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Old 01-07-2015   #11
jjeco5's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 73
Some good rains happened in November and there tends to be a lot of April/ late spring storms.

I live in Albuquerque so I only have limited knowledge of Taos weather.

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Old 01-08-2015   #12
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
One thing to keep in mind is unless its a big year very little of the upper basin water will make it out of the San Luis Valley once the irrigation is turned on, and New Mexico's snowpack is pretty sad. I spent a couple days skiing in the Taos area last week. Sounds like most of January is going to be dry. Hopefully El Nino kicks back in.

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Old 01-08-2015   #13
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 185
Water Law

I'm not a lawyer and don't fully understand the applicable water laws, but as I understand it Colorado will likely allow water through to New Mexico this year, and we should have a reasonable season this summer despite the bad snowpack.

This is about the 5th consecutive year of low snowpack. Colorado legally has to allow a certain amount of water through to New Mexico, but in a single year they can take 100% of the water. If they do, they will owe water with interest in subsequent years. The first 3 years of this drought Colorado took close to 100% of the water and the Rio Grand had terrible seasons. I figured 2014 was going to be terrible as well because snowpack was even lower than 2013. Last year turned out to be a great season though because Colorado couldn't continue to take all the water. I'm hoping this year is similar to last year in that Colorado has to allow water through.

Perhaps someone who knows more and has access to the data might weigh in - I'm very curious...
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Old 01-08-2015   #14
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Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
I would personally avoid Los Rios, (can you say McRafting?) I second everything that Elisha(RiverMamma) has said. She and I worked for Kokopelli together and they have a great setup for their guides, who don't live in vans or trucks. NMRA and New Wave are slightly smaller outfits and have similar setups, they just have the onsite living options.

If you want any more details, feel free to PM me. I have spent my fair share bouncing down the Rio Grande.
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Old 01-11-2015   #15
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 217
For a season to be pretty decent on the upper rio, what percentage would the snowpack be? Of course we want the most and high water for months. I'm just curious because on other rivers where I have worked, it seems that anything above 75 percent makes for a decent year.
I know that this area has had a drought for years so maybe it would take a lot more to make a season this year. I'm seeing that the pack is super low now. Also where can I find beta about how much water Colorado is going to keep from the Grande?


Woke up this morning at 10:13.
A hole so big, it sucked the leaves off the tree.
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Old 01-11-2015   #16
Issip's Avatar
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 185

The 2015 season depends heavily upon how much water Colorado diverts in the San Luis Valley.

It does not appear we are headed for a snowpack that could overwhelm the diversion capacity of the San Luis Valley in 2015, so they could technically divert 100%, leaving us with a terrible season like 2013. Legally however, they may have serious incentive to let some through again this year, which could make for a good season like 2014.

Snowpack is not the key factor, laws and gate valves will determine the 2015 season on the Rio.

I'd think these matters would be in the public record, or maybe I don't know where to research it, water rights are a pretty heated issue in the Southwest.

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