Friday, October 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Snowpack survey points to tough summer

By
From page A2 | April 02, 2014 |

FRESNO (AP) — The Sierra snowpack in drought-stricken California measured at 32 percent of normal Tuesday at a time of year when it’s supposed to be at its peak, the state’s Department of Water Resources announced.

Even the storms dousing Northern California through Wednesday morning are expected to spell little relief this coming summer for farmers and many communities already facing restrictions, said Mark Cowin, the department’s director.

Farmers are deciding to leave fields unplanted, and some cities are scrambling to find water supplies, said Cowin, adding that California’s “storm window” is closing.

“We can hope that conditions improve,” he said. “But time is running out, and conservation is the only tool we have against nature’s whim.”

State surveyors traveled to Echo Summit near South Lake Tahoe to take their monthly measurements of the snowpack. California’s wet season has another month to deliver, and on May 1, surveyors are scheduled to make their final trek of what officials considered a gloomy season.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack is important because it stores water that melts in the spring as runoff. Communities and farmers depend on it during California’s hot, dry summers. California is in its third consecutive dry year, and in January Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency.

In addition to the snowpack figures, authorities said Tuesday that they are trying to capture the runoff from the recent rainfall to be stored for use later.

Cowin and his colleagues in state and federal agencies said in a briefing with reporters that they have decided to temporarily boost the water pumped from the San Joaquin Delta for storage in reservoirs during the next week — or possibly two — depending on the amount of rain that falls.

The added pumping won’t violate strict regulations protecting endangered salmon and other fish in the Delta, and it won’t cause salty ocean water to flood back into the Delta, he said.

Many Central Valley farmers will get no irrigation water despite the pumping because there’s not going to be enough to go around, officials said.

California’s reservoirs are also low. Shasta Lake north of Redding is at 48 percent of capacity, and the San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos is 42 percent full.

A recent storm began with rain Monday at lower elevations and snow blanketing the Sierra Nevada in a system that is expected to deliver up to a foot by early Wednesday. Forecasters for the National Weather Service said some places at high elevations may get 2 feet of fresh snow. That is not enough.

Charlton Bonham, director of California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said that the challenges faced by state and federal officials are balancing the regulations protecting fish and wildlife of the Delta, providing farmers and communities with water and keeping a strong enough flow moving that saltwater doesn’t back up.

“In my opinion, we’re going to make it through this period because we’re working together,” Bonham said. “To be blunt about it, on every decision we’re making, some constituents will think we haven’t gone far enough. Others will think we’ve gone too far.”

————

By Scott Smith

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Central Park’s oak tree deck in limbo

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Clinton at UCD to get out the vote, stump for locals

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Defense rests after Gardner’s courtroom complaints

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Stockton faces key ruling on bankruptcy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Pedestrian injured in hit-and-run collision

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Meet Archer, Poppenga and Sunder

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    UCD prof will speak in Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Eichorn’s shredding event benefits STEAC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    All voices welcome at sing-along

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Community forum devoted to returning military personnel

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Davis Media Access: Treasures from the vault get new life

    By Autumn Labbe-Renault | From Page: A3

     
    Kids ready to trick-or-treat for UNICEF

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Celebrate Day of the Dead on Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yolo Food Bank invites locals to run with the flock

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

     
    ‘The Cooler Bandits’ documentary will be screened in Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Low-water landscape workshop planned

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Sending ‘Hugs from Home’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Yolo RCD welcomes new executive director

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A5

     
    Volunteers sought to advocate for kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Sudwerk Ultimator arrives with a vengeance

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Forum

    She has all the leverage

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Duo are the best-informed

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    Humble and hard-working

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Yes on 47 for our safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Something’s missing

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    This is a terrific trio

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Elect Poppenga to school board

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

    .

    Sports

    Something’s got to give as Aggies host UNC

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Davis vs. Goliath: Devils travel to take on Grant

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1

    DHS escapes with a Senior Night victory

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies hope to turn Gauchos into net zombies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    MVP Bumgarner leads Giants to World Series win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie loss allows Gauchos to tie them for first

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Warriors whip Kings in their season opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Youth roundup: Diamonds have a ball at Disco-Tech

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    JV/frosh roundup: Rio falls to DHS boys, who then take fifth at tourney

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Double dip for Devil tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10

     
    College Corner: Going the honors route

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: A10

    Chávez kids are movin’

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Wineaux: Calming and curbing the crouching curmudgeon

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A11

     
    Hear Amplified DNA on Saturday at winery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Thursday Live! plans jazz and blues

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    International Film Series continues with ‘Australia’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    All are welcome at Fun Time Follies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Joseph Francis Gray

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, October 30, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9