Water Supply Update: Yosemite

Upper Yosemite FallsWhat a difference a year makes!  Last year we experienced record precipitation in much of California; this year we’ve been praying for rain!  Here at MOST, we like to give you first-hand accounts of the water supply situation in California, thanks to our — ahem — personal surveys in the Sierra Nevada.  It looks like we won’t get that opportunity this Spring, so I have solicited the assistance of a co-worker.  She was gracious enough to provide me with a bunch of great photos — better than mine even! — and we’re sharing one with you today.  Our thanks to Nancy!  This is Upper Yosemite Falls, seen from a vantage point that most visitors don’t get: this is about half-way up the trail to the top of the Falls, and that is quite a climb.  You won’t see this one from your car window!

The Yosemite water picture is pretty good, considering where we were a couple months ago.  Our normally wet Winter months really came up short, but our Spring precipitation has brought some life to Yosemite’s waterfalls, and some much needed water to California.  The result has been a return to the 60 % allocation level by the Department of Water Resources.

As you will recall, we reported on DWR’s unusually high initial allocation of 60 % last December.  Following our dry Winter, DWR dropped that to 50% — also unusual.  And with the nice Spring we’re having, they brought it back to 60 %.

Storage is still very good in the State’s reservoirs.  See:

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/resapp/getResGraphsMain.action

But remember that most of our water supply should still be in the form of snow in the Sierras.  The final snow survey of the year is normally May 1, so we should get some more information on the supply in the next week or so.  If these late storms have left us with much snow, we may see DWR bump up the allocation again.

As always, we’ll keep you posted here at MOST.  And we’ll be sure to share a few more of Nancy’s photos with you.

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