Apr 19, 2016

California snowpack returns, but fears held for future

California
USA
by
John Upton
,
Wx Shift
The return of California's snowpack this winter has relieved water managers and skiers alike. Photo: Jonathan Fox, flickr
The return of California's snowpack this winter has relieved water managers and skiers alike. Photo: Jonathan Fox, flickr

California’s main water reservoir — its mountain snowpack — has made a triumphant return to the Sierra Nevada following severe shortfalls in recent years.


A string of winter storms boosted by El Niño has restored much of the mountain snow that melts through summer to help top up the state’s reservoirs, but the prognosis for the decades ahead remains grim.


Climate change is projected to corrode California’s snowpack, forcing water officials to rethink how they store and distribute water in a state that’s prone to prolonged droughts. Work is underway to improve the management of water stored in the state’s underground aquifers, which could help compensate for its loss of snowpack storage