NID snow survey: precipitation below average; reservoir levels near average for the season | TheUnion.com
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NID snow survey: precipitation below average; reservoir levels near average for the season

Submitted by Tomi Riley

Near-average precipitation in March helped bolster overall levels in the watersheds that are the source for Nevada Irrigation District (NID) water supply, but the totals still fall below average. However, the District’s reservoirs remain at near average for the season.

NID surveyors trekked to different locations in the Sierra in early April to take snowpack measurements — both snow depth and the water content contained in the snow. For the five mountain courses, the average water content was 22.92 inches, or 68% average for the season. At Bowman Reservoir, precipitation as of April 1 measured 38.78 inches, which is 65% of average.

Thanks to last year’s wet winter season, NID’s reservoirs are at 79% of capacity with 211,945 acre-feet, or 94% average for the season. An acre foot of water equals about 326,000 gallons, enough water to cover an acre of land a foot deep. An acre foot can typically meet the annual indoor and outdoor needs of two average households.

NID’s reservoirs are near average due to last year’s snowfall, which was the seventh most on record in the upper division. A diminished snowpack this year will impact storage later this year, as less runoff will enter NID’s system.

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The message from NID is to get into the routine practice of water conservation.

“While there was improvement to the snowpack this year, we are still below average and continue to encourage water conservation by all of our customers,” said Thor Larsen, NID’s Water Resources Superintendent.


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