Newswatch 12 accompanied Shavon Haynes and Jake Johnstone of the Oregon Water Resources Department for the last Snow Survey of the year on Mount Ashland. Snow Surveys are accomplished by driving a snow tube into the ground to determine snow depth. The tube with the snow inside is then weighed to provide a weight of the sample. After these measurements are taken, the Snow Water Equivalent can be determined. The Snow Water Equivalent is a measurement of how much liquid water is found in a snowpack. Multiple measurements are taken at multiple sites to give not only accurate measurements, but also to give a better picture of how snowpack is doing around the region.
Understanding the composition and general make-up of the snowpack is crucial entering the summer months. These measurements are essential in determining how much water different water districts will have available to use during the summer months. Snowpack and the following snow melt is essential to recharging our rivers, streams, and reservoirs and keeping our water levels up during the dry season. A larger snowpack gives the opportunity for our water resources to keep growing even after the winter has ended. This year, we seem to be right around average with snowpack which is an improvement in relation to the past couple of years when we have been below average.