Sacramento, CA — The Department of Water Resources conducted its third snow survey and finds California’s mountain snowpack is well below average. Measurements show the water snowpack is only 66 percent of average for this time of year, and only 57 percent of the average April 1 reading, when the snowpack normally is at its peak before beginning to melt into the state’s streams, reservoirs and aquifers.
DWR Director Mark Cowin says, “Near-record dry weather combined with pumping restrictions to protect Delta smelt are making this a gloomy water supply year.” He adds, “This scenario is exactly why we need an alternative water conveyance system as proposed in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to both protect fish species and give California a reliable water supply.”
The Sierra Nevada snowpack provides approximately 1/3 of the water that is utilized by Californians throughout the year. The DWR conducts manual snow surveys during the first week of the month from January to May.