California survey shows just one-third of normal snowpack

04/01/2014 05:47:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

snowpack measurementCourtesy Department of Water ResourcesFrank Gehrke with the state Department of Water Resources takes a snow measurement in the Sierra Nevada.Despite recent storms that dumped rain in the Central Valley and snow on the Sierra, California's snowpack is just 32 percent of normal for this time of year.

The April 1 snow survey is continued bad news for the state's farmers, most of whom have been told to expect no water deliveries from state and federal water projects, according to a news release.

"With the state's major reservoirs only half full, there is little chance that farmers will be able to recover from this year's dismal water supplies," Mike Wade, executive director of the Sacramento-based California Water Coalition, said in the release.

The coalition already had estimated that about 800,000 acres of farmland will be idled this year before of the water delivery cutbacks.

In addition to the meager snowpack, the group blames federal regulations and inflexible water managers that prevent water from being diverted to storage for later use without endangering protected fish.

"The water system our predecessors built to provide for farms, homes and businesses is instead being used to support environmental purposes that have absolutely no accountability," Wade said in the release.

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