The Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today the results of their second snow survey this winter, indicating the Sierra snowpack was just 61% of normal for the date. Last year at this time, the snowpack was 111% of normal, but the dry spring that followed resulted in a second consecutive dry year. DWR Director Lester Snow says that these results combined with the low precipitation indicate that we are heading for a third dry year.
“We may be at the start of the worst California drought in modern history. It’s imperative for Californians to conserve water immediately at home and in their businesses,” Snow said.
Continuing dry conditions and regulatory restrictions on Delta water exports are limiting water deliveries. More agencies will likely join the numerous providers that already have mandatory or voluntary water rationing if these conditions persist.
ACWA’s Executive Director Tim Quinn issued a statement today on the announcement.
“We have weathered multi-year droughts before, but what’s different in 2009 is that water agencies already have dipped into their water reserves as a result of measures to protect species,” he said. “Those reserves, intended for drought and emergencies, had to be tapped because water deliveries were limited to protect species.”
More of ACWA’s response is available at: http://www.acwa.com/mediazone/newsreleases/view_release.asp?ID=716
The DWR announcement is available at: http://www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2009/012909secondsnowsurveyresults.doc