December 28, 2007--Area snowpack is highest in state (Alamosa News)

Currently standing at well above average, snowpack in the Rio Grande Basin is higher than any other river basin in the state, Colorado Division of Water Resources Division III Assistant Division Engineer Craig Cotten said on Thursday. “The Rio Grande Basin is actually the highest in the state which is unusual especially since for quite a few years we have been about the lowest in the state,” he said. Statewide the snowpack is 107 percent of average. In the San Luis Valley the Upper Rio Grande is sitting at 143 percent of average and the Sangre de Cristos at 128 percent of average, Cotten explained. The Sangre de Cristos are supposed to get more snow in the next storm, he added. The North Platte, Yampa and South Platte River Basins are below average, but the other basins including the Rio Grande Basin in the Valley are above average. Cotten said northern New Mexico is also doing well with snowpack. The Chama River Basin, for example, is at 152 percent of average. “That should help with the Rio Grande Compact,” he said. A good moisture year would be beneficial for the compact, ditch water and aquifer recovery, Cotten said. 

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