Final Snow Survey Results

The California Department of Water Resources conducted their final snow survey earlier this week.  The survey showed that the Sierra snow pack is only at 40 percent of normal for this time of year.  This is in stark contrast to the 190 percent level at this time last year.  What does this mean for our water supply here in California?  See:

As noted last week, the storage reservoirs in the State essentially are completely full.  This is a leftover effect from the excellent precipitation of 2011, and very conservative management of the supply by DWR.  I was critical of DWR for not allocating 100 percent of delivery requests last year; they only granted 80 percent, despite full reservoirs and record precipitation.  But their counter-argument would have been: what if we get a really dry 2012?  Well, we have, and so they’re looking a bit smarter than I am right now!

DWR has allocated 60 percent of delivery requests for 2012, and with the storage reservoirs so full, they should easily be able to attain that level.  But with the rainy season behind us, DWR has already begun looking at what they can promise their customers, the State Water Contractors (, for 2013.

We’ll keep you posted here at MOST, but we don’t expect any new water supply news until DWR makes their initial allocation for 2013 around Thanksgiving.  Don’t expect it to be 60 percent, like it was this year!

Today’s photo is again from Nancy’s trip to Yosemite a couple weeks ago.  Her “snow survey” shows the conditions around Mt. Starr King.

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