Water forecast is bleak for major reservoir given lack of snow | PostIndependent.com

Water forecast is bleak for major reservoir given lack of snow

DENVER — Forecasters say one of the most important reservoirs in the Southwestern U.S. will likely collect less than half its normal amount of spring runoff this year because of a warm, dry winter across much of the region.

Hydrologist Greg Smith of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Wednesday Lake Powell is expected to get 47 percent of its average inflow because of scant snow in the mountains that feed the Colorado River.

Smith says there’s only a 10 percent chance that enough mountain snow will fall during the rest of the winter to bring inflows back to average.

Lake Powell, in Utah and Arizona, helps ensure the Colorado River has enough water to get through dry years. The river supplies water to about 40 million people and 6,300 square miles of farmland.