NID reports good water storage in spite of dry weather
March 3, 2013
Despite one of the driest midwinter spells on record, Nevada Irrigation District water storage remains above the seasonal average, NID reported Friday..
"Although January and February precipitation amounts were far below average, the snowpack has remained intact, and there has been little change in the snowpack water content from a month ago," said NID Operations Supervisor Sue Sindt.
As of Friday, storage in NID's 10 reservoirs stood at 211,100 acre-feet, which was 84 percent of capacity and 124 percent of average for the date.
This follows a January that produced just 2.01 inches (16 percent of average) of precipitation at NID's Bowman Reservoir (elevation 5,650 feet). February was even drier with 1.34 inches (13 percent of average) and ended as the eighth driest February in NID's 127 years of records.
A year ago, district officials were concerned that by March 1, precipitation had reached only 50 percent of average, and water content was at 38 percent. Then, the so-called "March Miracle" brought significant rain and snow and boosted water storage well into the average range.
"You never know what is going to happen," said Sindt. "With this year's switch from a wet to a dry weather pattern, the district will continue to be conservative with water releases, which is helping to keep water storage above average."
Water content in the mountain snowpack now stands at 60 percent of the March 1 average, according to results of NID's official March 1 snow surveys, which were conducted Thursday.
In the March 1 measurements, NID snow surveyors recorded snowpack depth and water content on six mountain snow courses at elevations of 4,850 feet to 7,800 feet.
The snow surveys showed NID's highest course at 7,800 feet, Webber Peak, had 67 inches of snow with a water content of 26.9 inches. The English Mountain snow course (7,100 feet) had 54.2 inches of snow with a water content of 21.8 inches.
Webber Lake (7,000 feet) had 50.3 inches of snow with a water content of 19 inches. Findley Peak (6,500 feet) had a snowpack of 30.8 inches and a 12.9-inch water content. Bowman Reservoir had 24.6 inches of snow with a water content of 10.5 inches.