#Snowpack news: Dropping % of normal South Platte and Colorado River

Westwide basin-filled snowpack map February 23, 2017 via the NRCS.
Westwide basin-filled snowpack map February 23, 2017 via the NRCS.

From The Fort Morgan Times (Jenni Grubbs):

As of Feb. 21, Colorado’s snowpack was sitting at 140 percent of what is considered normal, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

That amount has dropped some, though, as only a week earlier, the statewide snowpack was at 147 percent of normal.

Still, this bodes well for Fort Morgan in terms of having plenty of water this summer and fall. It also looks good for Northern Water, which provides that water to the city through the Colorado-Big Thompson pipeline.

“Late spring and early summer snowmelt and runoff from the Rocky Mountains provides most of Colorado’s water supply,” Northern Water’s website explains. “Greater snowpack means favorable water supplies; lower amounts can signal an impending drought.”

The two major river basins that play roles in the water supply for the C-BT pipeline are the Upper Colorado and South Platte, and they had snowpacks of 147 and 142 percent, respectively, in mid-February. Those percentage fell to 140 and 132 as of Feb. 21…

Further, the C-BT pipeline’s water storage level was “above average” at the start of February, tracking at 121 percent of normal as of Feb. 1.

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