In days after the big storm hit California, the news went out that the Metropolitan Water District would consider cutting off water deliveries to customers like Los Angeles, fearing another year of water shortages.
But what about all of that rain and snow delivered in the series of storms? The LA Times reports that the heavy rainfall "will do little to ease the water shortage because Southern California depends heavily on imported water that has been reduced by prolonged drought and court-ordered cutbacks."
Before the January 4th storm, DWP had posted snow survey statistics on their website. After the storm, the water content of the Mammmoth Pass Snowpack, the hallmark of the snow survey, showed an increase to 16.2 inches of water. This still sits well below the long term average of the snowpack which sits at around 32 inches of water for January.
All of this in spite of the fact that snow sensors show that far Southern Inyo, South Lake and Rock Creek sit well above 100% of normal for this time of year. So do precipitation measurements for almost all areas checked.
In the next two and a half months, strong snowfall is needed to end up the water year, April 1st, with strong water supplies. If MWD cuts water to Los Angeles, LADWP may have to pay more for water and may look to the Owens Valley for more.