The last weeks have seen a welcome amount of rain and snowfall in California. However, that doesn’t mean that we are out of the woods, so to speak, with regard to the drought. The Department of Water Resources conducted the winter’s first media-oriented manual snow survey on Dec. 30, and despite the higher-than-average water content for the statewide snowpack, officials said snowfall during the remainder of the winter will largely determine whether California’s drought will be entrenched for a fifth year.
DWR measures the water content of the snowpack each month to determine the state’s water supply for the year. Snow normally provides about a third of the water for California’s homes and farms as it melts into streams, reservoirs and aquifers. This year’s first manual snow survey showed the snowpack’s statewide water content at 136 percent of normal – showing strong progress compared to the dire snow surveys of last winter.
Even with that progress, California is still potentially facing another year of drought. The state’s largest six reservoirs currently hold between 22 percent (New Melones) and 53 percent (Don Pedro) of their historical averages in late December. Storage in Lake Shasta, California’s largest surface reservoir, is 51 percent of its Dec. 30 average.
Therefore, it is important that residents continue to be diligent with water conservation efforts. Conservation – the wise, sparing use of water – remains California’s most reliable drought management tool. Each individual act of conservation, such as letting the lawn go brown or replacing a washer in a faucet to stop a leak, makes a difference over time.
For questions or additional information, contact Municipal Services at 209-668-5590. Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.
WATER CONSERVATION TIP #35
Landscape watering is prohibited within 48 hours following measurable rainfall. Avoid a citation and remember to turn off automatic sprinkler timers when it rains.