Mountain snowpack good for irrigators

Water forecast looks good for growing season

— For those who rely upon lake-stored mountain water to supply them with much-needed water from April until the end of harvest, the outlook is good.

“The snow we’ve been having is going to be really helpful,” Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District Assistant Manager of Operations Dave Bos said.

The snowpack is 99 percent of average, he said, citing the Bureau of Reclamation’s February figures.

“The snow is where it’s needed,” Bos said.

Snowpack and precipitation is measured beginning Oct. 1.

Between Oct. 1, 2017 and Feb. 26, 2018, the precipitation water year to date is at 183 inches, or 115 percent of average.

The percent of capacity in all mountain reservoirs is 74 percent, Bos said.

“It’s looking good,” he said, noting storage content is 136 percent of average compared to 101 percent on March 28, 2017.

This year’s water storage and precipitation is improved over last year, Bos said.

“We’re in better shape,” he said, noting there was more moisture in the lower elevations last year, which was deceptive in regard to the actual snowpack of 104 percent on March 28, 2017.

That was up from 92 percent Feb. 28, 2017.

For irrigation customers, Bos said the water is typically turned on around March 20. This year’s date has not been approved by the Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District yet, but he anticipates it will be consistent with previous years.

Water delivery will begin April 1, which is normal as well.


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