March 8, 2012--Water supply good even as snowpack lags (Summit Daily)

Statewide snowpack is still well behind average, and even further behind last year at the same time, but it's slowly improving, Natural Resource Conservation Service officials say. The organization eyes snowpack to determine what the upcoming summer's water supply looks like, while others look to the manual and Snotel reports to determine how Colorado's ski industry fares in terms of product offerings. So far, water supply closely mirrors the state's below-average snowpack. “All major basins in Colorado are expected to have below-average runoff conditions this spring and summer,” conservation service officials wrote in a press release. “The South Platte Basin has the highest snowpack percentage in the state and boasts some of the highest streamflow forecasts.” That's due to several upslope storms that dropped precipitation along the Front Range before petering out at the Continental Divide. The Colorado River Basin is at 75 percent of average snowpack and 59 percent of last year's snowpack. That's improved from Feb. 1's 69 percent of average snowpack. Water storage in the Colorado basin, though, is at 116 percent of average, indicating good planning on behalf of water managers in a high runoff year last year. “Fortunately for most water users, reservoir storage is above or near average across most of the state. This available stored water should help alleviate any late-summer shortages,” officials said.

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