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Snow Pack On the Right Track

Sacramento, CA – State water officials report the recent wet weather has helped the snow pack, but much more moisture is needed — as well as conservation. The Department of Water Resources (DWR) conducted its second manual reading at the Phillips station in the Lake Tahoe area Tuesday at noon. The team found the snow water equivalent of 25.4 inches, which is 130 percent of the February average of 19.5 inches. (Click here to view the readings at Phillip Station since 1966.)

DWR spokesperson Doug Carlson notes the most significant impact from the reading is the increased water content of the snowpack. He states, “It’s much greater than it was on our first survey of the winter in December and that’s because as our eyeballs showed us during January was a lot more rain and snow than last month and during January of last year.”

Rainfall between October 1 and January 31 is sitting at 123 percent of the historical average for the state. (Click here for previously reported local levels.) One key marker in evaluating the water conditions, according to Carlson, is the state’s reservoir levels.  Over the past three weeks, New Melones water levels are up three percent in three weeks from the recent precipitation. The reservoir now stands at 17 percent of its total capacity and 28 percent of its historic average for this time of year. Lake Don Pedro levels, which increased by five percent, have lifted the lake to 41 percent of its total capacity; the reservoir now measures at 59 percent of its historic average for this time. As Carlson notes, those levels remain a serious concern and a major reason why the public needs to continue to do its part and conserve water. He adds, “Also, it won’t hurt if everybody just wants to keep looking to the sky and say, ‘Come on Mother Nature help us out here,’ that would be pretty good, too.”