Despite storms, Wyoming could still face summer water shortages

May 8, 2013

Credit Associated Press

Last year’s drought could impact the Wyoming water supply this summer.

The National Weather Service says that, although recent storms have helped replenish mountain snowpack, there might not be enough to get back to normal levels of runoff, which is state’s most common water source for crops and municipalities.

NWS Hydrologist Jim Fahey says that’s because the upper soil levels were parched by the drought and will likely absorb much of the runoff. Fahey says this could become especially problematic for some people during the summer months.

“If you’re farming, and you’re not allocated water from reservoirs or canals, it’s gonna affect you greatly. You know, there’ll be some water in the canals for irrigation use, but it depends on how hot a summer we get. If we get a summer like last summer, those reserves are gonna be depleted pretty quickly.”

Fahey says meteorologists predict higher-than-normal temperatures for this summer, as well.

He says the runoff deficit will be acute in central and southern Wyoming, but runoff should be normal or better in the northern parts of the state.