Sick of snow? Mountains need more for water supply

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5 2013 4:30 p.m. MST

"This year is not looking much, if any, better than last year," he said.

Both Julander and Budge yearn for more snowstorms — the big events that drop a lot of snow in the mountains.

"Our hope is that as the water year progresses, we get some of those storms that will come in the latter part of the year and hit the backside of the mountains rather than the front," Budge said.

Julander's report does note, however, that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting warmer than normal temperatures, plus lower than normal precipitation for February through April.

"We see an overall dry trend in the state," Julander said. "We certainly don't want it to get any drier."

Budge is ready to start discussing conservation strategies given the unknowns in the months to come.

"In another year or two, people will be really scrambling if we don't conserve on the front end," he said. "In drought cycles, we get to the point where everybody starts squirming. If we can be relatively conservative with our water consumption, we can be ready for a third year if it happens."

Julander said the best scenario to keep everyone happy would be one that takes care of the water supply and eases the blues of valley snow.

"As long as we are wishing: tons of more snow in the mountains and gentle rain down here in the valley," he said.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com

Twitter: amyjoi16

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