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Sierra snowpack thicker than last year

December 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
State officials are reporting a deeper Sierra snowpack than last year but caution that California needs a much wetter winter to recharge its water supplies.The state Department of Water Resources reported findings Tuesday from its first snow survey of the season, taken at an elevation of 6,800 feet near South Lake Tahoe. The snow depth was 41 inches, or 83 percent of normal, compared to 29.2 inches measured at the site a year ago.

Electronic sensor readings taken throughout the range show the overall water content of the Sierra snowpack at 76 percent of normal.

Measurements of snow depth and snow water content are important because they help hydrologists forecast water supplies and deliveries for the coming year.

The state says it will deliver just 15 percent of the amount that water agencies have requested.


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