Recent storms boost below-normal snowpack

Associated Press Writer

SACRAMENTO ” Several weeks of storms have deepened the Sierra snowpack, but California remains well below what it needs to replenish water supplies.

The state Department of Water Resources says the snowpack is about 80 percent of its usual depth across the 400-mile-long mountain range. That’s short of the 120 percent target state water officials estimate is needed by next month to fill the state’s major reservoirs.

The findings are part of the third snow survey of the season.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week declared a state drought emergency, saying three years of below-average rain and snowfall have drained California’s key reservoirs to the lowest levels since 1992.

Schwarzenegger has urged Californians to cut back their water use by 20 percent.

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