U.S. Water News Online
PHOENIX -- An unusually wet winter has led to the easing of
the drought across much of the Southwest, officials said.
With runoff from heavy snow feeding reservoirs, conditions in most
of the region have been upgraded from drought to abnormally dry,
"We had this great winter, with lots of snow and rain," said
Michael Hayes, climate impacts specialist at the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln's National Drought Mitigation Center. "All of the
Southwest has recovered significantly from the drought conditions.
Parts of the Southwest have recovered completely."
Tom Pagano, a water supply forecaster with the Natural Resources
Conservation Service in Portland, Ore., warned that dry years will
"Many dry years are a norm in the desert, and years like this are
definitely an anomaly," he said, noting that regional snowfall has
been limited since 1992.
Hayes added that if the summer monsoons don't adequately drench
the area, it could mean trouble.
More rain is needed to fill regional reservoirs. Water levels
remains below capacity at Lake Powell, Lake Mead and at most
reservoirs in New Mexico.
Varying degrees of drought continue elsewhere in the West and
Southwest, including in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New
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