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Drought-Stricken California Set To Measure Snowpack

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / AP

In this handout image provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, scientists fly over the Tuolumne River Basin of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range to measure the snowpack on Sunday, March 23, 2014.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / AP

(AP) - Drought-stricken California will conduct its final manual snowpack survey in the Sierra Nevada - and the outlook isn't good.

The snowpack has been in decline since electronic measurements on Dec. 30 found the statewide snow water equivalent at 50 percent of the historical average for that date.

Subsequent statewide readings measured 25 percent of the Jan. 29 average and 19 percent of the March 3 average.

Snow supplies about a third of the state's water, and a higher snowpack translates to more water in California reservoirs to meet demand in summer and fall.

The Department of Water Resources will conduct this winter's final manual snow survey on Wednesday at a spot near Echo Summit, about 90 miles east of Sacramento. Electronic measurements are taken in a number of other places.