#Snowpack news: What a great bump from all the beautiful snowfall between March 1 and March 7, 2019, downside = avalanches

The snowpack news is great for Colorado today. Below is a graphic from NOAA depicting snowfall totals from March 1 through March 7, 2019.

Below is a gallery of snowpack data from the NRCS. Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the graphics. You’ll love the curves for the SW Colorado basins.

Here’s the Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map for March 11, 2019 from the NRCS.

Westwide SNOTEL basin-filled map March 11, 2019 via the NRCS.

@POTUS proposes $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2020 budget for @USBR

Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River in April 2017. The dam is 15 miles upstream from Lees Ferry, Arizona. Photo by Alexander Stephens/courtesy Bureau of Reclamation.

Here’s the release from the Bureau of Reclamation(Theresa Eisenman):

Budget continues Reclamation’s efforts to deliver water and generate hydropower in cost-efficient and environmentally responsible manner

[The President] today proposed a $1.1 billion Fiscal Year 2020 budget for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. The budget supports the Administration’s and Interior’s goals of ensuring reliable and environmentally responsible delivery of water and power for farms, communities and industry, while providing Reclamation with tools to confront the widening imbalances between supply and demand throughout the West.

“This budget reaffirms the Administration’s commitment to water and power reliability,” said Commissioner Brenda Burman. “A significant portion of this request is dedicated to improving existing infrastructure, including dams and reservoirs, and alleviating the impact of current and future droughts, so the West can continue to be the engine that drives our nation’s economy for years to come.”

Reclamation’s FY 2020 budget of $1.110 billion consists of $962.0 million for Water and Related Resources, $60.0 million for Policy and Administration, $33.0 million for the California Bay Delta account and $54.8 million for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund.

The proposed budget includes $114.1 million in appropriations for various projects for Extraordinary Maintenance (XM) activities across Reclamation. Reclamation’s XM budget is part of its overall asset management strategy to improve the management of its assets and deal with aging infrastructure challenges. Significant additional XM items are directly funded by revenues, water and power customers, or other federal agencies (e.g., Bonneville Power Administration).

Reclamation provides services through many of its projects and programs to fulfill its trust responsibilities to Tribes. The FY 2020 budget request includes a total of $132.9 million for Indian water rights settlements. This includes funding of $69.2 million for the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project, $12.8 million for the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement, $8.3 million for the Aamodt Litigation Settlement, and $10.0 million for the Blackfeet Water Rights Settlement. Other settlements include the Nez Perce Settlement within Columbia and Snake Rivers Salmon Recovery Project ($5.6 million), the San Carlos Apache Tribe Water Settlement Act ($1.6 million), the Ak-Chin Indian Water Rights Settlement Act ($15.3 million), and the Colorado Ute Settlement Act within the Animas La Plata Project ($10.2 million).

The FY 2020 budget will continue to support water delivery and quality concerns along the Colorado River. The long-term impacts from droughts, such as those in the Colorado River Basin, can’t be solved by a single wet year. Even in states such as California, where hydrologic patterns have recently been beneficial, the hydrologic system is ill equipped to address long term needs. The FY 2020 budget, through programs such as the Lower Colorado River Operations Program ($31.3 million) and the Central Valley Project ($144.3 million), will continue efforts in both areas to find a long-term, comprehensive solution to water supply and quality issues in Colorado and California.

Other highlights of Reclamation’s FY 2020 budget proposal include:

  • $92.8 million for the Dam Safety Program, to effectively manage risks to the downstream public, property, project and natural resources and provides for risk management activities at Reclamation’s high and significant hazard dams.
  • $54.8 million for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund, to protect, restore, and enhance fish, wildlife, and associated habitats and address impacts of the Central Valley Project (CVP). Offset by discretionary receipts to be collected from project beneficiaries.
  • $2.6 million for the Desalination and Water Purification Research Program, to support new and continued projects in three funding areas — laboratory scale research studies, pilot-scale testing projects and full-scale testing projects.
  • $11.0 million for the Science and Technology Program to support continued science and technology projects, water and power technology prize competitions, technology transfer and dissemination/outreach activities that address critical water and power management issues.
  • $36.4 million for the Site Security Program, which includes physical security upgrades at key facilities, guards and patrols, anti-terrorism program activities and security risk assessments.
  • $19.9 for the WaterSMART Program to support Reclamation’s collaboration with non-federal partners in efforts to address emerging water demands and water shortage issues in the West as well as promote water conservation and improved water management.
  • To view details of Reclamation’s budget request, see http://www.usbr.gov/budget.

    @AZwater releases Preliminary Hydrographic Survey Report for Navajo Reservation

    Here’s the release from the Arizona Department of Natural Resources (Sally Stewart Lee):

    On March 8, 2019, the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR) is releasing the Preliminary Hydrographic Survey Report for the Navajo Reservation (Preliminary Navajo Reservation HSR) for inspection and comment. The Preliminary Navajo Reservation HSR was prepared by ADWR as part of the Little Colorado River General Stream Adjudication (LCR Adjudication), which is pending before the Apache County Superior Court.

    The purpose of the Preliminary Navajo Reservation HSR is to provide the Navajo Nation, the United States and interested parties with the opportunity to inspect the information that ADWR gathered pertaining to water right claims filed by the Navajo Nation and by the United States (on behalf of the Navajo Nation), and to file comments with ADWR.

    In accordance with A.R.S. § 45-256(H), the ADWR Director gives notice that the comment period on the Preliminary Navajo Reservation HSR shall extend until June 7, 2019. All comments must be in writing and received by ADWR on or before June 7, 2019 at the following address:

    The Preliminary Navajo Reservation HSR is being made available for downloading from ADWR’s website at https://new.azwater.gov/adjudications. In addition, an electronic version of the N Preliminary Navajo Reservation HSR is being made available for purchase for $20.00. Special arrangements may be made to purchase a hard copy of all or selected portions of the Preliminary Navajo Reservation HSR, including appendices. Electronic and hard copies may be purchased by calling (602) 771-8634 or (866) 246-1414 (toll free).

    2019 Preliminary Navajo Reservation HSR