Snowpack water content continues to be well above average – as spring snowmelt begins

May 2, 2019

Water content in snowpack remains well above average, boding well for Nevada Irrigation District (NID) water storage, according to the results of the District’s May snow survey.

As of May 1, the average water content for NID’s five mountain courses was 41.1 inches. That was 149 percent of average for the year. Precipitation at Bowman Lake was 74.11 inches, 114 percent of average.

“Although there was quite of bit of snow melt and runoff in April, the water content in the snow is still well above average and the high water levels in local rivers will continue,” said Sue Sindt, NID’s Water Resources Superintendent.

The conditions are good news for NID’s water storage facilities: “Currently all lower elevation reservoirs are full and with the amount of runoff expected from the snowpack the higher elevation reservoirs should all fill and stay near full into June,” Sindt said.

NID reservoir storage was 234,000 acre-feet as of May 1. That is 87 percent of capacity and 98 percent of average.

The Sierra snowpack is NID’s water source. The District collects water on 70,000 acres of high mountain watershed. Water from the mountain snowmelt flows into six reservoirs in NID’s mountain division and is transported to three additional foothill reservoirs and ultimately to District customers through an extensive water transmission system. NID depends on more than 400 miles of canals and another 300 miles of pipeline to transport water to customers.

Mountain division reservoirs are: Jackson Meadows (6036 ft.), Bowman (5563 ft.), French Lake (6,835 ft.), Faucherie (6,123 ft.), Sawmill (5,863 ft.)and Jackson Lake (6,598 ft.). Foothill reservoirs are: Rollins (2,171 ft.), Scotts Flat (3,075 ft.) and Combie (1,600 ft.).

NID is a member of the California Cooperative Snow Survey. The District’s official snow surveys are used to predict water availability locally and statewide.