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Lack of snow means serious California water shortages
Saturday April 4, 2015 - Email this article to a friend

The governor of California has ordered water restrictions after a fourth winter of poor snow. Heavy snow is now falling but is too little, too late.

70% of the water in California should come from the melting snow.

This winter has been a dreadful one for snow in parts of the western USA and California in particular. 

Many ski resorts have struggled and some have been forced to close early.

The Governor, Jerry Brown, has now ordered towns and cities to cut water use by 25% as an impending crisis looms.

"We are standing on dried grass, and we should be standing in five feet of snow," said Governor Brown on a visit to the Sierra Nevada mountains.

"People should realise we're in a new era. The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water everyday - that's going to be a thing of the past," he added.

Hosepipe bans have been ordered and other restrictions imposed.

The new order requires university campuses, cemeteries, golf courses and other large land owners to make major cuts in their water use.

The area faces a significant and growing problem.

The snow in the mountains is at its lowest level since records began and the satellite images below show the reduced snowpack in the mountains.

2015The snowpack in 2015












2010The snowpack in 2010











See here for a photogallery of the low levels of water in the reservoirs and lakes - not just in California but other states too.

It amounts to a shortfall of 110 trillion gallons according to estimates.

A reservoir in the Arizona/Utah border is at 45% of capacity.

We have reported on the lack of snow at the ski resorts in California earlier on PlanetSKI.

There has now been some snow and rain in the area this week, however it is far too little and far too late.

Up to 50cm of snow is forecast for the mountains at altitude.

It has been raining heavily in the San Francisco Bay area and the storm will head south towards Los Angeles before dying out.

"It's a start, but it's just not enough," said a forecaster from the National Weather Service.

The ski resort of Mammoth Mountain has had more than 20cm of snow in the past 24 hours.

Mammoth MountainMammoth Mountain












Governor Jerry Brown imposes water order in California.

For the spirit of the mountains

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