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California Water Officials Report Near Record May Snow Levels

May 1, 2014

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Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This year’s final measurement of the Sierra snowpack showed near-record low water levels for this time of year. The state takes five monthly measurements each year from January to May.

Doug Carlson with the Department of Water Resources says the state-wide “snow water equivalent” is only at about 18 percent of what would be typical for the first of May.

Carlson: “That means that we are looking at very little relief coming from the mountains in the way of snow melt to provide us with drinking water over the summer and into the fall.”

There was no water reading for the Northern Sierra snowpack, which feeds many of the state’s major reservoirs.

The Department of Water Resources says this May snowpack reading is the fourth lowest on record. The record was set in 1977 when the May 1 snowpack was three percent of average.