Is it enough to end Colorado's water shortage?

With the snow falling in the higher elevations one gets the feeling the worst may be over. However, according to recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predictions, it won't be enough to end the drought.

Forecasters are calling for anywhere from 50 to 90% capacity for much of the Colorado River in the western slope region. That's improved from the last couple of years but at that rate, it won't be enough.

Check out the Colorado River Basin prediction map by clicking HERE. “What we’re seeing is a lot better than what we observed last year,” reports Greg Smith, senior hydrologist at the NOAA’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center. “We have a long way to go, though, because we have a moisture deficit from last year to make up for.”

The reason for the low water predictions is the drought itself. The ground throughout western Colorado and eastern Utah is bone dry. That parched soil will suck up much of the runoff before it even enters the river system. Farmer's irrigation and city water suppliers will continue to consume their needed portions as well. So even with near-record mountain snowfall and much-improved snowpacks, the river is predicted to run low for much of 2019.

Credit: Out There Colorado