Wednesday April 5, 2023

The Colorado Sun

The healthy snowpack whitening Colorado’s mountain peaks has given water officials some breathing room to manage the Colorado River Basin’s ongoing drought. The challenge will be not to squander it.

As winter storms wind down, water managers and policymakers are mulling over decisions about how to release and retain water in shrunken reservoirs across the basin, which supports 40 million people across the West. This year, many Colorado reservoirs will have the chance to refill, but the situation is still grim for the two largest reservoirs in the system, Lake Mead and Lake Powell.

“While having a decent year of snowpack doesn’t solve all of our problems, it does give us a little bit of breathing room to focus on longer-term issues,” said Amy Ostdiek, chief of the interstate, federal and water information section at the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the state’s leading water agency.

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