Monday, February 11, 2008

Snow means good news for Colorado River area

At long last, some heartening prospects for water security in the American west -- we might have a wet year. From the Las Vegas Review Journal: A snowy January on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains has water managers crossing their fingers for something they haven't seen for a while: a truly wet year on the Colorado River. The latest forecast calls for the river to receive 120 percent of its normal inflow from melting mountain snow. If that prediction comes to pass, 2008 would go down as the best year on the Colorado in more than a decade. "Things are raging in Arizona as far as really great snowpack," said federal water supply forecaster Tom Pagano. "Southern Colorado and Utah also look great. "We're pretty thrilled."

As of Tuesday, snow levels were above average by as much as 56 percent in parts of central and western Colorado credited with supplying large amounts of water to the river system. Elsewhere in the high country of Colorado, Utah and Arizona, the snowpack is almost double what it normally is this time of year with more winter storms in the forecast for this weekend.

The Las Vegas Valley gets about 90 percent of its drinking water from the Colorado, so more Rocky Mountain snow means a more secure supply. Kay Brothers, deputy general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, is somewhat optimistic about what she has seen so far. "We're getting a whole lot of snow out there. That's good news," she said…

Photo of the Colorado River near Page, Arizona, by Adrille, Wikimedia Commons

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