Snowpack slips below 50%, according to LADWP

dwpThe snowpack in California provides water for about one-third of the state’s people and farms. This year, that source has remained less than half of normal for this time of year. State reservoirs do still hold quite a bit of water which will help supplement that serious lack of snow in the Sierra.

Director of Water Operations for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Martin Adams, spoke to the Inyo Supervisors Tuesday and as an aside said that the snowpack will be “below 50%.” He said the water flow down the aqueduct to Los Angeles may be “the lowest on record.” He called it a “dire year”. Adams said that some are saying this could be the beginning of a 100-year dry period.

From experience, Owens Valley people know that means extreme pressure on the resources of the Eastern Sierra to supply LA. DWP’s website shows the April 1st snow situation as well below normal in most areas. The Mammoth Pass snowpack, which is the hallmark for the Sierra, dropped down to below the long-term average but still above last year.

Snow pillow measurements show Mammoth Pass at 82% of normal. Every place else sits under 50%. Rock Creek, 17%. South Lake, 39%. Big Pine Creek, 32% and Cottonwood Lakes in the south at 19%.

Precipitation figures loom low too. Long Valley sits at 37% of normal to date. Bishop, 20%. Big Pine, 16%. Independence, 24%. South Haiwee, 12% and Los Angeles at 43%.

Adams said that LADWP will issue more information on the water year after examining statewide and local conditions. The State Department of Water Resources said that this January and February were record dry months, dating back to 1895.


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6 Responses to Snowpack slips below 50%, according to LADWP

  1. ferdinand lopez April 3, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    reminds me of my favorite bumper sticker……the sierras dry

  2. Tim April 3, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Surface water cools the earth,
    There are countless articles proving this fact.
    A cool earth produces more snow at lower elevations.
    More snow at lower elevations generates more snow pack at higher elevations; look at the historical snowfall figures for Owens Valley since the removal of surface water and compare it to other similar regions near the same parallel with no water removal.
    DWP has overburdened and damaged the very ecosystem it relies on.
    We have perpetually taken resources without replenishment.
    We have covered the earth with storm drains and roads that divert water away from wetland replenishing aquifers. We have argued with our leaders who have said these facts are insignificant.
    Are we really that stupid?
    We are really that stupid.

  3. Eastern Sierra Local April 3, 2013 at 7:55 am #

    Use the water now before LA gets it.

    • MARK April 3, 2013 at 9:41 am #

      I’ve never conserved water. I’ve always felt the more I use the less LADWP gets.

      If we don’t get snow next year we’re going to be in a World of hurt.

      • Jeremiah's ego April 4, 2013 at 7:39 am #

        We are in a world of hurt! In LA’s view they probably think they can legally relocate all of us to consume all the water, “the greatest good for the greatest number of people” That justification has been used before.

  4. Reality Check April 3, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    Translation….get ready people of the Owens Valley, you are about to get hosed.


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