Sunday, November 1, 2015

Snowmaking Water And Stream Health

Snowmaking on Ramrod continues to go nicely. Running our snowmaking system requires closely tracking the North Fork of the Snake River stream flows. We are required to maintain stream flows that do not harm aquatic life. Since we installed snowmaking in 2002, we have hired a research team to monitor stream conditions and fish populations. In doing so, they have done the same monitoring in Deer Creek (a few miles from here) to use as a reference stream. We are happy to say there have been no measured negative impacts to stream health or the fish populations due to snowmaking.

What that means, however, is that we have very strict restrictions on diverting water. Right now we divert a small amount of water 24 hours a day into our reservoir. In the evenings when it is coldest, we empty the reservoir making snow. Our snowmaking pumps water uphill at a much higher rate than we divert. That is why we are not making during the day right now. 

Upper Ramrod

Lower Ramrod

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight into how the sausage is made

Anonymous said...

Any word on future plans for diverting from porcupine gulch?

gavin scott said...

interesting

Anonymous said...

Great job Al and team, keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing Ramrod open this week to help break up the crowd a bit.

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

Making sausage is a good metaphor.

There are no immediate plans to do anything with Porcupine Gulch.

Anonymous said...

Lenawee Face and Dercum's Gulch are feeling neglected.

Anonymous said...

does your snowmaking agreement allow the possibility of a larger reservoir? This would be a nice way to boost snowmaking capacity when conditions are right, without changing the amount diverted from the stream at any given time.

Alan Henceroth - COO said...

We recently proposed a reservoir expansion, but have since withdrawn that proposal. It is a good idea, but very complicated. We need to put some more thought and planning into it.