Politics

California Snowpack at 110% of Average in Sierra Nevada After Rainy Winter

The California snowpack is at 110% of average in 2024, the state Department of Water Resources (DWR) said on Tuesday, after conducting the annual snow survey.

Officials measured the snow depth at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada mountains, recording a depth of 64 inches, which is 113% of the annual average. Measurements from elsewhere in the mountain range were used to calculate the combined average of 110% — a good sign of a healthy water supply.

While some expected a dry winter, especially after the wet 2022-23 winter produced record snowfall in parts of the state, the 2023-24 winter produced heavy rains, nearing record levels in parts of the state, including Los Angeles.

In a statement, the DWR said:

“It’s great news that the snowpack was able to catch up in March from a dry start this year. This water year shows once again how our climate is shifting, and how we can swing from dry to wet conditions within a season,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “These swings make it crucial to maintain conservation while managing the runoff. Variable climate conditions could result in less water runoff into our reservoirs. 100 percent snowpack does not mean 100 percent runoff. Capturing and storing what we can in wetter years for drier times remains a key priority.”

California’s reservoirs remain in good shape thanks to state efforts to capture and store as much water as possible from record storms in 2023 and again this season. The State Water Project has increased storage by 700,000 acre-feet at Lake Oroville and by 154,000 acre-feet at San Luis Reservoir since January 1. Statewide, reservoir levels currently stand at 116 percent of average.

Recently, the State Water Project increased its forecasted allocation of water supplies for the year to 30 percent, up from an initial 10 percent, due to the storms in February and March.

Officials cautioned residents of California to remain careful about water usage. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who was present at the snow measurement, reiterated that point, as quoted by the Los Angeles Times: “You can take a deep breath this year, but don’t quadruple the amount of time in your shower.”

Newsom also touted his administration’s efforts to increase water storage and supply, though these — the Sites Reservoir and the Delta tunnel project — have scarcely advanced, and are still tied up in the planning stages.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency,” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.



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