Snowpack news

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From the Aspen Times: “According to data from the latest snowpack measurements, the state’s snowpack decreased in terms of percent of average in all basins of the state last month. The decreases were enough to lower snowpack percentages to below average totals for this date across most of the state, with the only exception being the northwestern portion of Colorado. The statewide snowpack decreased to 96 percent of average on April 1, said the National Resources Conservation Service, which conducted the snowpack measurements…While summer runoff may be below average for much of the state this summer, reservoir storage remains just slightly above average statewide. All basins are toring at least near average volumes for this time of year, with the exception of the Rio Grande basin.”

From the Telluride Daily Planet (Reilly Capps):

In the southwestern part of the state, however, the snowpack, in terms of water content, is 86 percent of average. Statewide, the snowpack was 96 percent of average. The numbers come from the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and measured the snow as of April 1. The numbers continue a trend of dryer winters. In 10 of the last 12 years in Colorado, the service has measured below average snowpack readings on April 1. Colorado, even the dry southwest part, still has lots of water in its reservoirs. The reservoirs in our area are above average storage, sitting at 107 percent of average, thanks to last year’s snow…

Telluride’s rafters and kayakers — a happy group, by and large — saw the bright side. “I think it’s still gonna be awesome,” said Emily Wilbert, a kayaker and rafter who last year worked as a rafting guide in Durango. “Any boating season is a good season. Nothing’s going to compare to last year, but 86 percent of normal is great compared to when we were in a drought.”[…]

“Junior water rights may be curtailed later in the summer if streamflows drop off,” Gillespie said. So, for the sake of farmers, Coloradans have to hope that their late-summer picnics get ruined. “If we get a good monsoon,” Gillespie said, “that could eliminate a lot of the problems that could occur. We could hold out hope for that.”

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