Eagle River water levels rise above average flow
However, with hotter and drier weather on the way, it’s not expected to stay this way
Streamflows on the local Eagle River have certainly seen a spike the past few days thanks to the recent rain.
According to the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, the Eagle River is experiencing flows 170% higher than normal near Minturn and 144% higher than normal in Avon. This is quite the difference from just four days ago, July 29, when the river level was 49% of the average streamflow for this time of year in Avon.
According to Diane Johnson, the communications and public affairs manager for the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, there have only been seven days since April 1 where the river levels have exceeded the average.
“We’re above the (average) right now, but it’s going to come right back down in the next few days,” Johnson said.
It’s too early to tell whether this will have any impact on drought conditions. While Holly Loff, executive director of the Eagle River Watershed Council, is hopeful this unusual spike in streamflow will have a positive impact, she expects, as we return to hotter and dryer temperatures, “it’s not going to have a huge impact.”
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The area’s soil has seen the greatest impact of the drought conditions and with the fast and quick monsoon rains, the soil doesn’t get the chance to absorb the moisture and recover from the drought conditions.
Even with the rain before this week, Johnson said, “we’re still in extreme drought.”
The National Weather Service’s drought monitoring index is updated on Thursdays.
“From our perspective, it’s all about, we want water in the rivers, but we also want to help our customers use less water,” Johnson said, adding that the recent rain helps with both as streamflows rise and customers can use less water for irrigation purposes.