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Water outlook 'pretty decent' for 2009

Despite heavy rains about a month ago that put a damper on heavy mountain snows, the water outlook for irrigators in 2009 is "pretty decent," according to Don Schramm, assistant manager of operations for SVID.

Schramm's comments came during an SVID Board of Control meeting yesterday, Tuesday.

Heavy mountain snow in late December and early January gave way to a torrent of rain. Schramm says a total of eight inches of rain fell in just four days.

"We were fortunate we didn't have more flooding," he said.

There hasn't been much snowfall since, but the outlook is still good for irrigators this year, he said.

In fact, the snowpack is 85 percent of average right now and that's not too far off the mark for this time of year. "We're looking at an average snowpack," Schramm said.

Due to rainfall, the mountains are actually at 110 percent of average precipitation, slightly above normal.

The best news of all in Schramm's presentation is that water storage currently sits at 150 percent of average.

All of which means that water levels should be near average, with plenty in storage to make up the difference if need be.

Even so, Schramm said he'd like to see the mountains take on some more snow before spring.

"We should build more snowpack," he said.

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