Water managers say they are watching the snowpack in the Northern Sierra melt more quickly than it should this time of year. They reportedly say that will put them in a bind during the peak heat of the year when it comes to meeting water demands.
However, National Weather Service hydrologist Cindy Mathews in Sacramento says what she is seeing in the Sierra is nothing out of the ordinary. She tells KFBK that the snowpack is melting quickly, but that is what is expected for late June. She also notes that the snowpack reached about 90 percent of the normal for the year.
Still, the Bureau of Reclamation reportedly is already letting water flow from the Shasta Lake reservoir in response to pressure from the California farm lobby and congressional leaders. Holding back water helps ensure that fish species, like the endangered Delta smelt, do not suffer from rivers running lower and warmer than usual.
Water managers are in the process of working up a plan for water allocations, but that plan is likely to face criticism from the various stakeholders.