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Big April Moisture Good News – In The Short Term

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4) – As of Tuesday, Denver has picked up about 20 inches of snow for the month of April. In an average April, Denver normally picks up about 6.5 inches of snow.

It’s good news — at least in the short term. But Stage 2 drought watering restrictions by Denver Water are still in effect.

The above average moisture in April is actually very encouraging, especially in northwest Colorado.

Some places like the Colorado River have a surplus over 100 percent of average. The South Platte River right now is at 88 percent of normal. At this date exactly one year ago it was 31 percent of average across the entire state of Colorado. That means even if weather patterns are gearing up right now, there are still some pretty low reservoirs up in the high country. That’s why there are watering restrictions across the city of Denver.

Last April the Eagle River Water Sanitation District was afraid its water supply could become dry by the summer, since it has a unique source above 8,000 feet.

“We use the river, we use Gore Creek … and so when we know we’ve got 18 inches of snow water equivalent sitting up there on Vail Mountain, it makes us breathe a little bit easier about what’s going to be coming into Gore Creek,” Diane Johnson with the Eagle River Water Sanitation District said.

The Eagle River Water Sanitation District serves up to 50,000 customers in eastern Eagle County and simply doesn’t have significant storage capacity. But even with the recent deluge of snowfall, there’s still a forecast for water woes.

“Most of the public is pretty sick and tired of hearing us say, ‘Great, we had five feet of snow in eight days, but we’re still not out of the drought,’ ” Johnson said.

In Denver, watering restrictions are based upon address. Those who live in an even numbered address can water on Sundays and Thursdays. Those at odd numbered addresses can water on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Residents probably don’t need to start watering until the month of May.

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