The Southwest's frozen assets: snowpack management

TitleThe Southwest's frozen assets: snowpack management
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference1977
AuthorsFfolliott, P. F., and Thorud D. B.
Conference Name45th Annual Western Snow Conference
Series TitleProceedings of the 45th Annual Western Snow Conference
Date PublishedApril 1977
PublisherWestern Snow Conference
Conference LocationAlbuquerque, New Mexico
KeywordsSnowpack management, Watershed management

In the arid Southwest, less than 20% of the average annual precipitation is recovered for use by man. However, water yield improvement experiments have demonstrated the feasibility of increasing runoff from snow accumulations on forested watersheds through various management practices. Based upon the hypothesis that greater accumulations of snow contribute to increased runoff, the effects of reducing forest densities and removing forest overstories upon the amount of snow trapped and subsequently recovered in the form of snowmelt runoff--have been assessed. In addition, studies have been designed to examine the behavior of intercepted snow, while, theoretical studies, which supplement other investigations, have been undertaken. Hopefully, these research efforts will provide guidelines for forest management to enhance snowmelt water yield and, at the same time, be compatible with wood, forage, and wildlife production, and recreational use of forest lands.