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Dry Conditions Expected in California's First Snow Survey Of New Year


Last year, California had huge storms before the first snow survey. Water content was 150 percent of normal. This year it’s expected to be a dismal 20 percent.

Snowpack normally provides a third of the water used in California as it melts into streams and reservoirs. But 2013 was the driest year on record.

Newly appointed Drought Manager Bill Croyle with DWR says a number of factors will determine if the state officially declares a drought.

“Health and safety issues, our fire threat, impact on agriculture, the state’s economy, the resiliency of our system to be able to hold and manage our water and transmit water to where it’s needed,” Croyle says.

It is still early in the water year. The snow surveys help determine how much water will be delivered through the State Water Project.
DWR’s initial water allocation is just 5 percent, but will be updated as the winter progresses.
On average, half of California's annual precipitation occurs between December and February. 


Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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