Northern Rockies Facing Water Shortages

SPOKANE, Wash., March 12 (UPI) — Farmers and ranchers in the northern Rockies may soon face water shortages due to record low levels of winter snowpack, U.S. hydrologists say.

Hydrologists warn that with below-average mountain snowpack in most parts of the region, farmers and ranchers could face troubles if additional snowfall does not come soon, USA Today reported Friday.

“There’s not much time to make it up,” Natural Resource Conservation Service hydrologist Phil Morrisey said. “Even an abundant snowfall in March would be unlikely to make much of a difference this late in the season.”

Among the areas facing record low snowpack levels, or near-record lows, are parts of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

The National Weather Service said Spokane, Wash., endured a record low in terms of snowfall during the 2009-10 winter with 13.7 inches.

Conservation Service hydrologist Scott Pattee told USA Today the low snowpack levels could result in limited water supplies for farmers.

“It’s going to mean water rationing for junior water-rights holders,” Pattee warned.

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Categorized | Conservation
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