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April Survey Finds Little Snow Following Record Dry Months, Increasing Urgent Need to Save Our Water

DWR Director Karla Nemeth and CNRA Secretary Wade Crowfoot look on as DWR staff conduct the April 1 snow survey at Philips Station.

Published: 1 April 2022

The results from the April 1 snow survey by the Department of Water Resources are loud and clear. The low snowpack levels announced today emphasize the urgent need for Californians to save water amid the ongoing, severe drought.

 

A few key highlights from the survey:

 

  • Today’s survey recorded a snow depth of 2.5 inches and only 1 inch of snow water content, which is 4% of the April 1 average at this location. The statewide snowpack sits at just 38% of average to date.
  • Many of the state’s reservoirs are still at below average levels, and California’s largest reservoir, Lake Shasta, is just 38% full. The statewide reservoir storage is at just 48% of the system’s total capacity.
  • April 1 is traditionally when our snow water content peaks, yet this year, the Northern Sierra snow water content peaked in mid-January.

 

“Today’s snow survey reinforces what we’ve all observed – California just experienced the driest three months (for January through March) on record, and drought is worsening throughout the West,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “Climate-driven water extremes are part of our reality now, and we must all adapt and do our part to save water every day.”

 

This month’s survey results further demonstrate the severe drought our state continues to endure and begs the question: How do we all come together to conserve water for our future? It’s time to make conservation a way of life for all Californians.

 

Make Every Drop Count

Implementing changes in our daily water use can make a big impact toward ensuring we have enough water supply to meet current and future needs. Here are several actions Californians can take to help:

 

Consider replacing your lawn with water wise plants, and add hardscaping elements to your yard, like pavers, decomposed granite, or bark, to create year-round spaces that eliminate the need to weed, mow, and irrigate regularly. Install drip irrigation. Installing drip irrigation can save 15 gallons each time you water. Fix outdoor leaks.

Fixing outdoor leaks can save 27 to 90 gallons per day. Make sure your sprinklers water the plants, not your driveway. Adjusting a sprinkler head can save your household 12 to 15 gallons each time you water. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean outdoor areas and save up to six gallons of water every minute. Recycle your indoor water for outdoor use. Place a bucket under the showerhead while you wait for the water to warm up, then use it to water your outdoor garden. Reduce your shower time to five minutes or less to save up to 12.5 gallons of water. Wash full loads of clothes and dishes and save up to 15 to 45 gallons of water per load.

Let’s make every drop count! Do your part to save our water.