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Wyoming water supply outlook report published by USDA NRCS

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

On Feb. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) published the February 2024 Wyoming Basin and Water Supply Outlook Report, which analyzes snowpack, precipitation, streamflow and reservoir storage across the state of Wyoming. 

The report assesses the water supply outlook for the entire state of Wyoming, as well as individual basins including the Snake River, Madison Headwaters, Yellowstone River, Wind River, Big Horn River, Shoshone River, Powder River, Tongue River, Belle Fourche River, Cheyenne River, Upper North Platte River, Lower North Platte River, Laramie River, Sweetwater River, South Platte River, Little Snake River, Upper Green River, Lower Green River and Upper Bear River basins.

Snowpack and precipitation

According to the report, snow water equivalent (SWE) across the state, as of Feb. 1, was 68 percent of median. The highest SWE was reported in the Upper Bear River Basin at 99 percent of median, and the lowest SWE was reported in the Cheyenne River Basin at 48 percent of median. 

NRCS points out the Belle Fourche River, Cheyenne River, Powder River, Sweetwater River and Yellowstone River basins were below the minimum SWE recorded from 1991 to 2020. 

Additionally, the report notes the Lower Green River Basin saw the highest precipitation for the month of February at 141 percent of median, while the Cheyenne River Basin saw the lowest amount of precipitation at 50 percent of median.


NRCS forecasts streamflow yields from April through September across Wyoming basins – excluding streamflow in the Green, Little Snake and Cheyenne basins – to average 80 percent. Streamflow yields at these three basins are expected to respectively average 81 percent, 86 percent and 66 percent from April through July. 

The report shows median streamflow yields for April through July will average 94 percent of median for both the Big Horn River and Shoshone River basins, 89 percent of median for the Wind River Basin, 88 percent of median for both the Cheyenne River and Sweetwater River basins and 81 percent of median in the Yellowstone River Basin. 

Yields from the Snake River, Laramie River, Upper North Platte River, Lower North Platte River, Tongue River and Powder River basins are forecast to be around 77 percent, 76 percent, 76 percent, 74 percent, 72 percent and 62 percent, respectively. 

Reservoir storage

For the entire state of Wyoming, NRCS reports average reservoir storage at 104 percent of median, and all reported reservoirs were near or above the median.

The Snake River, Big Horn River, Lower Green River, Cheyenne River, Lower North Platte River, Wind River, Belle Fourche River and Buffalo Bill reservoirs reported numbers at 96 percent, 100 percent, 101 percent, 103 percent, 103 percent, 105 percent, 106 percent and 107 percent, respectively. 

The Upper Green River Reservoir and Upper North Platte River Reservoir reported higher numbers, at 111 percent and 116 percent, respectively.

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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