California Snowpack Nearly Double Normal Level

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Snow in the trees at Foresthill (Bubba & Linda Wilkes)

Snow in the trees at Foresthill (Bubba & Linda Wilkes)

LAKE TAHOE (AP) – The snowpack in California’s mountains is holding nearly twice as much water than average for this time of year.

The Department of Water Resources conducted its first snow survey of the season Tuesday near Lake Tahoe. A series of storms has already created a heavy snowpack across the 400-mile-long Sierra Nevada range.

Director Mark Cowin says the results mean the state will likely be able to boost water deliveries next year to cities and farms coping with drought.

The agency previously announced that cities and farms can expect half their requested water next year, but that is almost certain to rise.

Water content in the snowpack registered at 198 percent of normal and most of the major reservoirs are near or above normal levels for this time of year.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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