As mentioned in a Denver Post article recently, water managers are preparing for an above average runoff from this year’s snowmelt. After a multi-year drought in the western U.S., owners of our Colorado ranches for sale are happy to see the snowpack return to above average levels. In addition to providing essential irrigation water to ag producers, this is also good news for recreation, municipalities, and everything in between. It is estimated that about 80% of the state’s water supply comes from mountain snowpack that accumulates between October and April. While parts of southern Colorado are still struggling with a lack of precipitation, the snowpack in parts of central and northern Colorado are over 40% above average. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), as of Tuesday March 18th, the snowpack is 116% of normal statewide. Good news for our farmers and ranchers in Colorado!
According to the article, “The NRCS Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program has been in effect since 1935, and the data it collects serves as a sort of seasonal scouting report for all things water-related.”
Farmers and ranchers depend on this data in order to be able to plan each year, while fishermen and rafters can to use this data to predict the ideal time to wet a line or take a float trip down their favorite river. The NRCS collects this data through 102 manually measured snow courses and 114 automated Snow Telemetry (SNOTEL) sites throughout the state. This information is then sent to a Data Collection Office in Denver which gives the public access to the historical record of snow and water throughout the West as well as current measurements used to forecast and prepare. When it comes to managing and tracking a resource as precious as our water in Colorado, this data is essential in making sure we get the most out it.