Wednesday January 4, 2023

The Mercury News

Drained after years of drought, California’s water supply is being bolstered this winter by an early abundance of snow. If only the state’s largest reservoirs can catch up.

Amid a brief pause in the onslaught of winter storms slamming the state, water officials trudged through fresh snow at Echo Summit south of Lake Tahoe on Tuesday to confirm what more than a hundred sensors across the Sierra already show: The California Sierra snowpack is at the highest point in a decade for this time of year.

“Our snowpack is off to one of its best starts in the past 40 years,” said Sean de Guzman, manager of the California Department of Water Resources’ monthly snow surveys, at a news conference on Echo Summit.

And the bounty will continue to grow as several feet of snow is expected to hit parts of the mountain range in the coming days. It’s a welcome start to winter as California struggles through a third year of drought — the Golden State relies on melting snow each spring for about a third of its water supply.

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