County’s snowpack level rises in March |

County’s snowpack level rises in March

It looks like March came through for this year’s California water needs.

Recent storms boosted snowpack in the high Sierra section of Nevada County, with the Nevada Irrigation District reporting 126 percent of average water content. The Truckee River Basin in the Tahoe-Truckee area reported the exact same percentage.

NID surveyors measured snowpack depth and water content on six snow courses last week from 4,850 feet to 7,800 feet. Average water content was 42.7 inches, which is 26 percent higher than the 34-inch historical average for April 1. Last year, the snowpack held an average 34 inches.

Annual precipitation at Bowman Reservoir at 5,650 feet reached 52.06 inches by March 31, which is 86 percent of average for that date. March produced 13.01, which is 125 percent of the average.

“March started out dry but finished above average,” said NID Operations Supervisor Sue Sindt. “The series of storms from March 19 through March 25 definitely aided in keeping the snowpack above average.”

Sindt said snowpack runoff should fill or nearly fill NID’s high country reservoirs and that its foothill reservoirs, Scotts Flat, Rollins and Combie are already full and spilling.

“We expect to make full deliveries to all of our customers this year, and with the reservoirs nearly full, it should also be a good year for water recreation,” Sindt said.

NID’s 10 reservoirs are currently storing 170,400 acre-feet of water, which is 68 percent of capacity and 96 percent of the March 31 average. Storage capacity is 250,280 acre-feet. An acre-foot is one acre covered one foot deep.


The Associated Press and NID contributed to this story.

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