#Snowpack/#runoff news: #SouthPlatte Basin update

South Platte River Basin High/Low graph May 20, 2018 via the NRCS.

From 9News.com (Jordan Chavez):

“Snowpack in the South Platte collection system… is well below average,” said Travis Thompson, a spokesperson for Denver Water.

The other half of Denver Water’s supply comes from the Colorado River Basin which also isn’t running at the level it usually does. The river’s water flows have already peaked, according to the National Weather Service.

Colorado Water Trust told 9NEWS this is extremely early.

“It looked like a very unusual year,” said Andy Schultheiss, Colorado Water Trust’s executive director. “It was a La Nina year and a lot of storms passed to our north. It was looking bad quite early this year.”

The collection systems from both rivers are made up of snowpack which is important when it comes to putting out wildfires, according to Schultheiss.

“People think summer storms help with wildfires but they don’t actually prevent it,” he said. “It’s those snowpacks that infiltrate into the soil that really control wildfires. So, when you have a year like this, when there’s very little snowpack, the potential for a serious wildfire goes way, way up.”

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