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California drought deepens as wet season comes up short

California Drought Snow Survey
Posted at 11:01 AM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 14:02:42-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California is experiencing one of the driest starts to spring in decades.

Data released Friday showed the water in California’s mountain snowpack sat at 39% of average. That’s the lowest mark since the end of the last drought in 2015 and only the third time since 1988 it’s been that low.

Absent a heavy dose of April and May showers the state’s drought will deepen and that could lead to stricter rules on water use and another devastating wildfire season. The state's snowpack is typically at its peak on April 1.

The date is used as a benchmark to assess the state's expected water supply in drier, hotter months. About a third of the state’s water comes from snow melt.