More snow needed to improve grim water forcast

Demand for irrigation water could outpace supply this year. Well-below average snowpack, poor runoff and increased irrigation demand in 2012 has combined to make a tough outlook for 2013. The Bureau of Reclamation released their latest forecast on March first.

Deputy Area Manager Lyle Myler says the outlook is grim with a forecast supply of 612,000 acre feet On average irrigation demand totals 1.1 million acre feet, so water allocations will likely be necessary. Myler says conserving the precious resource will be more important than ever.

Snowpack in the Upper North Platte Basin is steady 79 percent, while the Alcova to Gurney reach has improved in recent weeks to 67 percent of average. Both of those are well below average. For the situation to improve it will take several snow storms and rain events over the next two months. The Bureau of Reclamation will release it's next forecast on April first.

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