As farmers in the American West decide what, when and where to plant, and urban water managers plan for water needs in the next year, they want to know how much water their community will get from melting snow in the mountains.
This melting snow comes from snowpack, the high elevation reservoir of snow which melts in the spring and summer. Agriculture depends on snowpack for a majority of its water. Meltwater also contributes to municipal water supply; feeds rivers and streams, boosting fisheries and tourism; and conditions the landscape, helping lessen the effects of drought and wildfires.
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