Managing Drifting Snow

Managing Blizzards for Water
In blizzard basics, we learn how much blowing snow evaporates--water lost. Can we save any of that water, where we can use it? The answer is yes, and we've divided this info into what works to augment moisture for plants, and ways to improve water supplies, especially for livestock and wildlife. Don't forget, these methods depend on lots of blowing snow.

Keeping snow from blowing is mostly about vegetation--something tall enough to keep the wind from sweeping the snow off. Leaving tall wheat stubble or cornstalks helps on farmland. Brush strips or even strips of tall grass work. We have some suggestions on these methods, and some links to people who have done more.

We also know some things about building pit reservoirs that trap drifts for early-season stockwater. The small-scale models helped us find what works best. Costs are way below the price of a well and pump, if early water is what you need.

A high-plains water hole, viewed from the air.

To Rocky Mountain Research Station