A new forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds this year’s snowpack will not provide much relief in Arizona’s river basins.
Water will be well below normal levels in the rivers that receive runoff as snow thaws despite average amounts of snowfall throughout much of the West Coast.
One problem may be a lack of local snowfall.
“I think most of us living here in Arizona know that we’ve had a very dry winter," said Sharon Megdal, director of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona. "Because of that, we haven’t had a lot of snow on the mountains. I think this just confirms what we already expected, that we’re not going to see a lot of stream flows or recharge of aquifers as a result of snowpack.”
Arizona is one of a handful of regions that will have below normal water supply due to a lack of snow runoff.
That list also includes all of California and New Mexico, as well as parts of Oregon, Utah, Idaho and Nevada.