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More Rain Ahead But Water Deficit Still High

The additional rain forecast for the first week of November should provide another spike in reservoir storage levels. As of Friday morning, Oroville Dam storage had risen 16 points to 53-percent of the historical average, thanks to the historic atmospheric river of last October 24th. Shasta Dam has risen a more modest five points, to 41-percent of average. Meanwhile, Department of Water Resources hydrologist, Dave Rizzardo, says we obviously can’t rely on monster storms to get out of what are still drought conditions…

click to listen to Dave Rizzardo

But Rizzardo says there is still a large water deficit to fill this winter…

click to listen to Dave Rizzardo

Rizzardo says precipitation levels would need to be 140 to 150-percent of normal to help get us out of the drought. Meanwhile, DWR officials say California’s system of capturing and storing water may become increasingly inadequate, given the impact of climate change. For decades, the state has relied heavily on the snowfall. But they say the recent amount dumped in the Sierra may melt away by Thanksgiving, failing to contribute to the crucial spring snowpack.

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