Snowpack news: The Upper Colorado Basin is in a virtual dead heat with 2002, statewide = 33%

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Another day another drop in snowpack. The storms forecasted over the next few days can’t come soon enough. Click on the thumbnail graphics to the right for the statewide snowpack graph, statewide high/low graph and Upper Colorado River basin high/low graph from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

From the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn):

A record-low spring snowpack and continued dry and warm weather doesn’t bode well for Colorado’s rivers and streams this summer, but a few critical reaches could get a boost thanks to the nonprofit Colorado Water Trust. After the 2002 drought, the Colorado Water Conservation Board and the Colorado Division of Wildlife created a list of critical stream segments where low flows and warm temperatures posed a potential threat to aquatic ecosystems.

Based in part on that list, the water trust proposes to facilitate short-term leases of water from agricultural users to keep flows at levels deemed adequate to ensure stream health. “We are testing totally new waters here,” said Colorado Water Trust director Amy Beatie. “We have our own cash we’re willing to put into the program and our goal is to raise $500,000,” she said, explaining that funding comes exclusively from private sources, with no state money going toward the program.

Scott Hummer, special projects manager for the water trust, said the Eagle River Basin is one of the priority areas, as are the headwaters streams above the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers.

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