Date: May 01, 2014
Snowpack and Precipitation Measurements Updates

This week, The Water Agency, Inc. reported that as of April 28th, precipitation levels recorded at the 8-station index show that 28.1 inches of precipitation fell from October to April in Northern California.  The amount represents precipitation levels that are 2.5 times more than the amount of precipitation received during 1977 – one of California’s worst droughts on record.  That year south of delta Central Valley Project Ag contractors received 25% of their allocation and State Water Project Ag contractors got 40%.  Yet this year, having started with more water in the major dams than in 1977, CVP south of delta contractors received zero percent and SWP contractors will receive five percent but not until September at the earliest.  Clearly, the impact of federal Endangered Species Act regulations on pumping water from the Delta is exacerbating the current drought.

Additionally, Maven’s Notebook reports government regulators at the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) today announced their final snow survey of the year showing that California’s reservoirs will not be significantly replenished, showing water content at only 18% of what is normal at this time of the year.  The snowpack typically provides one-third of the water for California’s farms and cities.  Electronic readings for the northern Sierra’s show water content at only 7% of normal.  Water from the northern Sierra’s help fill California’s major reservoirs which are currently only about half full.  

WG Staff Contact

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