Season’s first snow survey shows California’s water level is below normal
PHILLIPS STATION, California (AP) —Winter storms have coated California’s Sierra Nevada mountains in snow, but the drought-prone state is still off to another dryer-than-normal start to the crucial wet season.
California water managers said Jan. 3 the Sierra snowpack is only 67 percent of normal in this winter’s first manual measurement.
Winter snow in the Sierra provides drinking water for much of California as it melts in the spring and summer and flows into reservoirs for storage.
Precipitation has bounced up and down as the state continues to recover from a devastating drought that led to tight water restrictions for residents and farmers and contributed to severe wildfires.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a formal end to a three-year drought emergency in 2017, but said water conservation efforts must continue.