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Report: State snowpack levels above normal

Posted at 5:17 PM, Apr 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 20:23:21-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Hundreds of miles away and nearly 7,000 feet up in the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, the most recent snow survey delivers good news: The state's snowpack is at 110% of normal, a good sign for the water supply.

"Water stays there. It slowly melts, it goes into reservoirs and we do get some of our water in Southern California from Northern California," said Debby Dunn, a Water Resource Specialist with the San Diego County Water Authority. "The more snow they get, the more they save it and the better it is for the entire state."

Dunn says rainy weather from the past couple of winters helps our local reservoirs, too.

"Over the last 10+ years our reservoirs have been low and have been challenged. Right now, they're higher than they have been for a while," said Dunn. "And that's like savings in the bank."

The City of San Diego operates nine reservoirs, including places like Lake Murray. The city says they usually capture about 6 billion gallons of water a year. This year so far, they've already gotten more than 13 billion.

Moving forward, the County Water Authority says conservation is key.

"We want to reduce weather whiplash," said Dunn. "The extreme droughts, the extreme wet years."

The water authority says each person uses an average of 50% less water per year than they did in 1990, and continued efforts can help that number improve more.

"We want San Diegans to continue to use water efficiently. It's a way of life," said Dunn. "Put in water-saving devices, plant your water-wise gardens. Now's a great time to plant a tree — we've got the water to water it."

The City of San Diego says local water sources usually provide just 10% of our drinking water. But with all of the extra water in municipal reservoirs, that number is on track to climb to 25% for the year. That reduces the need to import additional drinking water from places like Northern California and the Colorado River.