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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Record Rainfall Is Expected to Be a Drought-Buster If It Continues

• Farmers and Malibu Well Owners Have Reason to Rejoice

BY BILL KOENEKER


While water experts are not yet quite willing to say the drought is over in California, the amount of precipitation and the snow pack for this year appear to have helped alleviate or ease the current drought conditions.
Experts explain that drought, unlike other disaster or emergencies such as flooding or earthquakes, is a long term process that develops over years.
For instance from 2007 to 2009 the state experienced drought conditions and in 2010 except for the last few months, below normal runoff occurred.
This week, the California Department of Water Resources will conduct its first manual snow survey of the new winter season near Lake Tahoe.
Snow depth and water content figures should be available for the survey, which will be the first of five monthly measurements that help water supply planners estimate the amount of spring snowmelt runoff into reservoirs.
DWR’s projection, made before the Pineapple Express roared across the state, is that it will be able to deliver 50 percent of required water in 2011.
“The delivery projections will increase as hydrologic conditions continue to develop, but already equal the amount being delivered this calendar year,” states a DWR press release.
DWR officials note that snow water content is important in determining the coming year’s water supply. The measurements help hydrologists prepare water supply forecasts as well as provide others, such as hydroelectric power companies and the recreation industry, with valuable data.
In addition to results from manual measurements, the latest electronic readings of snow pack water content from remote sensors are available and can be observed by anybody on the Internet.
There are a number of other factors and waters res 230 ounces that are counted to come onto a full picture of the state.
According to a DWR report, even by the end of November statewide conditions looked upward with news that precipitation was 155 percent of average to date, that runoff was 115 percent of the average to date and reservoir storage was 105 percent of the average for the date.

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