Surveyors find more snow than expected in Sierra Nevada snowpack

The state’s final seasonal survey of the Sierra Nevada snowpack delivers small comfort to Southern California. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has more.

Storms late in February and early in March mean that California Department of Water Resources surveyors near Lake Tahoe and Mammoth found more snow this round than they’d expected a month ago. Statewide snowpack is about 86 percent of what’s usual, and reservoirs are about 77 percent full.

As a result the department is projecting Southern California will get about a fifth of its full State Water Project allocation, a little more than previously announced. That’s still nowhere near what the region typically gets. The new survey won’t change much in the southern part of the state, where mandatory or voluntary rationing is already happening.

In Los Angeles, the Department of Water and Power already has approved raising some water rates above certain usage levels. That’ll take effect in June unless the L.A. city council steps in. The council expects to consider new restrictions on outdoor watering, too.