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Could California’s Drought End This Season?

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Northern California's autumn rainstorms this year have failed to impress, but the state's Department of Water Resources (DWR) reminds us, the season is still very young.

Hydrologists measure the water year from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.

"In a sense we're not far yet from our 'New Year's Day,'" said Maurice Roos, DWR Chief Hydrologist. "And we're always optimistic on a New Year."

As Roos reminded us, the wettest months in Northern California are typically December, January and February.

If the region receives 110 percent of its average annual precipitation this water year,  many reservoirs could recover to normal levels, "not for everybody, but for many of the reservoirs," Roos cautioned.

History gives reason for hope. The drought years that ended in 1977 and 1992 were followed by above-average rainfall seasons.

A DWR measure of approximately 150 California reservoirs showed water levels currently at 57 percent of average.