Despite mild weather in February, snowpack remains decent on the snow courses that provide water to Nevada Irrigation District (NID) customers.
During measurements taken Feb. 24-26, NID surveyors found the average water content in the Sierra snowpack was 22.2 inches, which is 79 percent of the normal average of 28 inches for this time of year. The survey was taken at the District’s five high-elevation snow courses.
NID’s nine major reservoirs are currently storing 176,970 acre-feet of water, which is 65 percent of capacity and 84 percent of average for this date (an acre-foot is one acre covered one foot deep).
“February produced below average precipitation for the month and added 3.1 inches of water content to our snowpack,” said Thor Larsen, NID’s Water Resources Superintendent. “With reservoir storage below average for this time of year, the District is preparing for dry year operations should it be necessary and continues to encourage conservation.”
The survey showed NID’s highest course, Webber Peak, at 7,800 feet, had 65.8 inches of snow with a water content of 22.4 inches. The English Mountain snow course (7,100 ft.) had 79.6 inches of snow with a water content of 30.2 inches. Webber Lake (7,000 ft.) had 59.9 inches of snow with a water content of 20.2 inches. Findley Peak (6,500 ft.) had a snowpack of 59.9 inches and a 21.9-inch water content. Bowman Reservoir (5,650 ft.) had 37.9 inches of snow and a 16.2-inch water content.
At the lower division Chalk Bluff snow course (4,850 ft.) on the Deer Creek watershed, the Feb. 26 survey found 11.9 inches of snow with a 5.1-inch water content (the Chalk Bluff numbers are not included in the total average).
A member of the California Cooperative Snow Survey, NID conducts official snow surveys each year. Results of the snow surveys are used to predict water availability locally and statewide.
For 100 years, the District has been delivering agricultural water and high-quality drinking water to customers in Nevada, Placer, and Yuba counties. NID water originates as snowmelt found in 70,000 acres of high elevation watershed near the headwaters of the Yuba River, Bear River and Deer Creek. Water is stored in reservoirs and moved through one of six treatment plants to produce three billion gallons of drinking water each year for 25,000 home and businesses. Hundreds of miles of canals and pipes deliver water to 30,000 acres of irrigated land, as well as to homes, farms and businesses. Visit nidwater.com