Tags: california | drought | snowpack | sierra nevada

California Drought Not Over Yet Despite Snowpack Progress

Image: California Drought Not Over Yet Despite Snowpack Progress
Snow and low clouds are seen on the San Jacinto Mountains in Palm Springs, California, January 7, 2016. (Sam Mircovich/Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 01 Apr 2016 01:10 PM

The California drought is expected to continue even though the Sierra Nevada's snowpack is at 97 percent of its historical average after measurements were taken this week.

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced stark water-cutting measures in the state from the same monitoring point last year when the snowpack was just 5 percent of its annual average, according to National Geographic.

"[The snowpack is] a good sign for water suppliers and for California's agricultural community, who have been dealing with almost no deliveries from the state water project for the last few years," Michael Heberger, a researcher at the Pacific Institute in Oakland, said, NatGeo noted.

"It shows that our outlook is better but it doesn't necessarily mean that we're out of the woods or that the drought is over," he added.

Brown mandated that Californians cut their water use by 25 percent because of the Sierra Nevada's puny snowpack in 2015, KFSN-TV reported. The television station stated that surveyors found 58.4 inches of snow at Phillips Station and statewide, potential snowpack water at 87 percent of average.

KFSN-TV said the state depends on the mountain snow water runoff to keep reservoirs full throughout the year.

"This was a dry, dusty field last year," Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, told the Los Angeles Times this week of the Phillips Station site. "[The snowpack] seems good because it's so much better than last year."

"We're barely average. It stops that downward slide. Now we're clearly looking at next year, and there are no reliable indicators of what next year will bring," Gehrke said.

California gets about 30 percent of its water supply from the Sierra Nevada snowpack on normal years, according to NatGeo. That snowpack gradually melts, releasing water into rivers and into reservoirs where it is used by the majority of the residents.

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The California drought is expected to continue even though the Sierra Nevada's snowpack is at 97 percent of its historical average after measurements were taken this week.
california, drought, snowpack, sierra nevada
309
2016-10-01
Friday, 01 Apr 2016 01:10 PM
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