Snowpack Healthy; Delta Pumping Reduced
The latest measurements show the Sierra snowpack is healthy – and that’s positive news for the state’s water supply. But at the same time there are new restrictions in place for moving that water from north to south.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
The State Department of Water Resources measures how wet the Sierra snowpack is regularly – and uses the figures to help determine the state’s water supply. The newest results put the snowpack at close to 20 percent above normal for this time of year. Meterologist Elissa Lynn with the department says that’s good news...but we could use even more snow:
“Right now our reservoirs statewide on average are about 50% of capacity, so they’re stitting at half full. We would like more storms, even though it’s been a good season, normal for this year, we still can’t make up for last year.”
In addition, the department is also now dramatically reducing the pumping of water through the Delta. That’s because of a court order aimed at protecting the tiny Delta smelt – an endangered fish that gets killed in the pumps. Officials say they’ll re-evaluate where the fish are swimming every week between now and June....and that will determine how much water they can pump southward.