Reclamation Provides Snowmelt Runoff Estimates at Yonts Conference


Old Main Peak range covered in snow. Photo by Gary Stone

By Gary Stone, Nebraska Extension Educator

The 2024 Yonts Water Conference was held on April 10 at the Panhandle Research, Extension, and Education Center in Scottsbluff. It is named in honor of Dean Yonts, who was the center’s irrigation specialist for many years.

Welcome news at the conference included the snowpack/snowmelt runoff estimates delivered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyoming, for the upper North Platte River basin. The forecasted runoff above Seminoe Reservoir is currently 800,000 acre-feet. The forecasted total supply for all reservoirs on the North Platte River System is forecasted to be 1,757,885 acre-feet.

No water allocations are expected for the 2024 growing season in part due to the carry-over from the 2023 season. The North Platte project (Pathfinder and Gurnsey reservoirs) had a carry-over of 591,325 acre-feet. The Kendrick project (Seminoe and Alcova) had a carry-over of 917,557 acre-feet. Glendo reservoir (irrigation) had a carry-over of 83,387 acre-feet.

As of April 15, 2024, Seminoe Reservoir is at 63 percent capacity or 645,073 acre-feet. Pathfinder reservoir is at 67 percent capacity or 718,953 acre-feet. Glendo reservoir is at 83 percent capacity or 410,108 acre-feet.