California Snowpack Deepens

California Snowpack Deepens

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- California water managers expect good news Wednesday when they trek into the Sierra Nevada for the winter's first manual snowpack survey.

The survey follows an electronic measurement last week that put the water content of the snowpack at 112 percent of normal for this time of year.

More snow has fallen since then, bringing the level on Tuesday to nearly 120 percent in the Central Sierra, which includes Lake Tahoe, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

Still, state water managers say it's too early to declare an end to four years of punishing drought.

They say they'll feel more confident if the April 1 snowpack is 150 percent of normal and depleted reservoirs reach normal levels.

The snowpack provides about 30 percent of California's water supply during the months when it melts and rushes through rivers and streams to fill reservoirs that remain critically low.

Last Jan. 1, the snowpack was a meager 45 percent of the historical average. On April 1, it hit a record low of 5 percent.

(KA)