NID: Snowpack at 102% of Average

April 5, 2016

Chip Close
(530) 273-6185
or: Dave Carter
(530) 265-NEWS


NID: Snowpack at 102% of Average

GRASS VALLEY – In snow surveys taken Friday (Apr. 1), the Nevada Irrigation District measured 102 percent of average water content in the mountain snowpack that supplies the NID water system.

Although NID expects adequate water supplies for district customers this year, the district reminds domestic water users that the State Water Resources Control Board emergency drought regulations have not been lifted and statewide water use restrictions remain in effect.

In the April 1 snow survey, which is regarded as the year’s best indicator of water supply, NID snow surveyors measured an average 33.9 inches of water content on five mountain snow courses. The April 1 five-course average is 33.3 inches.

“This is a significantly improved situation from last year when the April 1 water content was just 1.5 inches,” said NID Water Resources Supt. Sue Sindt. “All of the district’s reservoirs are full except Jackson Meadows and Bowman, which should fill from the expected snowmelt runoff. In addition to filling the reservoirs, the runoff should sustain near normal reservoir elevations throughout the summer.”

The snow survey recorded water content on mountain snow courses ranging in elevation from 5,650 feet to 7,800 feet. NID’s highest course, Webber Peak, at 7,800 feet, had 99.8 inches of snow with a water content of 45.9 inches. The English Mountain snow course (7,100 ft.) had 80.8 inches of snow with a water content of 43.9 inches.

Webber Lake (7,000 ft.) had 70.8 inches of snow with a water content of 34.2 inches.

Findley Peak (6,500 ft.) had a snowpack of 52.8 inches and a 26.5-inch water content.

Bowman Reservoir (elev. 5650 ft.) had 38.4 inches of snow with an 18.9-inch water content.

An additional snow survey on the Chalk Bluff snow course (4,850 ft.) on the Deer Creek watershed found no snow. (The Chalk Bluff surveys are not included in the average.)

Seasonal precipitation at Bowman Reservoir had reached 73.25 inches by Mar. 31, which equals 125 percent of average for the date. (Seasonal precipitation is measured July 1-June 30.)

March is normally one of the year’s wettest months but this March went way beyond the normal range, with 22.12 inches of precipitation at Bowman, 210 percent of average.

As of Mar. 31, NID reservoirs held 246,300 acre-feet of water, which is 93 percent of capacity and 135 percent of average for the date.

A member of the California Cooperative Snow Survey, NID conducts three official snow surveys each year, in February, March and April.