmtn.org/drought and at aztecnm.gov.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.