Water Year 2020 Ends on a Dry Note in California

By on October 2, 2020
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Wednesday marked the end of California’s Water Year, which runs from October 1 to September 30, and the best news coming out of 2020 was above average precipitation for parts of Southern California. However, Northern California was unusually dry.

Data from the Department of Water Resources annual water year recap, released yesterday, shows that overall California ended this water year below average and the department is saying further demonstrates the impact of climate change on the state’s water supply.

“California is experiencing the impacts of climate change with devastating wildfires, record temperatures, variability in precipitation, and a smaller snowpack,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “We must continue to invest in our infrastructure to prepare the state to cope with more extreme weather for the state’s needs today and in the future.”

For Water Year 2020, a lack of precipitation resulted in a snowpack of just 50 percent of average on April 1, as measured by the California Cooperative Snow Survey Program, making it the 10th smallest snowpack in California since 1950.

California will escape mostly unscathed though as 2019 was a wet year and the state’s reservoirs did their job storing water for a dry year. Statewide reservoir storage through the end of September 2020 is projected to be 93 percent of average or 21.5 million-acre feet.

To view the report visit https://water.ca.gov.