Lower Inflows Anticipated for North Platte River
A packed crowd gathered to learn about the snowmelt runoff and expected reservoir operations for the 2012 water year. More than 60 people gathered for North Platte River Water Operations Information in Scottsbluff.
Throughout the spring, the Natural Resource Conservation has been tracking below average snowpack throughout the state of Wyoming. As of April 1st, the Bureau is forecasting inflows of 350 - thousand acre feet above Seminole Reservoir. That's less than half of a average year. Wyoming Area Acting Manager Lyle Myler says that number may be too high. If the weather continues to be warm and dry, inflows are likely to come in 150 - 200 acre feet resembling water short years like 2002 or 2004.
On a positive note, four consecutive years of above average inflows has brought the system storage to nearly 3 million acre feet. Currently Seminole Reservoir is 81 percent full, Pathfinder is 83 percent full and Glendo is 96 percent full. With total system storage greater than any other time of the last decade, Myler says irrigators need to look beyond 2012. Myler's concern is subsequent years and how that effects storage and the ability to supplement natural flow with carryover storage.
The three month precipitation outlook through June is forecasting below normal precipitation for western Nebraska and southern Wyoming. The temperature outlook is forecasting equal chances for above or below average temperatures.
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