Not Much Water Found in Snow Survey

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RENO, NV - The storm has come and passed and finally we have a better idea of what was left behind.

Once a month during the winter, experts hike into the woods and extract samples of the snow. With a few simple measurements they get a better idea of how much water is in that snow and how it compares to the average.

Hidden just out of the reach of skiers and boarders at the Mt. Rose Ski Resort.

Experts do surveys like these often because they're the best assessment of the water situation.

"Throughout the west, over 80 percent of the water we use comes from snow pack. So you can imagine that a bad snow year, and especially a drought situation where we have several bad snow years so lead to serious problems," said Beau Uriona a Hydrologist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Uriona is tasked with finding out how much snow there is and how much water is in that snow.

After taking core samples and weighing the snow, some quick calculations show the snow we do have doesn't have a lot of water.

"We just did measurements here and we saw the density right around 15 percent with is pretty light for this region," said Uriona

"Any water we can get right now is very important for the region but we are really going to need to see storm systems set up like this in the future if we want to fill up," said Uriona

The survey showed we're not in a good situation. We're much better than we were 48 hours ago, but still these storms were really just a drop in the bucket.