On Tuesday morning, the California Department of Water Resources was frightened with the snow survey. The survey was conducted at Phillips Station located at Highway 50 near Sierra, at Tahoe. The data showed how California’s snowpack was decreased its volume to staggeringly low levels.
Due to the recent warm temperatures causing snow to melt faster than it should, the calls for water conservation have been double, said state water officials. As California is experiencing a rather long drought, it’s crucial for the Sierra Nevada snowpack to be robust.
Officials claim that the most important factor about the snowpack is the water contained in the snow. Nevertheless, Californians have done an incredible job with water conservation as the state conserved 96 percent of its 1.2 million acre-feet of water goal, officials said.
“Californians have risen to the occasion as never before,” said chairwoman of the State Water Resources Felicia Marcus in a news release regarding the water shortage. “But we have to stay the course. We have to keep it up.”
According to Felicia Marcus, the state has saved over 1.1million acre-feet of water so far. Impressively enough, yet Californians depend on snowfall for a third of their water and the compliance of people rationing water won’t solve the problems. The people from the state have hoped that El Niño system, which came up strong this year, would deliver heavy snow and rain to California.
Distress amongst surveyors
The study was led by officials from the Department of Water Resources on Tuesday as it was the agency’s third manual snow survey. Frank Gehrke, Chief of cooperative snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources confirmed the decline in snow after taking measurements in El Dorado County.
“Obviously, El Niño is not living up to expectations,” said Frank Gerhke. “One thing that’s unique or typical of El Niño is that the southern part of the estate tends to be wetter than the north. That is not happening this year.”
The study consisted of a 90 miles walk through east of Sacramento to Phillips Station. Surveyors use hollow metal tubes to calculate the depth and water content of the Sierra snow as they took up to 300 locations for the study.
However, the results were not as expected considering that the data showed an average of 83 percent of the snowpack’s water content in comparison to previous years. The States current drought situation resembles the one from 2015 when California experienced an exceptional drought, according to the US Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska.
Source: Los Angeles Times