Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

An early-October winter wonderland in the mountains is always good news for Denver’s water supply.

October 9, 2017 | By: TAP Staff
A winter wonderland in Winter Park, near the west portal of the Moffat Tunnel.
A winter wonderland in Winter Park, Colorado, near the west portal of the Moffat Tunnel, which delivers water from the Fraser and Williams Fork River basins, under the Continental Divide and on to the Moffat Treatment Plant in Lakewood, Colorado. (Photo taken in winter of 2016-2017.)


At Denver Water, we always welcome early-season snow in the mountains (and on the Front Range, despite the traffic implications). But, while any snow is better than no snow, it’s always important to remember how quickly things can change.

If you recall, 2016 boasted the latest first snow of the season in recorded history for our watersheds (snow didn’t start accumulating until Nov. 17). We also saw the driest October on record in our collection system. People protested. Times were tough.

Fortunately, a snowpack comeback for the ages led to a summer of full reservoirs throughout our system.

Truly, we can’t count our chickens too early when it comes to predicting the snowpack outcome of a given water year. Nathan Elder, Denver Water’s senior raw water supply engineer, said it best: “Snowpack is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you are going to get.”

Here’s hoping the rest of those chocolates are full of more snow this year.

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