Heading into the hot summer, the Sierra snowpack is about two-thirds of what it should be this time of year. The Department of Water Resources measured the water content of the snow and found it was about 66 percent of normal statewide.
“That low snowpack indicates that the big reservoirs in the north end of the state have not been able to refill this past spring.”
Elissa Lynn is a meteorologist with the department. She says that means less water to go around. Some farmers are leaving fields unplanted and more than two dozen water agencies have some form of mandatory rationing in place. Lynn says there’s no telling when the dry period will end:
“This is our third year of drought in the state, and the concern is if we’re in another six-year dry period like we had in 87-92.”
Governor Schwarzenegger has declared a drought-related state of emergency and asked all Californians to reduce their water use.