NID snowpack survey: Hope for more snow continues despite a slow start

March 1, 2018

The latest snow survey conducted by Nevada Irrigation District (NID) on Feb. 27 found the average water content for the five highest elevation snow courses was 7.7 inches, which is 27 percent of the 28.8-inch average for this time of year.

“February was one of the driest on record; however the forecast looks promising for a wetter March,” said Sue Sindt, NID’s Water Resources Superintendent. “With the storms we are currently experiencing, I expect significant improvement in the water content which will be reflected in our April 1 surveys.”

The snow surveys showed NID’s highest course, Webber Peak, at 7,800 feet, had 47 inches of snow with a water content of 13.1 inches. The English Mountain snow course (7,100 ft.) had 34.7 inches of snow with a water content of 11 inches. Webber Lake (7,000 ft.) had 36.9 inches of snow with a water content of 8.1 inches. Findley Peak (6,500 ft.) had a snowpack of 20.6 inches and a 2.9-inch water content. Bowman Reservoir (5,650 ft.) had 19.6 inches of snow and a 3.6-inch water content.

At the lower division Chalk Bluff snow course (4,850 ft.) on the Deer Creek watershed, snow surveyors measured 12.1 inches of snow with a water content of 1.4 inches (the Chalk Bluff numbers are not included in the average).

Despite the lack of snowpack, NID has above average water in storage, thanks to last year’s abundance of precipitation. The District’s 10 reservoirs are currently storing 236,100 acre-feet of water, which is 87 percent of capacity and 137 percent of average for this date. Total storage capacity is 270,085 acre-feet (an acre-foot is one acre covered one foot deep).

“Reservoir storage remains well above average and will help buffer the impact of a below average snowpack,” Sindt said.

A member of the California Cooperative Snow Survey, NID conducts three official snow surveys each year in February, March and April. Results of the snow surveys are used to predict water availability locally and statewide.



Contact: Susan Lauer

(530) 271-6735 ext. 335



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