Dry stretch of weather not hurting water supply

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With temperatures much warmer than average and precipitation much below average in recent months, conditions have become very dry across the area.

Jon says,"Temperatures much warmer than average and a lack of any measurable rain or snowfall for extended periods has led to many weather watches and warnings related to fire danger. With that lack of precipitation also comes stress on area water sources."

Janet says, "Well so far the diminished snowfall that we've had this winter hasn't affected the groundwater levels too much. They went down a little bit in the December time frame, but they've started to come back up, presumably because of snow melt recharging the aquifers at that time."

Jon says, "Even with the lack of precipitation this winter, reservoir waters are still in good condition. You may ask how can that be? That's because many water sources not only acquire water from precipitation, but they also take in water from aquifers below the ground that we cannot see. That is why most water levels look really well."

Janet says, "After the snow melts, it flows into our rivers, and a lot of the rivers will actually recharge the groundwater. As they flow across the outcrops of the Madison and Minnelusa Aquifers they lose flow.. and that water gets into the aquifers. Another way is by direct precipitation and snow melt right on the aquifer outcrops."

Jon says, "These two natural phenomenon are the reason why the water supply stays consistent. Even though they are currently a little below average, reservoirs in the area are still doing fine. One thing helping is snow melt from the higher elevations."

Janet says, "Right now, they're doing pretty well actually, and that's probably a result of the snow melt because we had a very warm February and March so the snow melted and that flows right into the reservoirs. It looked like the Angostura Reservoir was near full capacity, that's down in the Southern Black Hills and Pactola wasn't quite as full, but its doing pretty well for this time of year."

Jon says, "To put things in perspective, Janet says the current flow rate of Rapid Creek is 60 cubic feet per second. That's a far cry from the 1972 flood where water flowed at 50,000 cubic feet per second.