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A Record Low Snowpack

Sacramento, CA – The first snow survey showed critically dry conditions continue statewide.

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) says today’s readings tied with those in 2012 for the driest on record. Early electronic readings indicated that the snowpack water content was about 20% of what it should be this time of year, today’s manual readings confirmed those figures. DWR officials say that is a mere 7 percent of the average April measurement, when the snowpack normally is at its peak.


“It’s too early to panic,” says DWR Spokesperson Ted Thomas. “It’s not too early to start taking precautionary measures and for everybody in California to conserve as much water as possible.”


The snowpack typically provides about a third of the water used in California. Thomas warns one of the serious impacts of dry water conditions is wildfires. He says the Rim Fire was a perfect example of the dangers.


The DWR will conduct manual snow surveys from January thru May. One of the main measurement locations is off Highway 50 in the Lake Tahoe area near Echo Summit. Today’s readings there showed a high of 15.4 inches of snow with a water content of 3.6 inches.


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