With All This Rain and Snow, Can California Really Still Be in a Drought? Look Deeper

Only weeks after a series of atmospheric rivers deluged California, the state is once again bracing for powerful winter weather that could deliver heaps of rain and snow, including fresh powder at elevations as low as 1,500 feet.

But as worsening climate extremes and water supply challenges continue to bedevil the state, officials cautioned residents Tuesday not to assume that the recent moisture signaled an end to the drought.

Sierra Nevada Snowpack Hits Biggest Level in Nearly 30 Years

The statewide Sierra Nevada snowpack — the source of nearly one-third of California’s water supply — is at its highest level since 1995, boosting hopes that an end to the drought is near, but also raising concerns that a few warm spring storms could melt it too early and trigger major flooding.

Not since Toy Story packed movie theaters, Steve Young led the 49ers to their fifth Super Bowl win, and gasoline cost $1.28 a gallon has there been so much snow in California’s most famous mountain range at the end of January.

Two of California’s Largest Reservoirs Hit Their Highest Level Since the Summer of 2020

California’s water supply has hit a new milestone for the year in the wake of three weeks of wet weather.

Water levels at two of the state’s largest reservoirs are now at their highest point in 2.5 years, Chief Meteorologist Mark Finan said.

Here’s Where These Northern California Reservoirs’ Levels Stand After Weeks of Rain

Without a doubt, weeks of rain and snow since late December are absolutely helping with California’s water supply.

But how much help exactly is a question many have been asking. KCRA 3 Chief Meteorologist Mark Finan goes over where water reservoirs in Northern California stand. Spoiler alert: It’s a lot of good news.

Newsom Unveils Long-Term Strategy to Bolster California Water Supply

California Gov. Gavin Newsom today unveiled a broad strategy for bolstering the state’s water supply that includes targets to recycle more water, expand reservoir storage and collect more data on the amounts farmers use.

Newsom warned that new strategies are essential because California’s water supply will shrink by 10% as climate change brings warmer, drier conditions throughout the state.

With California Expected to Lose 10% of Its Water Within 20 Years, Newsom Calls for Urgent Action

With California enduring a historic drought amplified by global warming, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday released a new plan to adapt to the state’s hotter, drier future by capturing and storing more water, recycling more wastewater and desalinating seawater and salty groundwater.

The governor’s new water-supply strategy, detailed in a 16-page document, lays out a series of actions aimed at preparing the state for an estimated 10% decrease in California’s water supply by 2040 due to higher temperatures and decreased runoff.

Opinion: The Case for Banning Front Lawns in California Is Stronger Than Ever

Man-made climate change is not the source of California’s water woes.

I guarantee that some people will read those 11 words and dismiss anyone who utters them as a climate change denier or at least a member of the Flat Earth Society.

But the science and history are absolutely clear that when it comes to our water supply we are basing our solutions on the wrong facts.

Opinion: Anti-Growth Commission Spikes Desal

By rejecting the plan for a desalination plant in Orange County last week, the California Coastal Commission surrendered to environmental interests fundamentally committed to a world of restrictions rather than abundance. Rather than embrace innovation and technology, the commission has chosen to place the interests of a few activists over the interests of Californians.

Diverters Reminded to Measure Water Use Under Law

Data is key to better understanding and managing California’s water supply. However, the state reports a lack of compliance by affected water-rights holders, who are required to report the water they divert.

“Even though we initially opposed the regulation, it is the law, so it is very important that people are in compliance,” said Danny Merkley, California Farm Bureau director of water resources. “It protects our existing water-rights system, which was designed for times of scarcity, like we have now, and it works if we get the data.”

San Diego Research Links Oroville Dam Crisis to Global Warming

The Oroville Dam in northern California is the nation’s tallest dam and it creates the state’s second-largest reservoir. In February of 2017, an atmospheric river dumped a huge amount of snow then a huge amount of rain into the reservoir’s watershed.

A 30-foot wall at the top of the dam, called the weir, nearly gave way to the volumes of water and 188,000 people had to be evacuated.