State survey: Snowpack water-content high
The water content in the snowpack is 134 percent of average for this time of year, the latest statewide survey showed.
That's good news.
Electronic readings indicate the water content in the the northern Sierra/Trinity range is 102 percent of normal and 58 percent of the April 1 seasonal average.
Department of Water Resources issued the report, which included the early storms this season have also replenished California's reservoirs.
Lake Oroville in Butte County, the State Water Project's principal reservoir with a capacity of 3.5 million acre feet, is at 71 percent of capacity, 113 percent of average for this time of year.
Shasta Lake, the federal Central Valley Project's principal storage reservoir with a capacity of 4.5 million acre feet, was reported at 73 percent of capacity, 115 percent of normal for this time of year.
The snowpack normally provides about a third of the water for California's homes, farms and industries as it melts into streams, reservoirs and aquifers in the spring and early summer.
Water resources currently estimates that it will be able to deliver 40 percent of the slightly more than 4 million acre-feet of State Water Project water requested for this calendar year by the 29 public agencies, including the Corning Water District, that supply more than 25 million Californians and nearly a million acres of irrigated farmland.
The delivery estimate is expected to increase as more winter storms develop. The final allocation of State Water Project water in calendar year 2012 was 65 percent of requested deliveries.
The next scheduled statewide snow survey will be conducted on Tuesday.
Each of the state's 300-plus snow courses is visited at least once by a snow surveyor for data gathering. Even at stations monitored automatically, data must be verified.
Water resources said an average snow course is 1,000 feet long, and most courses consist of about 10 sample points to insure sound statistical data.
From two to six courses are measured in a day. It is not uncommon for some snow surveyors to ski 10 to 15 miles and climb more than 5,000 feet in a single day.