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Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Fri Apr 3 10:42:35 PDT 2009

Sierra snowpack's water is no drought-buster this year

The Sacramento Bee - 4/02/09

By Matt Weiser 


California's crucial mountain snowpack stands at 81 percent of average after
a monthly snow survey conducted today. That's essentially unchanged from the
March survey and a long way from breaking the state's three-year drought.


The snow survey measures water content of the snowpack, mostly in the Sierra
Nevada, the natural water bank for most of the state's farms and cities.


"A below-average snowpack at this time of year, especially following two
consecutive dry years, is a cause for concern," Lester Snow, director of the
state Department of Water Resources, said in a statement. "Californians must
continue to save water at home and in their businesses." 


March was relatively wet across the state, enabling DWR to increase its
water delivery forecast from 15 percent to 20 percent of normal. Federal
officials, who also rely on the snow survey, increased their forecast in
some areas as well. But federal water users south of the Sacramento-San
Joaquin Delta continue to face the prospect of zero water deliveries this


Winter is effectively over, and it was dry overall. The state needed an
extra-wet winter to overcome two preceding dry years. That's because
reservoirs are depleted and soil conditions are very dry. Lake Oroville, the
largest reservoir in the State Water Project system, stands at 72 percent of
average capacity. Lake Shasta, the largest federal reservoir, is at 77
percent of average.


Officials later this month will make a runoff forecast based on the snow
survey, which will determine whether they can again increase the water
delivery forecast.


Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land

415 519 4810 cell

 <mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net

 <mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org

 <http://fotr.org/> http://www.fotr.org 




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