Heavy Sierra snowpack good for Calif.
Feb 29,2008 00:00 by UPI

SACRAMENTO - Heavy snowfalls this winter in the Sierra Nevada should help the thirsty cities of Southern California and the state's agriculture-dependent central valley.

The California Department of Water Resources reported this week that the water in the snow pack, the snow-water equivalent, is 118 percent of normal, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

"It's a pretty good picture," said Maury Roos, a veteran hydrologist. "Even if it melts early in March, we have enough reservoir space now that we'll be able to catch most of it. It won't be lost, either way you look at it."

Last year the winter was a dry one in the Sierras. By April 1, the snow-water equivalent was at 40 percent of normal.

Snowfall has also been heavy in the Colorado River basin, which also serves as a water source for Southern California.

Rainfall in the San Diego area has been slightly below normal this winter.

In the Sacramento-San Francisco area, reservoirs also have plenty of room for snowmelt, the Sacramento Bee reported.

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