R’uh r’oh. California snowpack a dire 17% of normal

Mt Whitney. Credit: water.ca.gov
Mt Whitney. Credit: water.ca.gov

Sierra snowpack measurements are a crucial determinant of how much water California will have. This year the snowpack is a dismal 17% of normal. Among other things, this means Central Valley farmers will get even less water, perhaps as little at 20% – this from water they have paid for assuming a 100% allotment.

But there’s only so much you can do,” conceded one grower. His next option, is finding another state, or country, to grow his crops in.

That will turn a water shortage into a cash shortage. If California were to lose tax revenue from Central Valley agriculture, already painful budget cuts will surely deepen.

Considerable amounts of snowpack water flows to the Sacramento Delta, a major battleground for water, with much of it then diverted to Central Valley agriculture and Los Angeles.

I grew up in New England, where water supplies are ample. There were several large reservoirs within a few miles of where we lived. Not so in the American West and California, where water is often pumped hundreds of miles to its final destination. Be thankful if you live in an area where water wars and drought are non-existent. 🙂