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Snowpack, storms lift water-supply hopes


Last updated 1/19/2023 at 3:58pm

California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth, snow survey engineers Andy Reising and Anthony Burdock, and Water Supply Forecasting Manager Sean de Guzman conduct the first snowpack measurement of 2023 at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada. Village News/California Farm Bureau photo

Peter Hecht

California Farm Bureau

Barely more than a year ago, California's first seasonal snowpack survey provided promising results – a deep-snow measurement totaling 160% of average.

Then came the driest January, February and March in more than 100 years – resulting in unprecedented cuts in water deliveries to farmers, who went on to fallow an estimated 750,000 additional acres of cropland.

Understandably, the enthusiasm was muted early last week, when the first 2023 snow survey by the California Department of Water Resources revealed a snowpack of 55.5 inches, or 174% of normal fo...

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