Sacramento, CA — According to the California Department of Water Resources the overall water content of the Sierra Nevada snowpack is only 46 percent of normal.
The northern Sierra Nevada mountains have been measured at 52 percent of normal while the southern Sierra Nevada is at 38 percent. The overall 46 percent mark is the lowest total for this time of the year in 17 years. And what a difference a year makes; last year at this time the water content was 128 percent of normal.
Frank Gehrke of the Snow Survey Office and Spokesman Don Strickland of the Department of Water Resources both stated that California reservoirs are in excellent shape. They are either at or above normal levels. They both stated that one lean year does not dictate a drought. However, should this dry spell continue for a second year they both agree there will be serious concern throughout the state.
According to both individuals the major difference in the past two winters was the late storms of a year ago as compared to almost no precipitation this year. In fact through the end of January of this year, water content levels of the past two winters were comparable.
April 26 will mark the final water content measurement of the year for the Department of Water Resources.
Written by Bill Johnson