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San Juan County sees some relief from drought conditions

Water usage reduction is ‘on track’
The map on the left shows last week's drought map of New Mexico and the map on the right shows the updated drought map. (U.S. Drought Monitor)

FARMINGTON – San Juan County finally saw some drought relief in the past week which pushed parts of the county down from an exceptional drought status to an extreme drought status, one level lower.

According to the weekly summary, “an active monsoon circulation delivered drought relief in the form of diurnal showers and thunderstorms, some heavy.”

Earlier this summer, the city sent a request to residents to limit water usage and gave some water reduction tips and smart ways to use water to eliminate waste.

David M. Sypher, community works director for Farmington, said at a City Council meeting that his department would begin compiling data to show the reduction in water usage during the drought season.

Sypher said the department tracks water usage from year-to-year already, but that for the time affected by the drought, he wanted to look at water usage reduction.

Since July 1, the department saw reduced use over last year by an 8.3% reduction.

Last year in July 2020, the department recorded 439.3 million gallons of water used and for July 2021, 402.8 million gallons used for a difference of about 37 million gallons equating a 8.3% reduction.

Sypher said residents are on their way to meeting the 10% reduction the city is aiming for.

“The good news is our lake is still full and we’re getting all this rain in the headwater,” Sypher said. “But you have to be cautiously optimistic because that could all change in three weeks if it stops and we stop getting water in the headwater.”

mmitchell@durangoherald.com

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