This winter, the Sangre de Cristo range is providing less water bubbling up from the springs. Reduced water, resulting from drought, means less electricity produced by our hydroelectric plant. The amount of power we can produce is based on the volume of water as well as the vertical drop. While our vertical drop is constant, the volume of water varies. The heated pools are built to help us regulate the electricity we produce. Electricity provides us with a hot sauna, laundry, stoves and ovens, hot showers, hair dryers, toasters, coffee pots, and electric heat. We are replacing OLT electrical heat with geothermal heat, which frees up kilowatts for other purposes.
The amount of power we can produce is finite and this year is less than last year and less than the past several years. What does this mean? The reality is that the heated pools will not be getting as much electrically heated water. Individual attempts to conserve energy by minimizing other electrical devices will help make sure that there is electricity enough for all, even if the pools won't be as warm.
Be prepared. Wear warm clothing between pools and accommodations. Visit the sauna to get thoroughly warm. While we are making effort to maximize the power available for the heated pools, expect them to be a little cooler this winter. Be conservation minded.