Above-average April snowpack measured | TheUnion.com

Above-average April snowpack measured

No foolin’, if you’re Nevada Irrigation District, April 1 is one of the most important days of the year.

That’s because the snow survey that day is considered the best indicator of the coming year’s water supply.

And this year, the outlook is good.

“It is good, and it’s definitely much better than last year,” said Sue Sindt, NID operations supervisor.

The survey showed the mountain snowpack holds 112 percent of average water content.

What’s more, some NID reservoirs are already full, including Scotts Flat, Rollins and Combie.

The only reason Jackson Meadows and Bowman reservoirs – two important high-elevation reservoirs – aren’t full is NID is letting water out to produce hydroelectric power. Officials expect the reservoirs to fill up later.

“We’re getting power out of them right now, trying to prevent them from spilling when the snow melts. They could fill and spill,” Sindt explained.

Overall, NID’s 10 reservoirs are storing 67 percent of their capacity, which is 95 percent of average for this time of year.

NID snow surveyors fly by helicopter to measure snow depths. The deepest they found was on English Mountain, which had 110 inches, or more than 9 feet of snow.

The state Department of Water Resources reported last week the Sierra snowpack has rebounded to near-normal levels thanks to a series of late winter storms.

Portions of the northern Sierra Nevada are normal. But things dry out farther south, the agency reported.

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