Early season predictions of a dry winter did not pan out, and according to the LADWP website, the snowpack has reached the level of the long-term average for April 1st – 43.8 inches of water content at Mammoth Pass.
So, what does this mean for the summer season? All areas of the Eastern Sierra absorbed more rainfall than last year. LADWP precipitation figures show Bishop through southern Inyo at well over 100% of normal for rain. Los Angeles sits at 93% of normal. Northern Mono County shows 80-plus% of normal.
In Mammoth Lakes, the Water District voted in permanent outdoor water restrictions that will hold back water use this summer.
In the Owens Valley, DWP will start pumping groundwater for export. Inyo and Los Angeles staff workers continue to meet privately over the issue of groundwater management. There is no immediate end to the talks in sight.
All of California guards water carefully with earlier threats that the Metropolitan Water District might not give all of its customers their allotted amount of water. Los Angeles is one of those customers. A court decision had earlier limited pumping from the Delta, reducing statewide supplies.
As the snow begins to melt this spring, the flows are expected to edge high in the aqueduct. The status quo amount of water will go from here to down there. Right now, Los Angeles still challenges water diversions by Valentine Reserve and Snowcreek Resorts and has reached no groundwater management plan with Inyo.