california water wars,    News,    sierra snowpack,    Water Wars

It's Official: California's Snowpack Largely Sucks

By Tom Chandler 5/2/2008

The always-alert Aquafornia blog posted an excellent summary of California's snowpack woes.

The Reader's Digest version? While Winter storms promised much, a dry spring means the Sierra snowpack has fallen far short of early expectations.

Faster than you can say "rationing," every major paper in the state jumped on the story.

From the Contra Costa Times:

California#8217;s snowpack is low for the second year in a row, leaving water managers across the state grappling with the triple threat of a dry year, depleted reservoirs and new environmental restrictions on pumping from the Delta.

The whole scenario would be amusing if so much wasn't at stake; a water-hungry state has largely maxed out its supplies -- doing an unbelievable amount of environmental damage in the process -- and yet somehow, water managers wanted to believe one good year would solve the problem.

Here at the Underground, we've got a bridge we'd like to sell to those same managers.

See you at the tap, Tom Chandler.


Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

Dave: The numbers prior to March were pretty good all over, but since then, almost no precipitation's fallen on the central and northern Sierras. And frankly, even a wet year would have only delayed the fast-approaching reckoning by a year or two; officials acted like unlimited growth could take place even in the face of a finite water supply.
We had a "normal" snowpack here in Mammoth Lakes on Mammoth Pass. The survey folks also reported normal to slightly above normal on some of the passes south of here. Our runoff will be decent. Better than last year...less than 06'. Strong enough to rightfully clean and scour, but won't blow things out for weeks...Usually starts late May... Don't you all come at once...
Too bad the lack of runoff this year won't slow down the whitewater folks and their quest for even more summer pulse flows.
Alternatively, you could have a huge snowpack like Colorado. And be facing a season of chocolate rivers!

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