Snow survey finds California water nearly doubled

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PHILLIPS STATION, Calif. (AP) – California water officials say cities and farms can expect ample water supplies this summer after winter storms blanketed the Sierra Nevada, nearly doubling the snowpack average for this time of year.

The Department of Water Resources said Thursday the fifth and final survey at Phillips Station recorded 47 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 27.5 inches. That’s 188 percent of average for the location near Lake Tahoe.

Just four years ago, then-Gov. Jerry Brown found a field at Phillips Station barren of any measureable snow amid a historic drought.

The amount of snow is measured monthly through the winter at more than 260 locations to help water managers plan for how much they can deliver to customers later in the year.

The snowpack supplies about 30 percent of the state’s water needs.

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