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Snowpack, mountain water levels are looking promising

By: Gus Thomson Journal Staff Writer
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The snowpack is back for the Nevada Irrigation District. The Grass Valley-based water supplier reported Monday that end-of-the-month mountain snow measurements contain 95 percent of average water content for this time of year. The high percentage follows a season of catch-up for snow levels that started on the dry side but turned around with winter storms in the mountains and cold weather the past two months. Continued cold weather should keep much of the snowpack in storage for runoff until weather turns hotter in the late spring. “We have adequate snowpack and reservoir storage and we will be making full deliveries of water to all of our customers,” said Sue Sindt, district operations supervisor. The district provides both treated and irrigation water for parts of Placer County, including a portion of North Auburn. The Placer County Water Agency, which supplies water to most of Placer County, has been reporting throughout the season that it would be able to meet all water requirements. The good news from both water suppliers comes at a time when Central Valley customers of the federal water project face rollbacks in regular water deliveries. The city of Folsom is one nearby community feeling the impact, with sprinkling restrictions in place and the possibility of more enforcement procedures in the summer to reduce water use. Taken late in the rainy season, the April 1 snow survey is a key indicator of water availability for the coming summer and fall. Snow surveyors measured an average water content of 32.2 inches, which equals 95 percent of the 33.9-inch historic average. The district’s 10 reservoirs are holding about 184,800 acre-feet of water – which is 104 percent of the April 1 average. An acre-foot equals one acre covered a foot deep. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.