March 29, 2018 – After a cold, wet March, the snow survey conducted by Nevada Irrigation District (NID) on March 28 found the average water content for the five highest elevation snow courses was 22.0 inches, which is 65 percent of the average for this time of year.
Total precipitation for March was 30.4 inches – that’s 287 percent of average.
“March provided the storms that finally produced snow. There has been a significant improvement in snowpack water content and reservoir storage as a result of March’s precipitation,” said Sue Sindt, NID’s Water Resources Superintendent.
The snow surveys showed NID’s highest course, Webber Peak, at 7,800 feet, had 84.4 inches of snow with a water content of 28.4 inches. The English Mountain snow course (7,100 ft.) had 61.2 inches of snow with a water content of 27.4 inches. Webber Lake (7,000 ft.) had 57.1 inches of snow with a water content of 22.2 inches. Findley Peak (6,500 ft.) had a snowpack of 38.9 inches and a 16.6-inch water content. Bowman Reservoir (5,650 ft.) had 34.4 inches of snow and a 15.3-inch water content.
At the lower division Chalk Bluff snow course (4,850 ft.) on the Deer Creek watershed, snow surveyors measured 21.1 inches of snow with a water content of 7.9 inches (the Chalk Bluff numbers are not included in the average).
By comparison, NID’s Feb. 27 survey found the average water content for the five highest elevation snow courses to be 7.7 inches, which was 27 percent of the 28.8-inch average for that time of year.
In addition, NID has plenty of water in storage. The District’s 10 reservoirs currently are storing 248,500 acre-feet of water, which is 92 percent of capacity and 137 percent of average for this date. (An acre-foot is one acre covered one foot deep).
“All lower elevation reservoirs are full and the upper elevation reservoirs should nearly fill with the anticipated runoff from the snow. The District anticipates making full deliveries this season and reservoir levels should be adequate for recreation,” 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.