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Snow Survey Shows Dramatically Dry Conditions for California

Mar 28, 2013

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Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The next to the last snow survey of the season shows extremely dry conditions for California. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, it has prompted the Department of Natural Resources to call the security of the state’s water supply “threatened.”

 The bad news: the water content in California’s snowpack is only 52 percent of normal. What’s worse, the spring melt is underway. While the season started with water content above 130 percent of normal in January, it’s been unusually dry ever since. 

The Department of Water Resources last week decreased its water delivery estimate from 40 percent to 35 percent of requested amounts from the State Water Project. Natural Resources Secretary John Laird says the snow survey points to the urgent need to continue work on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. 

Snow normally provides about a third of the water for California’s homes and farms as it melts into streams, reservoirs and aquifers.