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Environment

Strong Storms May Not Improve California Water Supply Much

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Joe Moore
/
Valley Public Radio

Northern California storms are causing water levels to rise in the state’s reservoirs. But as Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the rain won’t do a lot to improve the state’s water supply.

California now has above average rainfall at the eight monitoring stations in the Northern Sierra. But the storm is not going to come close to ending the state’s drought. The Department of Water Resources says California would need five to ten more storms this season. Doug Carlson with DWR says storms have also been too warm.

Carlson: “When there is warm as they have been, you would get less snowpack, which is not good news for the spring and summer months when the entire state would like to be using the water that melts off the mountains and goes into the reservoirs and then down into the State Water Project.”

Climatologists say the state needs 150 percent of normal precipitation to help end the drought. Until then, DWR says Californians still need to conserve water.