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Report: Groundwater Supply At Historic Low

  Amy Quinton/ Capital Public Radio News
 

Amy Quinton/ Capital Public Radio News

California hydrologists will measure the state's snowpack for the final time this season today, and they expect the readings to be pretty dismal. That news will come on the heels of a new report showing the state's groundwater supplies are at a historical low.  

The state may soon put new water restrictions in place.

The Department of Water Resources will manually measure the Sierra snowpack Thursday.  Electronic sensors show statewide, the water content is only about 21 percent of normal and the Northern Sierra snowpack is only about 9 percent of normal.  

A smaller snowpack means some water agencies may rely more on groundwater during the drought, but a new report from DWR shows the state's groundwater resources are at historically low levels. It finds that in some areas of the San Joaquin Valley, levels are more than 100 feet below pervious historical lows.

The report says that groundwater levels have decreased in nearly every part of the state since 2010. Because of the ongoing drought, the State Water Resources Control Board is expected to soon limit access to river water for hundreds of water agencies and farmers, in order to preserve water for the environment and for agencies with long-standing water rights.

Public Update for Drought Response Groundwater Basins with Potential Water Shortages and Gaps in Groundwater Monitoring

 environmentdroughtwaterdepartment of water resourcesnorthern sierrasan joaquin valleystate water resources control board