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The water content in the state’s snow pack is 61 percent of normal, the state Department of Water Resources announced today after manually surveying snow levels throughout the Sierra Nevada.

That’s slightly better than it was a week ago when I spoke to state meteorologist Elissa Lynn, who pinned it at about half of normal. But it’s not good. At this point last year, snow pack was 111 percent of normal and residents here still were told to voluntarily cut 10 percent of their water use. That was the result of the driest spring on record.

For San Diego, the low snow levels mean that water rationing is growing more and more inevitable. The Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District is scheduled in April to consider whether to cut water deliveries to San Diego and other Southern California cities.

Lester Snow, the Department of Water Resources director, said this in a news release:

The low precipitation in January and snowpack results from today’s survey indicate California is heading for a third dry year. We may be at the start of the worst California drought in modern history. It’s imperative for Californians to conserve water immediately at home and in their businesses.

ROB DAVIS

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