header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
44°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 16
1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]
Bison


| Wednesday, Mar 3, 2021
dry february
Sean de Guzman, chief of the California Department of Water Resources Snow Surveys and Water Supply Forecasting Section, conducts the third media snow survey of the 2021 season at Phillips Station on March 2, 2021. The survey is held approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento off Highway 50 in El Dorado County. | Photo: Ken James / California Department of Water Resources.

 

After a relatively dry February in California, water supply managers grow increasingly anxious as each dry, sunny day plunges the state deeper into drought.

The California Department of Water Resources conducted its statewide water survey Tuesday and found the Sierra snowpack is at approximately 54% of its April 1 average. That date marks the point at which Sierra snow is typically at its peak.

“While we can’t predict how much precipitation California will receive for the rest of this year, it’s safe to say without a series of storms we will end this year dry,” said Sean de Guzman of the water department during Tuesday’s survey.

De Guzman held a snow survey at Phillips Station near South Lake Tahoe and found the snowpack there is more robust than around the state. With about 56 inches, Phillips Station boasts a snowpack that is 86% of average.

The was de Guzman’s only good news of the day.

As February failed to deliver any major storms and the forecast for early March lacks significant wet weather, water officials are starting to fret the state may be entering yet another period of prolonged drought.

“As California closes out the fifth consecutive dry month of our water year, absent a series of strong storms in March or April we are going to end with a critically dry year on the heels of last year’s dry conditions,” said Karla Nemeth, director of the water department.

Last year, dry conditions also persisted during the wet portion of California water year. The state, which enjoys a Mediterranean climate characterized by dry warm summers, receives most of its water in December, January, and February. This year, those months and the previous two disappointed water managers and without the so-called “March Miracle,” mass water conservation projects and disappointed farmers may be on tap.

“With back-to-back dry years, water efficiency and drought preparedness are more important than ever for communities, agriculture and the environment,” Nemeth warned on Tuesday.

De Guzman said the effect of two consecutive dry years is starting to manifest in the interconnected system of reservoirs that comprise the state’s water storage infrastructure.

“With below-average precipitation across the state, California’s reservoirs are starting to see the impacts of a second consecutive dry year,” he said.

Lake Shasta, the largest reservoir by volume, currently sits at 66% capacity while Lake Oroville is 55% capacity. Normally, water managers would look for those reservoirs to be at or near their capacity as the winter moves into spring.

De Guzman said that this water year is shaping up to be like the one in 2014, when California was in the middle of a prolonged 5-year drought that devastated farms, incurred mandatory conservation programs, and dried out vegetation, paving the way for the two worst fire seasons in the Golden State’s history.

Some scientists argue California never really left that drought, with the current period just an extension even as anomalous wet years bringing brief, albeit much-needed respite.

Currently, the U.S. Drought Monitor lists 99% of the state in a category of abnormally dry conditions, with 84% of the state in drought. More concerning, at least 30% of the state is in extreme drought, according to the agency.

Forecasts promise little relief.

“While occasional brief and light precipitation events are possible across California over the next few weeks, models are unfortunately painting a continued drier-than-average picture for spring 2020 due to the persistence of North Pacific high pressure,” said Daniel Swain, a climatologist with UCLA.

Precipitation falling as snow in the mountains is critical to the water supply in California because it allows the water to fill the reservoir system incrementally throughout the spring and early summer as the snow melts.

California homes, businesses, and farms receive two-thirds of their water supply from the snowpack in Sierra Nevada.

— By Matthew Renda, CNS

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
LASD Investigating Deadly Saugus Stabbing
A woman died after having been rushed to the hospital following a stabbing in a Saugus neighborhood early Thursday morning.
Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: 16 and Over Now Eligible for Vaccine; SCV Cases Total 27,535
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 23 new deaths and 613 new cases of COVID-19, with 27,535 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
Survey Shows Majority of Staff, Students Favor Keeping Hart Mascot
The results of two surveys regarding the controversy surrounding the Hart High School mascot were reported during the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board meeting on Wednesday.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]
Bison
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved the recommendation to name Donna Manfredi as the principal of Golden Oak Adult School.
Donna Manfredi Takes Helm at Golden Oak Adult School
The Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors announced the leadership team of the newly formed Probation Oversight Commission who will be tasked to lead efforts to monitor the Probation Department’s progress on systemic reform.
L.A. County Announces New Probation Oversight Commission Leadership Team
The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons will host a virtual Open House on Wednesday, April 28 to help those interested in advancing their careers by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
COC University Center Hosting Virtual Open House
The Santa Clarita Public Television Authority will hold its regular meeting virtually Monday, April 19, at 2:00 p.m.
April 19: Santa Clarita Public Television Authority Virtual Regular Meeting
SCV Water has received a nearly $250,000 California Special Districts Association Public Safety Power Shutoff program allocation from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).
Cal OES Awards SCV Water $250K Grant
The Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture, and KCET have joined forces to create a new documentary that explores the value of arts education for the youth, communities, and creative economy of L.A. County.
KCET Documentary to Feature L.A. County’s Arts Education
The Santa Clarita Valley League of Women Voters, partnering with College of the Canyons Center for Civic Engagement and its Engage the Vote Student Action Team, is sponsoring a virtual, “Conversation with Mayor Bill Miranda,” on Monday, April 19, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Miranda Joins League of Women Voters, COC for Virtual Conversation on Local Government
A woman died after having been rushed to the hospital following a stabbing in a Saugus neighborhood early Thursday morning.
LASD Investigating Deadly Saugus Stabbing
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 23 new deaths and 613 new cases of COVID-19, with 27,535 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: 16 and Over Now Eligible for Vaccine; SCV Cases Total 27,535
The results of two surveys regarding the controversy surrounding the Hart High School mascot were reported during the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board meeting on Wednesday.
Survey Shows Majority of Staff, Students Favor Keeping Hart Mascot
As students and staff return to schools for in-person instruction, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reminds everyone to keep the safety of students in mind when traveling around schools.
With Schools Reopening, LASD Reminding Drivers to Keep Student Safety In Mind
1954 - Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden on streets of Newhall for filming of "Suddenly" [story]
Frank Sinatra
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 57 new deaths and 411 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as the county prepares to expand vaccination eligibility to residents 16 and older on Thursday.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccination Eligibility to Expand to 16+ Thursday; SCV Cases Total 27,515
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has approved $140,000 in funding to the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club through the county's Community Services Block Grant.
Barger to Allocate $140K in County Block Grant Funds to Boys & Girls Club of SCV
California public health officials this week lifted capacity limits on in-person services at places of worship from the state's reopening scheme, following a handful of Supreme Court decisions in favor of congregants challenging the state’s COVID-19 capacity limits.
California Lifts COVID Capacity Limits on Places of Worship
The Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday night approved one-time funding of $100,000 for the relocation of Bridge to Home shelter services for people experiencing homelessness, and an additional loan not to exceed $110,000.
Santa Clarita City Council OK’s Funding for Bridge to Home Shelter Relocation
California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts, is leasing space at Newhall Crossings in Downtown Newhall to put its students’ artwork on display, officials with the Valencia arts college announced recently.
CalArtians’ Works on Display at Newhall Crossings
The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital expansion plan, following a public hearing with protest from members of a local carpenters union and calls by community members to include a mental health care unit for children.
Santa Clarita City Council Approves Henry Mayo Expansion Plan
California Senate Bill 546, a measure to extend the state's "iFoster" cell phones and data program for foster youth, has passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee with unanimous support, according to Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).
Wilk’s Bill to Extend ‘iFoster’ Cell Phone Program for Foster Youth Moves Forward
2014 - "Become Ocean" by John Luther Adams (CalArts BFA 1973) named winner of 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music [story]
John Luther Adams
College of the Canyons athletic programs returned to campus this week to begin outdoor team strength and conditioning activities, guided by a stringent return-to-campus procedural plan designed to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and support staff.
Cougar Athletics Return to Campus
The organizers of high school athletics in Southern California announced Monday their plans to move forward with section championships for a number of outdoor sports.
CIF Announces Plans to Move Forward with Post-Season Play
If you watched NASA’s exciting Mars Perseverance rover landing on Feb. 18, you definitely won’t want to miss the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus spring 2021 virtual Star Party on Friday, April 23.
April 23: COC Canyon Country Virtual Star Party
%d bloggers like this: