Colorado River District Webinar To Provide A Look Ahead At Snow, Water Supply And Impacts Of Winter Weather On West Slope Economy


Our snow is our water. The snow that we ski and ride becomes the water that quenches crops and communities. As winter begins, we’re all wondering what our water future holds and how will it impact us.

Join the Colorado River District at noon, Wednesday, Dec. 16, for Water With Your Lunch: Our Snow and Our Water, where we’ll hear forecasts for snowpack and water supply and discuss the economic impact of snow and water on the West Slope. Presenters will also address long-term changes that are becoming visible in Colorado’s mountain snowpack. Understanding how snowfall, water and our livelihoods are connected is vital to understanding actions we can take to protect our West Slope water and sustain our West Slope economies.

Registration is required and can be completed here: If you cannot tune in to the webinar live, register to receive a recording of it in your email inbox.

Joel Gratz, founding meteorologist at Open Snow, will present how he makes forecasts and the possible impacts of a La Nina weather pattern, which can give us an idea of what the pattern of snowfall in Colorado will likely be this winter. Paul Miller, a service coordination hydrologist at the National Weather Service’s Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, will talk about how his agency translates snowpack measurements into water supply forecasts and how factors like soil moisture influence the water we get from snow.

Then we’ll learn more about the impact that snow – or lack of it – has on the Western Slope economy. From powder days at ski areas to flowing water for agricultural irrigation, snow and water power jobs on the West Slope. We’ll learn more about the economic value of snow in West Slope agriculture and recreation from two speakers: Todd Hagenbuch, a Colorado State Extension Agent in Routt County, and Alan Henceroth, chief operating officer at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.