Low snowpack could cause water crisis

April 13, 2015 6:55 PM |

snowpackThe recent precipitation in California has not succeeded in providing relief in the drought stricken state of USA. This April the snowpack has been at record low levels. Snow surveys are conducted manually in Sierra Nevada on 1st April. This year the snowpack is only 5% of the April 1st average. This is by far the lowest, the earlier record was 25% of the average of April 1st in 1950.

The measurement was done on bare grass for the first time and was conducted at Phillips station, which is around 144 km east of Sacramento,  The Phillips station (6800 feet above sea level) records an average snow of around 66 inches.

This year the spring season has started early which is bad news as the snow will start to melt early. This could make the water situation worse. The state’s water supply is largely dependent on the melting snowpack. One third of the drinking water of California comes from the Sierra Nevada snowpack. The reservoirs are replenished from the melting later during the summer.

Since, the snowpack is so low the reservoirs will not be able to replenish properly. The state of California could be facing major shortage of drinking water. The authorities could resort to water rationing.

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