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Record-low snowpack portends life of new normal in drought




Water flows down Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in North America in the Sierra Nevada mountain range at Yosemite National Park on March 25, 2015 in California, where the snowpack in the mountain range hit an unprecedented low this week, falling below historic lows of 2014 and 1977 for the state's driest winter in sixty-five years of record keeping.
Water flows down Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in North America in the Sierra Nevada mountain range at Yosemite National Park on March 25, 2015 in California, where the snowpack in the mountain range hit an unprecedented low this week, falling below historic lows of 2014 and 1977 for the state's driest winter in sixty-five years of record keeping.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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The state of California will conduct its last manual snowpack reading today, and the forecast is that the numbers won’t be good.

Governor Jerry Brown will be in attendance, and expectations are for the snowpack to be about six percent of normal for today’s date. Electronic measurements taken Dec. 30 showed the state’s snow water equivalent at 50 percent of the historical average for that day. On January 29, it was at 25 percent of that day’s average. It’s just the latest reminder to Californians that life in drought appears to be the new normal for the foreseeable future.

What does that mean for agriculture and water conservation efforts? We’ll talk about the what living with drought will look like in the future of the state.

Guests:

Jay Famiglietti, hydrologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a professor at UC Irvine

Bill Patzert, climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory