Snowpack/storage news

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Statewide snowpack was at 125 percent of average Tuesday as parts of the state received a foot or more of new snow.

Wolf Creek Ski Area reported a base of 94 inches, with 13 inches added Sunday and Monday. Monarch had a base of 63 inches, while Ski Cooper was at 42 inches.

In terms of water supply, the Arkansas River and Rio Grande basins were at average levels, while the Colorado River watersheds were anywhere from 125-146 percent of average Tuesday. The South Platte River basin was at 115 percent. At Snotel sites maintained by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, snow depths in the Arkansas River watershed ranged from 8-46 inches, with moisture content anywhere from 1-10 inches.

Statewide, Snotel sites in some places are now close to 100 inches, with more snow added to last week’s totals. Snow water equivalent was almost 2 feet at the higher elevations, and most sites ranged between 10-20 inches.

The NRCS also reported that as of Jan. 1, snowpack was 159 percent of last year’s totals statewide, with the biggest gains in the Colorado River and tributary watersheds…

In the Roaring Fork basin, which supplies the bulk of water imports for the Arkansas River, sites were at 139 percent of average. Reclamation is moving about 150 cubic feet per second of water from Turquoise Lake to Lake Pueblo in order to make space for imports once runoff begins. That’s about one-third of the water in the river above Lake Pueblo. Flows are lower below Lake Pueblo as winter water storage continues. As of Dec. 31, about 15,600 acre-feet of winter water were stored in Lake Pueblo, with about twice that amount stored in reservoirs downstream. The amount of water in winter storage was about 85 percent of normal.

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