NID’s first snowpack survey of the season: both snow and reservoir levels slightly above average

January 30, 2019

Snowpack and reservoir water levels are looking good this winter season, according to the first survey of the season taken by Nevada Irrigation District (NID).

On Jan. 28, NID hydrographers found the average water content was 22.8 inches, which is 113 percent of the 20.2-inch average for this time of year at its five highest elevation snow courses within the district’s watersheds. At Bowman Lake, precipitation was 93 percent of average at 34.3 inches.

District reservoir storage was 195,500 acre-feet as of Jan. 29. Storage is 72 percent of capacity, which is 117 percent average for this date.

“This is a very promising start to the year with both the snowpack water content and reservoir storage being above average,” said Sue Sindt, NID’s Water Resources Superintendent. “With more storms forecasted for later this week, it looks like February is starting off wet; hopefully that will be sustained through February and March.”

The Jan. 28 survey found: NID’s highest course, Webber Peak at 7,800 feet, had 75.4 inches of snow with a water content of 25.5 inches. The English Mountain snow course (7,100 ft.) had 77.1 inches of snow with a water content of 30.2 inches. Webber Lake (7,000 ft.) had 67.6 inches of snow with a water content of 23.6 inches. Findley Peak (6,500 ft.) had a snowpack of 59.6 inches and a 12.4-inch water content. Bowman Reservoir had a 34.8 inches of snow and a 12.4-inch water content.

A sixth snow course, Chalk Bluff, at 4,850 feet on the Deer Creek watershed, had a 5.2-inch snowpack with a 1.9-inch water content (the Chalk Bluff snow course is not included in the five-course average) on Jan. 29.

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.