Telluride Water Supply Drops Unexpectedly

Water demand in the Town of Telluride is at one of its highest over the holidays in December. Unfortunately, this is when their supply unexpectedly dropped to its lowest level in 30 years. This resulted in a plea by officials to conserve as much as possible. In addition, the Town relied on a temporary system that pumped water from downstream back up to its plant. The Town’s water supply comes from Mill Creek which normally and adequately meets their needs. The town doesn’t measure cubic feet per second on Mill Creek, but it has an 18-foot head gate on the stream, and when water flows over it, the town has water. At one point it was seven inches below the head gate. Hydrologists and engineers attribute the drop to a thin snowpack (which translates to a lack of ground insulation) and very cold temperatures.