Official Snow Survey Comes up Dry

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2013: California’s Driest Calendar Year

Truckee, December 2013


As if more proof was needed, the first snow survey of 2014 confirms the state’s dry conditions.

Manual and electronic readings taken Friday morning show statewide water content at about 20% of average for this time of year.

“While we hope conditions improve, we are fully mobilized to streamline water transfers and take every action possible to ease the effects of dry weather on farms, homes and businesses as we face a possible third consecutive dry year,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin in a release.   “And every Californian can help by making water conservation a daily habit.”

Friday’s readings tie those from 2012 as the driest on record. In addition to a bare snowpack, many areas ended the year with the lowest rainfall totals on record. Sacramento normally gets 18 inches of rain, but ended 2013 with just 5.74 inches.

The state’s reservoirs are also recording historic low levels. Lake Oroville is at 36% capacity, and Folsom Lake is so low area municipalities have had to ask residents to conserve water.

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