Drought in California. Jerry Brown ordered mandatory restrictions yesterday, standing on a mountaintop that should be snowy but isn’t.
The governor’s emergency order comes after a year of requests for voluntary conservation — and a record-breaking warm and dry spell culminating in the worst April snowpack in recorded history — have failed to alarm many Californians enough to cut back on water.
Do they think it will just be there anyway? Like magic?
Snow surveyors found no snow at the Phillips Station site — the first time that’s happened in 75 years of early-April measurements. In an average year, the site would have 5.5 feet of snow. Across the Sierra, electronic readings indicate the water content of the snowpack is only 5 percent of average.
5 percent!! That’s no good. That’s no good at all. Lots of people, lots of agriculture…not good at all.
That shattered the previous low record of 25 percent of the average April snowpack, set last year and in 1977. The implications are huge for the cities, farms and wildlife that depend on melting snowpack to yield water during the spring, summer and fall.
Snowpack traditionally is at its peak by early April, before it begins to melt. With the state’s historically wettest winter months now gone, the drought is now firmly rooted in its fourth consecutive year.
Not a good portent.