Moderate amounts of rain and snow have done little to refill reservoirs. Greater efforts are needed to ensure vulnerable communities, ecosystems are protected.
“The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, while greater than last year’s record lows, remains below average for this time of year. Worse, a dry and hot February rapidly melted the snow that has fallen. Current statewide snow water content is about 80 percent of normal – a figure that will grow with coming storms but is still below what is needed.
Four years of drought have also drained the state’s extensive storage of water in our reservoirs. The 12 largest reservoirs began the winter with a shortfall of more than 2.2 trillion gallons of water (7 million acre feet). Even with the rains this winter, the shortfall remains at nearly 1.8 trillion gallons (5.5 million acre feet), a modest but completely insufficient improvement.”
Dr. Peter Gleick is a world renowned expert, innovator, and communicator on water and climate issues. In 1987 he co-founded the Pacific Institute. Dr. Gleick holds a B.S. from Yale University and an Master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.