Drought/Snowpack news: The South Platte basin snowpack (87%) drops below average again, statewide — 77%

snowpackcolorado02272012

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

Most of Colorado is now classified as under drought conditions, according to a report by the state’s water availability task force, which met last week in Denver. “Early February precipitation in parts of the state has helped to increase snowpack levels somewhat. However, all major basins of the state remain below normal,” the task force report states. “Severe drought conditions still remain in Baca County as well as the San Luis Valley.”[…]

…streamflows in the Arkansas River basin are below average as the region enters its 18th month of drought. The surface water supply index is well below average, partly because of weather conditions and the drawdown of Homestake Reservoir for repairs…

The outlook for water imported to the Arkansas River basin from the Colorado River basin is not good, either. Yields are expected to be only 75-80 percent of average, even if snowfall is average the rest of the season. In the Upper Colorado River basin snowpack is only at 71 percent. It is the source of water for the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, Twin Lakes, Homestake and other diversions that can bring as much as one-fourth of water supplies into the Arkansas basin.

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