Utah's water year as May approaches
Here in northern Utah we've been living a charmed life this water year, as the snowpack hovers close to 90 inches in the Bear River Range at ~8500 feet in elevation. While I'm still going skiing tomorrow, southern Utah has not been so fortunate. The water is just starting to come off the hills across the state, but the above map does not bode well for thirsty urban areas and agricultural producers.
The outlook for environmental flows, while hard to predict, is also looking rough. After a controlled flood in the Grand Canyon last year, it appears that the timing was good because the water and the sediment it moved, were both there and available thanks to fall rain. This year the Colorado system will need a big monsoon season to keep the Paria River flowing enough to stack up sediment and do the geomorphic work that creates the instream and riparian habitats the Colorado is known for. Fortunately, the Colorado River headwaters look a little bit better than the Green River does.
My fingers are crossed for Utah and Colorado...even though the Wellsville Range looks good for late April....