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December 13, 2018



I guess we better get on it!!:

But at the current rate at which the climate is warming, the amount of runoff from Sierra snow into California’s largest reservoirs is heading for a dramatic decline — a 54 percent drop in the next 20 to 40 years and 79 percent in the next 60 to 80 years, according to a new study from scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The fading role of the Sierra snow pack as a central feature in California’s water supply already is underway. As it continues, much less water from melting snow will be available to fill huge reservoirs such as Shasta, Oroville and Folsom. The ominous trend is occurring as the state’s population and farm economy continue to grow, establishing a new reality that will require fundamental changes in the way California and the federal government have operated the state’s water system for nearly 100 years.

The new research, from Berkeley Lab, a part of the U.S. Department of Energy, used supercomputers to analyze current warming trends, carbon emissions and other information. It analyzed the most likely scenarios for snowpack upstream of 10 major reservoirs — three in Northern California, three in Central California, and four in Southern California. The reservoirs are Shasta, Oroville, Folsom, New Melones, Don Pedro, Exchequer, Pine Flat, Terminus, Success and Isabella.

By 2039 to 2059, the average snowpack runoff will fall 54 percent, the study found, and then 79 percent from 2079 to 2099. Of note: the three northernmost reservoirs, Shasta, Oroville and Folsom, will see an even larger drop in runoff, 83 percent, by the end of the century.


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