- Title: Deep spring snow means California could ease water conservation rules
- Date: 30th March 2017
- Summary: DUARTE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - FEBRUARY 17, 2017) (REUTERS) RAIN FALLING VARIOUS OF WATER IN STREETS CARS DRIVING IN RAIN FOLSOM, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - FEBRUARY 13, 2014) (REUTERS) LAKE FOLSOM WITH LOW WATER LINE MAN WALKING ALONG GROUNDS OF LAKE FOLSOM THAT SHOULD BE UNDER WATER PEOPLE RIDING HORSES ALONG GROUNDS OF LAKE FOLSOM THAT SHOULD BE UNDER WATER WIDE OF LAKE FOLSOM DRIED UP LAND AT LAKE FOLSOM CENTRAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (FILE - FEBRUARY 13, 2014) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FARM CROPS VARIOUS OF STREET SIGN READING "SERIOUS DROUGHT: HELP SAVE WATER" FARM CROPS AT SUNSET
- Embargoed: 13th April 2017 23:58
- Keywords: snow snowpack drought rain weather California
- Location: PHILLIPS STATION AND DUARTE AND FOLSOM AND CENTRAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- City: PHILLIPS STATION AND DUARTE AND FOLSOM AND CENTRAL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Environment,Precipitation
- Reuters ID: LVA0026A5LNQD
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: California's Sierra Nevada Mountains are buried in snow despite warm spring weather, scientists said on Thursday (March 30), a further sign that the state is emerging from years of drought and an indication that mandatory conservation rules may soon be eased.
Three years after Democratic Governor Jerry Brown stood on a dry, brown mountainside and declared a drought emergency, state water scientists trekked to the same spot near Sacramento on Thursday to measure nearly four feet of snow - about twice as much as is normal for March and April at that location.
The snowpack is key to the complex system of streams, dams and reservoirs that the most populous U.S. state relies on for water in the dry spring and summer months. Slowly melting over the dry months from April to October, the snowpack provides a third of the state's water and is sometimes referred to as California's largest reservoir.
During the height of the drought, there was no snow at all on many mountain peaks, and many reservoirs held only a fraction of the water they were designed to contain.
On Thursday, state water experts returned to a measuring station at Phillips, east of Sacramento near Lake Tahoe, where the snow was 46 inches high, about 183 percent of normal. Statewide, the snowpack was about 150 percent of normal for late March.
Their findings are likely to be key to state decisions regarding possibly removing the emergency declaration and an easing of conservation rules, expected in coming weeks.
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