California Water Managers Rejoice in Snowpack

SACRAMENTO, Jan. 30 (UPI) — A snowy winter has been good news for California water managers, although they warn the snow pack in the Sierras has not solved the state’s problems.

The most recent measurements, released Friday, put the snow pack at 115 percent of normal for this time of year, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Saturday. A year ago it was at 69 percent.

Sue Sims, chief deputy director for the state Department of Water Resources, said she felt “cautious optimism” at the news. But with most reservoirs well below normal for mid-winter, managers say the state needs a lot more precipitation.

In 2008, the Sierras had their driest spring on record.

“In years past, we have seen the storm tracks change and the rainfall drops off the end of the table,” said Keith Lewinger, general manager of the Fallbrook Public Utility District near San Diego. “We are never more than a year away from drought and restrictions.”

The state is also struggling with court orders requiring water diversions to keep ecosystems healthy and a network of aqueducts, reservoirs and canals that needs work. One of the biggest problems is in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a vital node in the California water delivery system.

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Categorized | Drought
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