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Second Snow Survey Shows Below Normal Conditions

Jan 31, 2013

California’s water managers say a dry January has left water content in the Sierra snowpack below the average. (file photo)
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio


California snow surveyors reported Tuesday that water content in the state’s mountain snowpack is below average for the date. 

The manual readings this month confirmed what many water managers expected after a relatively dry January. The water content in the Sierra snow is 93 percent of average for this time of year.

Early storms in November and December dumped snow ranging from 32 ½ to 44 inches around Echo Summit. That erased the deficit in reservoir storage. But very little snow has fallen since.

A third of the water for California’s homes, industries and farms comes from the Sierra snowpack.

The Department of Water Resources currently estimates it will be able to deliver 40 percent of the water requested for the State Water Project this year. The delivery estimate may increase if more winter storms develop.

Last year, the final allocation of water was 65 percent of what was requested.