After a slow start to California’s wet winter season, a series of storms that hammered the state at the tail end of 2019 dumped enough snow on the Sierra Nevada to kick off the new year with a solid snowpack.
That is good news for the state’s water supply, which has been taxed until recently by drought conditions. The snowpack provides about 30% of the annual fresh water supply for the state. Its spring and summer runoff feeds rivers and reservoirs and eventually is distributed to various water agencies for farm irrigation, landscaping and urban drinking supplies.
A recent survey found that only 3.6% of the state was abnormally dry, a major improvement from the drought years.
Surveyors with the California Department of Water Resources trudged through a snow-covered field Thursday at the department’s Phillips station — fresh powder crunching beneath their snowshoes —and plunged a hollow pole into the snowpack for the first monthly measurement that serves as an important marker for the state’s water supply.
Read the rest of the story on The Los Angeles Times