Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Spinning the Snowpack at Tahoe
Water is a critical item in California, and gets far less state-wide attention than it deserves. A recent bulletin from the State has this interesting statement: "less than normal water supply conditions exist." While literally true, there is 2.8 million acre-feet more water in storage today than on the same date last year (per this site). The state's water in storage as a percent of "normal" for this date is just over 86 percent. Thirteen lakes are at or above the normal level for this date, including some of the biggest: Shasta, and Don Pedro.
Meanwhile, the snow pack at last measurement was at 106 percent of normal for that date (about a month ago), and there is more snow falling as I write this, with more on the way. UPDATE: March 3, 2010: The measurement today was reported at 107 percent of normal for this date, compared to 80 percent of normal on this date last year. [end update]
With 15 million acre-feet currently stored, the 2.8 million more than last year represents almost a 25 percent improvement from last year. Not bad. Not bad at all. But where is the positive news? None that I can see. We still hear gloom and doom, drought, water allocations, water shortages, conserve, conserve, do without, spy on and report your neighbors' water use habits, etc.
So, tomorrow (March 3, 2010) the snow measuring crew will be up near Lake Tahoe, pushing their snow sticks into the snow and measuring the depth and water content. From what I hear, they should wear snowshoes. The snow is pretty deep this year. The final measurement will occur on April 1, 2010, and state water policy will be established from that number. Therefore, the more snow and rain that falls in the next 28 days, the better for California.
And now, for the obligatory swipe at the AGW alarmists, especially those in California who passed AB 32, are implementing AB 32, and supporting AB 32 - the bill that will curb or halt CO2 emissions (and halt the California economy) because droughts will be more severe and the snow pack will be smaller and melt earlier. The snow storms apparently cannot hear you.
Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California