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California snow survey shows water content at 19 percent

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Reporters and photographers await Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources, left, as carries a snow sample survey pole to began the first snow survey of the new year at the Phillips Station near Echo Summit Calif., Jan. 3, 2012. After one of the driest Decembers in recent years the survey showed the snow pack to to be only one-seventh of an inch in depth, the lowest ever recorded at this site for this time of year.

This looks a bit like a publicity stunt by the California Department of Water Resources, but I guess they have to go through the motions even when there is nothing to measure.

Western Farm Press reports:  Despite the low early readings, the snowpack and its water content can be expected to increase through the winter months to April 1, when melting snow begins flowing into streams and reservoirs.

“Thanks to good reservoir storage left over from last winter’s storms, we anticipate an adequate water supply next summer,” said DWR Director Mark Cowin. “Our initial estimate is that we’ll be able to deliver 60 percent of the slightly more than 4 million acre-feet of water requested from the State Water Project, and we hope to increase the percentage as winter storms develop.”

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources, checks the weight of a snow sample during the first snow survey of the new year at the Phillips Station near Echo Summit Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.

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