Outlook for Year's Last California Snow Survey Not Good | NBC Bay Area

Outlook for Year's Last California Snow Survey Not Good

California's final manual snow survey of the year will be conducted Wednesday.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    An image from the January 2013 snow survey

    Drought-stricken California will conduct its final manual snow survey on Wednesday 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.

    Officials say the snowpack is already far below the historic lows of 1977 and 2014, when it was 25 percent of normal on April 1 -- the time when the snowpack is generally at its peak.

    The latest survey on March 3 found a snowpack water equivalent of just 0.9 inches -- a total that suggested California's drought will run through a fourth year.

    Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a drought emergency and stressed the need for sustained water conservation.

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