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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Begins 2020 in Good Shape, a Hopeful Sign for California Water Outlook

After a dry start to California’s winter rainy season, a series of big storms that began around Thanksgiving delivered enough snow for the Sierra Nevada to begin 2020 in relatively good shape.

As of Dec. 31, the statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack — a major source of California’s water supply — stood at 94% of its historical average.

That’s the highest total in four years, when it came in at 106% on Dec. 31, 2015.

Opinion: What Have Decades of Water Lawsuits in California Accomplished?

We are stunned by the suggestion that yet another water lawsuit will help anyone. Conflict has dominated California water policy at least as far back as the coining of the phrase “whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting.”

And what have decades of endless lawsuits accomplished?

California’s New Laws Cover Wildfires, Energy, Animal Cruelty

California’s legislature and new governor were busy last year and a slew of environment and energy laws have just taken effect, from trying to reduce wildfire risks to banning fur trapping.

The measures also touch on a frequent California theme: taking aim at disagreements with the Trump administration and attempts to roll back or weaken environmental protections.

2019 Started and Ended Wet in San Diego; Heat Was Less Persistent

Last year came in and went out like a wet lion in San Diego County. In between, it was a relatively tranquil, although not uneventful weather year.

California Department of Water Resources to Conduct First Snow Survey of 2020

The California Department of Water Resources is set to conduct the first snow survey of 2020 on Thursday.

The DWR snow survey is a chance for officials to measure the water content in the snowpack. Data collected from the monthly snow surveys will help determine the amount of water that will melt and run off to state reservoirs during warmer months. The information is critical to the water managers who allocate California’s natural water resources to regions downstream.

December Has Been Wet in California, But a Predicted Dry Winter Means Wildfire Danger Could Return Early

Southern California’s wettest December in nearly a decade quashed any danger lingering from destructive wildfires in fall, but experts warn that red flag conditions could return as early as April.

Enough Rain? Sufficient Snow? Here’s How Wet California, and Sacramento, Got in 2019

It’s a new year, and a time to take stock in California’s most precious commodity: water.

While October marks the start of the new water year, state hydrology leaders opened the new year with the first measure of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, east of Sacramento.

Balancing Water Supply for All is 2020 Priority, California Farm Bureau Federation Says

California water policy leaders say balancing the supply of groundwater by implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, and addressing policies related to water supply and water quality, will continue to be priority issues in 2020.

Vanderlaan Selected as LAFCO Vice-Chair

Bonsall resident Andy Vanderlaan will be the vice-chair of San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission for the 2020 LAFCO board meetings.

Vanderlaan, who is the public member on the LAFCO board, was chosen as the LAFCO vice-chair Dec. 2. County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who was LAFCO’s vice-chair for 2019, will be the 2020 chair.

Drought, What Drought? Largest Snowpack in 4 Years, Most Stored Water in Southern California History Paint Rosy Picture

With snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada registering at 90% of normal Thursday and state reservoirs at record historic levels, the urban water supply picture for 2020 could hardly be any rosier.

Southern California water managers are trying to restrain their joy, not because of a picture-postcard mountain top, but for the bounty that will come in spring when the snow melts, sending pristine water into state reservoirs and more importantly, southward via the State Water Project aqueduct, a source that supplies 30% of Southern California’s drinking water.