California water below normal in season's first snow survey

Department of Water Resources Water engineer John King and DWR State Climatologist Dr. Michael Anderson walk across a meadow after the first snow survey of the season. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Winter storms have coated California's Sierra Nevada mountains in snow, but the drought-prone state is still off to another dryer-than-normal start to the crucial wet season.

California water managers said Thursday the Sierra snowpack is only 67 percent of normal in this winter's first manual measurement.
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Winter snow in the Sierra provides drinking water for much of California as it melts in the spring and summer and flows into reservoirs for storage.

Precipitation has bounced up and down as the state continues to recover from a devastating drought that led to tight water restrictions for residents and farmers and contributed to severe wildfires.

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Gov. Jerry Brown declared a formal end to a three-year drought emergency in 2017, but said water conservation efforts must continue.

The survey will take place Thursday.

A more limited index from the Department of Water Resources shows mountain precipitation has been lower than average so far this year.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a formal end to a three-year drought emergency in 2017, but said water conservation efforts must continue.

Satellite images of snow at Lake Tahoe, Nevada on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.


Satellite images of snow at Lake Tahoe, Nevada on Wednesday, January 2, 2018.



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