Although snow was still covering the ground roughly two weeks ago, snowpack totals are low.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the Price and San Rafael Basins are below average at 81%. Last year at this time, the snowpack total for the same areas was 68%. Though numbers indicate that snowpack totals are significantly better than 2012, the water season is still not in the clear.
The USDA also reports that February precipitation was below average and current soil moisture is at 37% compared to last year’s 56%. This means that the ground is extremely dry and spring runoff will be limited. Rather than runoff accumulating in reservoirs, rivers and streams, it will soak into the soil it currently rests on. Current reservoir totals for the Price and San Rafael Basin area are at 50% capacity Last year at this time totals were at 78% capacity.
All numbers point to a long water season. An extremely moist April and May could help the area climb out of the dry slump, but water conservation is the key to surviving the upcoming summer.