Los Alamos Reservoir is beginning to fill with water again.
Contractors have rebuilt the dam and have cleared out the debris and muck that resulted from the devastating 2011 Los Conchas Fire.
The run off from winter snows has been disappointing this year and the reservoir is filling very slowly. Currently there are about three acre feet of water in the reservoir that has a capacity of approximately 25 acre feet. It is hoped that a good monsoon season may fill the reservoir. Department of Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith reports, "we are getting about an acre foot per week, so it is going to take a while."
Public access to the reservoir is not expected until sometime next year as heavy road work must still be completed on the access road to the reservoir before cars, fishermen and hikers can be allowed back into the area. The Department of Public Utilities intends to install a walking bridge over the dam structure.
No fish are currently in the reservoir, but fish will be stocked once the vegetative eco-system in the reservoir is adequate to support fish. Utilities Water Production Superintendent Wayne Witten told the Los Alamos Daily Post that "until the aquatic plants and good algae return to the reservoir, fish can't live here. Although fish can eat bugs on the water's surface, a full aquatic eco-system is needed."
Water from the reservoir will feed Utilities' non-potable water system which provides water for the golf course, some school fields and parks.The new reservoir spillway. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com Water trickles into the reservoir from what little winter runoff there is. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com A few trees dot the landscape where a forest once stood prior to the Las Conchas Fire in 2011. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com The view of the reservoir from the dam. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com