SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The final snow survey of the season in the Sierra Nevada paints a dire picture of the California water year.
Officials with the state Department of Water Resources conducted their final manual snow survey at Phillips Station on Thursday. Surveyors recorded just 1.5 inches of snow depth at the location — just 3 percent of the May average, DWR says.READ MORE: UPDATE: Suspect In Cal Poly Student Kristin Smart's 1996 Disappearance, Paul Flores, Reportedly Arrested
Electronic snowpack sensors around the state recorded better but still rather lackluster numbers. DWR says the statewide snowpack is only at 37 percent of the May average.
Some this past month brought the snowpack to its peak on April 9 but it was still just 66 percent of average at its highest.
The storms of March and April couldn’t make up for the dry January and February, DWR said.
Still, DWR notes, the state’s six largest reservoirs are holding between 83 to 126 percent of their historical averages at this point in the year.
The United States Drought Monitor produced a snapshot map last month showing most of the state was “Abnormally Dry” to “Moderate Drought.” This month had mixed results. Southern California gained water while Northern California continues to dry out.
Deputy Chief Cal Fire Mark Marcucci said Cal Fire is watching the weather carefully.READ MORE: Update: Bay Area Counties Pausing Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Shots; State Continuing With Plans To Reopen On June 15
“The weather is pretty normal actually,” said Marcucci.
Even so, Cal Fire acknowledged that things are a little dry.
“Due to the fuel modeling, some early season fires that we’ve had, Cal Fire has made the decision to open up all of our fire stations with at least one engine per Fire Station effective May 18th,” explained Marcucci.
PG&E says they worry more about wind than dry weather, but PG&E spokesperson Jeff Smith said the utility is preparing for the summer.
“Using last year as a barometer, we did see one Public Safety Power Shutoff that was pretty small in June. But the rest of them were in September and October,” said Smith.
East Bay Municipal Utility District’s life blood is water.
“Even though this year is dry, we have enough supply to certainty make it through this year. So we are not talking about rationing of any type. But we are concerned about next year,” said EBMUD Manager of Water Operations David Briggs.MORE NEWS: State Attorney General Will Oversee Sexual Assault Investigation Of Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli
Drought, dry weather or just normal weather, it’s always good practice to conserve water. The dry California summer is just starting.