California Drought Over As Snowpack Nears Record Levels

SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) – Gov. Jerry Brown has declared an official end to California’s drought as state water officials reported one of the wettest years of snow buildup in the Sierra Nevada.

Brown ended the state of emergency declared by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in February 2009 after three relatively dry winters. Schwarzenegger had declared a statewide drought in June 2008.

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>> Sierra Snow Report

The announcement came after the Department of Water Resources reported Wednesday that the water content in the statewide snowpack is 165 percent of average for this time of year. The snowpack also was slightly above average last year.

This year’s snowpack is 174 percent of normal in the north, 163 percent in the central Sierra and 158 percent in the southern part of the range. Sierra snow provides a third of California’s water.

KCBS’ Betsy Gebhart Reports:

But the end of the drought is not necessarily affecting long-term water planning in Santa Clara Valley.

Santa Clara Valley Water District spokesman Marty Grimes said they plan on sticking with a 10 percent voluntary water cutback recommendation.

“Rather than looking at this year and the fact that we have more water than we can even store in our reservoirs, we really want to look at the long term,” said Grimes.

He said conservation will have to be a way of life in California from now on. The Santa Clara Valley Water District also offers several programs and financial incentives for installing water-saving appliances and planning drought-resistant landscapes.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

  • Gary Steele


    And no, you may NOT build a peripheral canal now.

  • Chris Pepper

    sprinklers will be running daily this year ! yay lawn, and some nice LONG showers.

  • Big D

    What drought? California’s problem is not a lack of water, the problem is over population, especially with more than 2.6 million illegal immigrants.

  • T

    I agree wiht Big D. Get the illegals out and we have more water, power and less need for gas. Less need for gas, drops the demand and the supply goes up = lower prices. Also more jobs and less crowded schools. Win Win for the real citizens and true taxpayers !!!!!

  • Flying J

    So does that mean that water rates will now come down? Yea right!

  • fu

    BTW we were not in a drought we were having a water shortage. Please stop misusing the term drought. ty

  • bill

    Will the surcharges on water usage be removed? Will pigs fly?

  • Nataou

    I agree with Big D and T. Native Tribes were here first so everyone should pack their bags and go back to where they came from. The occupation of our lands and massacre of our people doesn’t make you or your ancestors better than anyone else. If you leave now you can take some water with you for the trip.

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