Several days of rain and snow have raised water levels in most major California reservoirs in the past month.
But, Doug Carlson with the California Department of Water Resources says the state is nowhere near even a normal year for rain and snow.
"That would take considerable precipitation -very heavy rain and snow- from now til perhaps the end of April to achieve the normal readings that we would expect in the snow pack for this time of year," he says. "That's just not in the forecast."
The eight inches of water in the Sierra snow pack is less than a-third of normal for this time of year.
"To help us get through this extended dry period we would need almost-every-other-day kind of heavy precipitation to begin to fill the reservoirs," says Carlson. "But, we're so far below what is normal for this time of date, that it would appear to be that we're just not going to see it."
Most of the other reservoirs in the state saw current capacity increase by one-to-four percent in the past month.
After starting the year as the worst drought on record, water levels have risen to at least match those last seen during the drought of 1976 and 77.
As the drought dries up California’s wetlands, traveling birds such as ducks, geese and eagles are struggling to survive and breed. “This drought is bad. The odds are against us,” a state expert said.
Drought resilience depends on location but also extraordinary engineering — determining which California places are running out of water this year and which remain in good shape.
About 4,300 users were issued notices to halt diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Experts say the current drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, meaning water is evaporating faster.
California wildfires have burned nearly five times as many acres on state land this year compared to the same time period last year.
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