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Colorado's Snowpack

posted 2/10/2017

Colorado’s snow pack is our largest and most vital water storage feature. Even in the wake of a long, unusually warm autumn, our snowpack remains whole because of heavy, wet December storms. Basins across the state taut storage so far above the average mark, you would have to go back to the 1950s to find a comparable season.

Although the threat of drought conditions in many regions of Colorado has disappeared, it still lurks along the eastern plains. Dry conditions persist in eastern Colorado despite significant precipitation for the last two months. Lincoln County continues to struggle with severe drought conditions, joined by 35% of the plains regions who report moderate drought conditions.

Colorado’s statewide snowpack climbed to 156 percent of average in January. Basins in the southwest reported the highest snowpack at 170 percent of normal while the Yampa and the White hover slightly lower at 141 percent. Reservoir storage statewide remains high at 105% of normal.

The impact of the drought on the Colorado River Compact and storage in Lake Powell and Lake Mead is significant. Both lakes are low and approaching elevations that could trigger curtailment of diversions by Arizona as early as next year. Federal forecasters expect Lake Mead, which feeds the hungry Colorado River, to shrink enough to trigger a federal shortage.  If the lake levels do not recover soon, downstream states could call against diversions by upstream states on the Colorado, forcing reduced diversions for communities until the drought subsides.

The National Weather Service predicts the La Nina conditions that persisted late in 2016 will fade, making room for an El Nino spring that translates to increased precipitation for Colorado. Although it is impossible to predict the strength of the weather pattern, short-term forecasts show less active systems for early 2017.  

Last year was the fifth warmest year in Colorado on record, a clear sign that Colorado is not out of the woods. As we look down the road, we must remember that the key to water management is to enjoy the snowpack and prepare for the worst.

The good news is that the April-June runoff is expected to climb above 10 million acre feet, giving ranchers and landowners something to smile about.


Celebrate the Splendor of the Season While Avoiding Holiday Hazards

posted 12/19/2016
While the holiday season is considered the most “wonderful time of the year,” it’s important to keep in mind that it’s also the most dangerous time of the year for home fires.

Summer 2016: A look back

posted 9/22/2016
As we say goodbye to summer 2016 we share a look back at a few Loveland Water and Power highlights from the last three months.

Rain barrels are officially legal in Colorado for residents!
posted 8/10/2016
Colorado passed HB 16-1005 earlier this year, of which became effective today, August 10, 2016. So… What do you need to know before you get started?

Trust Your Tap
posted 2/9/2016
Loveland residents don’t often think about their tap water until...

Loveland Energy Challenge 2015 
posted 12/22/2015
Thompson School District students broadened their understanding of sustainability and living lightly on the Earth through the Loveland Energy Challenge...

The Spooky Truth About Energy Vampires
posted 10/22/2015

Beware! Energy vampires may be lurking in your home. What is an energy vampire?...

Innovation Award Given to City of Loveland
posted 5/21/2015
It is the mission of the City of Loveland to provide services, programs and community engagement with creativity and innovation. Recently, the City of Loveland has demonstrated that effort by...

Drinking Water Week 2015!
posted 4/29/2015
Loveland Water and Power will highlight their Passport to Water and Power event, water quality reports, a virtual tour of their water treatment plant, and offer “Colorado Water: Live Like You Love It...

Expanding Renewable Generation 
posted 3/6/2015
Loveland Water and Power (LWP) strives to provide the most reliable power to our City while helping our customers to keep more of their money...

Ebola's Fragility
posted 11/12/2014
Swirling around in the storm that carries fear and mistruths about Ebola is the cold hard fact...
Public Power: The Community - Owned Advantage
posted 10/6/2014
October 5-11 is Public Power Week, a time when communities across the United States celebrate the advantages of public power...

"The Waterfall"
posted 8/25/2014
My family considered the Idylwilde Dam a landmark along the long, windy road to Estes Park...

Expansion in the Midst of Rehabilitation 
posted 6/23/2014
Nobody likes to wait in line on a hot summer day for the man in the orange vest to turn the sign that says “Proceed Slowly.”...

Local Leader Drives Electric
posted 4/30/2014
Drive Electric Northern Colorado recently received a message from a local leader in Loveland, Colorado—Pastor Woody Carlson. Pastor Woody heard about DENC from the local newspaper and contacted the program because he drives a Chevy Volt and wanted to...

Supporting young adults with diverse work history and educational backgrounds. 
posted 2/11/2014
The Larimer County Conservation Corps (LCCC) has partnered with Loveland Water and Power, Fort Collins Utilities and the Platter River Power Authority for another season of...

$10 for a light bulb?! You must be crazy!
posted 11/26/2013
Tis the season. The days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting longer. This means the amount of time your lights are on at home is increasing, and because of this you may soon need to replace a few bulbs. If you haven’t shopped for bulbs recently...

Loveland Water and Power and Our Community: Celebrating Public Power Week
posted 10/07/2013
In your daily life, how many times do you flip a light switch; plug in a cell phone, or power on your TV or computer? Have you considered how this energy is brought to your very fingertips and how it is provided safely and reliably? Please celebrate...

Benefits of an Engaged Citizenry on Water Supply
posted 9/6/2013
LWP has been delivering drinking water to customers in the Loveland area since 1887. Today, LWP serves a population of more than 65,000 water customers with a service territory of an estimated...


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