Massive snowfall in Sierra eases California’s three-year drought

Three years of drought in California could be over if the rest of the winter continues to see at least average snowfall in the Sierra Nevada.

The water content of the snow in the Sierra is as much as 263 percent of the average (Leavitt Meadows) for Dec. 27, according to remote sensor readers for the California Department of Water Resources.

Precipitation in the Truckee River basin is 203 percent of average and 211 percent in the Lake Tahoe basin, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The ski resort Squaw Valley at Lake Tahoe reports about 250 inches of snow in parts of its property, including nine inches of snow added from Sunday’s storms, a spokeswoman says. At this time of the season, the resort has averaged about 130 inches of snow.

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Water Shortage!

According to a new report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, more than one-third of all counties in the lower 48 states will likely be facing very serious water shortages by 2050.  That is just 40 years away.  As water becomes more scarce and as big global corporations lock up available supplies, the price of water is almost certainly going to skyrocket.  This will put even more economic pressure on average Americans.

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Study: County’s water supply at risk

Riverside County is at “extreme” risk for water supply shortages by mid-century as a result of global warming, a new study found.

Riverside County is at “extreme” risk for water supply shortages by mid-century as a result of global warming, a new study found.

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Keeping California Under Water:

OPED: Consumers get soaked as state agencies try to balance conservation with revenue generation.

By TIM DeROCHE

Monday, July 19, 2010

What a difference a year makes. One year ago, California faced the third straight year of severe drought. Water rates went up. Cities like Los Angeles implemented draconian watering restrictions. The Schwarzenegger administration released a plan calling for a 20 percent reduction in consumption by 2020.

This year, all’s quiet on the Western front. A wet winter – and ongoing economic troubles – have muted the public outcry over water usage. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has proudly announced that consumption by single-family homes is down almost 30 percent since 2007.

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Bakersfield: Budget cuts leave county parks brown — and dry

Budget cuts and increased water costs have limited the amount of water the county’s using to irrigate its parks, leaving spots or whole swaths of parkland looking brown and drab.

The water used on grass and trees has been reduced to the point where they’re only receiving enough moisture to stay alive, county Parks & Recreation Director Bob Lerude said. The cutbacks have affected all parks.

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California’s drought may be over, but no one’s rushing to lift restrictions

LOS ANGELES – Late spring storms smothered the Sierra in snow. The state’s biggest reservoir is nearly full. Precipitation across much of California has been above average. By standard measures, California’s three-year drought is over.

“From a hydrologic standpoint, for most of California, it is gone,” said state hydrologist Maury Roos, who has monitored the ups and downs of the state’s water for 50 years.

But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t lifting his drought declaration. Los Angeles isn’t ending its watering restrictions and Southern California’s major water wholesaler isn’t reversing delivery cuts. Despite months of rain and snow and rising levels in the state’s major reservoirs, water managers aren’t ready to celebrate or make the drought’s end official.

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Time to get real about water

California’s wet winter was a pleasant surprise after three years of drought. Yet most Californians will be surprised to know that, despite the heavy rain and snowfall, our state still is not able to meet all of our water needs.

How is this possible?

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/12/INSD1DREGU.DTL#ixzz0qxni70OH

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