Snow Survey Boosts Runoff Predictions

  • by California Department of Water Resources
  • Apr 2, 2019
  • Water News

The Department of Water Resources (DWR) today conducted the fourth Phillips Station snow survey of 2019. The manual survey recorded 106.5 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 51 inches, which is 200% of average for this location.

Statewide, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is 162% of average. California has experienced more than 30 atmospheric rivers since the start of the water year, with six in February alone, and statewide snow water equivalent has nearly tripled since February 1. Snow water equivalent is the depth of water that theoretically would result if the entire snowpack melted instantaneously. It is an important tool used by water managers across the state to estimate anticipated spring runoff.

“With full reservoirs and a dense snowpack, this year is practically a California water supply dream,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “However, we know our long-term water supply reliability cannot rely on annual snowpack alone. It will take an all-of-the-above approach to build resiliency for the future.”

Snowpack is an important factor in determining how DWR manages California’s water resources each year to meet demands. On average, the Sierra snowpack supplies about 30% of California’s water needs as it melts into streams and reservoirs in the spring and early summer to meet water demands throughout the year. The April results are a key indicator for the rest of the year’s water supply. The snowpack’s water content typically peaks around April 1, after which the sun’s higher position in the sky begins to accelerate snow melt.

While the April 1 snowpack data is good news for water supply, state officials warn there could be flooding risks later this spring.

“With great water supply benefits comes some risk,” said Jon Ericson, DWR Chief of the Division of Flood Management. “Based on snowpack numbers, we have the potential for some minor flooding due to melting snow so we remind folks to always stay vigilant and aware.”

The state’s largest six reservoirs currently hold between 106% (Oroville) and 132% (Melones) of their historical averages for this date. Lake Shasta, California’s largest surface reservoir, is 109% of its historical average and sits at 89% of capacity.

 

 

Suggested Resources

15 RESOURCES prev next
ACWA Suggested Guidelines for 2019 Triennial Reporting of Public Health Goal Exceedance in Drinking Water

Agency: Public Water Systems and State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water Subject: Suggested Guidelines for Preparation of Required […]

Executive Director Dave Eggerton Congressional Testimony on Western Water Infrastructure

Agency: House Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife Subject: State of Western Water Infrastructure in Innovation Testimony excerpt:  It is critical […]

Coalition Letter Supporting NPDES Permit Legislation

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

March 2019 Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Comment Letter: Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program Third Preliminary Draft Regulations

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Safe Drinking Water Trust Toolkit

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Comment Letter – OEHHA Draft Report on Human Right to Water

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Energy and Water Resources Policy Principles – Adopted Jan. 2019

In January 2019, ACWA released its updated policy principles on “Energy and Water Resources” in California. The updated principles will help […]

Comment Letter – Options for Implementation of a Statewide Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program

Agency: California State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Options for Implementation of a Statewide Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program Letter excerpt:  […]

2019 Legislative Outreach Toolkit

To assist  members in communicating and engaging with their legislative representatives, ACWA has published a 2019 Legislative Outreach Toolkit. Toolkit […]

Comment Letter on the California Water Plan Update 2018, Public Review Draft

Agency: California Department of Water Resources Subject: California Water Plan Update 2018, Public Review Draft Letter excerpt:  Dear Mr. Massera: The Association […]

Coalition Letter on Water Infrastructure Investment Needs

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Coalition Letter on Proposed Public Health Goals for Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water

Agency: Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Subject: Proposed Public Health Goals for Trihalomethanes in Drinking Water Letter excerpt:  The Association of […]

Coalition Letter on Public Comment Period for Draft Technical Support Document for the Proposed PHGs for THMs

Agency: Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment Subject: Public Comment Period for Draft Technical Support Document for the Proposed PHGs for […]

January 2019 Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
Leaders Commemorate Long-Term Success on the Santa Ana River

In Riverside County, right along the Santa Ana River, local leaders and community members came together to commemorate 50 years […]

The Big Dig: SMWD’s Trampas Canyon Reservoir to Serve as County’s Largest Water Project

South Orange County imports nearly one hundred percent of its drinking water from hundreds of miles away. Santa Margarita Water […]

Get ready for MULCH MAYHEM!

Free water-saving mulch available Saturday, May 4 SACRAMENTO—Free water-saving mulch will be available to local residents during Mulch Mayhem events […]

VISTA IRRIGATION DISTRICT ANNOUNCES STUDENT CONTEST WINNERS

VISTA – Vista Irrigation District has presented awards to six high school seniors and three fourth-grade students from the local […]

$1.3 Million Awarded in Grant Funding for Water Desalination Projects

The Department of Water Resources has announced the first round of projects to be awarded grant funding by the Water […]

Bureau of Reclamation Updates 2019 CVP South-of-Delta Water Allocations

The Bureau of Reclamation on Wednesday issued updated Central Valley Project South-of-Delta allocations for the 2019 contract year. This update […]

Your News Here

ACWA member agencies can share their latest developments and accomplishments in the association’s weekly eNews distribution by submitting news items […]

EMWD Recognized for Outstanding Customer Communications

PERRIS — Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) last week was honored with two awards for outstanding communications through the California […]

April 2019 Priority Issues Update

The April 2019 Priority Issues Update is now available online to members. The update is a summary of the latest […]

Safe Drinking Water Trust Legislation Passes Unanimously Out of Senate Environmental Quality Committee

SB 669, legislation authored by Senator Anna Caballero, was heard in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee today and passed unanimously […]

FRCD/ EGWD awarded 10th consecutive Certificate for Excellence in Financial Reporting

The Florin Resource Conservation District/Elk Grove Water District (District) received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for […]

Metropolitan’s Upgraded Turf Replacement Program Rolls Out

The most popular water-saving rebate in Southern California history is available, again. Just in time for spring plantings, the Metropolitan […]

2019 WYLAND NATIONAL MAYOR’S CHALLENGE FOR WATER CONSERVATION

Each year during the month of April, cities across the U.S. take part in the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for […]

State Water Board Adopts New Statewide Wetland Definition and Procedures

The State Water Resources Control Board voted yesterday to adopt new regulations concerning wetlands and other environmentally sensitive waterways throughout […]

ACWA Executive Director Testifies in Congress

Representing ACWA and the National Water Resources Association (NWRA), ACWA Executive Director Dave Eggerton today testified before Congress on the […]