CA Low SnowPack in Mountains is Causing Statewide Drought
Last week California water officials performed one of their regular measurements of the state’s snowpack and confirmed it is a startling 5 percent of normal – the lowest April 1 total on record.
That snowfall in the state’s mountains – specifically the Sierra Nevada – serves as natural “frozen storage” for surface water supplies. Its runoff feeds streams, rivers and reservoirs throughout the year and provides about 30 percent of the water Californians depend on for drinking, growing food and other uses in a typical year.
The California snowpack is historically at its peak by this time of the year, but has been been effected by low precipitation and warmer temperatures. Those warmer conditions have caused more precipitation to fall as rain rather than snow, and has melted the snow that has fallen.
The low snowpack means that there will be very little water this summer to meet the needs of people, agriculture and the environment as California contends with a fourth year of drought.
California Gov. Jerry Brown responded to the snowpack results by announcing the state’s first executive order mandating reduced water use statewide.
Governor Jerry Brown has ordered strict regulations for water usage with single family homes, retail businesses and agricultural areas