Snowpack/Lake Mead/Lake Powell news: No shortage declaration foreseen for lower Colorado River basin this season

A picture named snowpackcolorado04012011

From the Deseret News (John Hollenhorst):

“It is highly, highly unlikely that we’ll see a shortage declared for the lower basin,” [Malcolm Wilson, water resources chief of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation] said. “It is a good year. It’s one of the better ones we’ve seen certainly in the last decade, and we’re looking to a really good inflow.”[…]

Many expect hard bargaining in the future over the river’s water supply. McCool thinks there are pluses and minuses for Utah: Extended drought might wipe out proposals for Lake Powell pipelines, but Utah farmers might get rich by selling water to Las Vegas.

From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Jackie Hutchins):

…the March 29 snow survey at four sites in Rocky Mountain National Park shows that snowpack levels have increased there since February. And what’s even more encouraging for those worried about a drought, the snow has above-average water content. “It could be a record-setter,” said John Fusaro of the Natural Resource Conservation Service…

At all four snow courses the agency measured in the national park this week, water content of the snow was ahead of the 30-year average. “That’s really good,” Fusaro noted, “just the opposite of what we’ve had down here with all the dryness.”[…]

At Deer Ridge, at 9,000 feet in elevation, the average snow depth was 30 inches, up by 4 inches since the end of February. The water content of the snow was 173 percent of the amount a year earlier and 205 percent of the 30-year average. Similar increases were recorded at 9,480 feet at Hidden Valley, 9,500 feet at Bear Lake and 10,700 feet at Willow Park. Bear Lake has 68 inches of snow, up by 14 inches from a month ago, with water content at 185 percent of last year’s figures. The average snowpack at Hidden Valley increased from 37 to 45 inches, with water content at 181 percent of last year’s figures. At Willow Park, the snowpack increased from 62 to 77 inches, with water content at 158 percent of last year’s figures.

Leave a Reply