Feb 28, 2011
All Watersheds Are Well Above Average
Early snows have put Northern Colorado’s water supply in a good position heading into spring.
The next two months will be the larger indicator of how much water will be available for agricultural and residential uses this summer, however.
According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the snowpack in the upper reaches of the Big Thompson River basin are well above the 30-year averages heading into the wettest months of the year.
In observations made last week, each of the four indicator sites in Rocky Mountain National Park gave promise of a strong year to come — and were much better than one year ago.
The figures for the Big Thompson mirror those for the rest of the South Platte River basin, which slakes the thirst of the state’s biggest urban areas and most-productive farmland. Federal figures show the basin at 122 percent of its 30-year average.
Statewide, all of the major river basins are close to or above their historical averages. Leading the way is the North Platte basin, at 132 percent, with the Colorado River basin at 127 percent, Yampa at 125 percent and Gunnison at 120 percent.
In the southern half of the state, the Arkansas River basin is at 105 percent of average, the Animas/San Juan basin is at 99 percent and Rio Grande at 90 percent.