California snowpack 173% of normal

The drought is finally ending in California to recent humongous storms and snow, which eliminated 37% of snow-water deficit. This is hugely good news and bodes well for summer. The amount of rain was so extraordinary that some reservoirs are now full.

Painter told KQED that the volume of water that fell on the Sierra from multi-day storms that began on Jan. 7 and 18, respectively, was 25 percent more than the average annual flow of the Colorado River.

However, the ground water deficit remains. Water pumped out of aquifers does not replenish quickly.

“It is important to realize that any aquifer recharge that occurs as a result of this winter’s storms is just a small uptick in a century-long decline of groundwater storage, at least with respect to the once-vast reserves in the Central Valley,” said James Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at JPL. “The drought may be easing, but California’s chronic water scarcity is here to stay.”

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