Stanislaus River watershed snow at 53% of average

Manteca/Ripon Bulletin

Despite the atmospheric river that dumped upwards of 80 inches of snow on the highest points of the Stanislaus River watershed last month, the Central Sierra snowpack is just at 53 percent of average for Feb. 18.

South San Joaquin Irrigation District General Manager Peter Rietkerk in a memo to the board describes the 2020 water year that started Oct. 1 as being “off to a very dry start.”

The current snowpack  — plus potential runoff modeling into New Melones Reservoir — is prompting the staff to recommend to the SSJID board to start the 2021 irrigation season either on March 10 or March 17.

The SSJID board meets Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the district office. Due to COVID-19, the public cannot attend in person but can participate via teleconference. Details on how to do that are posted on the district’s website.

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