Cautiously Optimistic To See If Rains and Snow Continue, But Colorado River System Needs a Great Deal More To Offset Dry Years

In this file photo from 2016 courtesy California Department of Water Resources a snow survey is done to measure the snowpack in the Sierras.

With above normal rains drenching much of California and snowpack levels on the rise, attention has turned to what this means for the state’s long-term drought. Media reports and opinion columns vary, with most of the focus aimed at the impacts to Northern California reservoirs and the State Water Project. Some reports declare the drought over as thirsty reservoirs up north begin to fill, certainly changing the tide of what has been ten mostly dry years. Other reports urge caution as weather patterns can quickly change, so to rush into an end-of-drought declaration is much too soon. Sustained rain and additional snow—with slow run-off into the spring—is needed to ensure the end of this prolonged drought is at hand, the more cautious in the field of

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