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Snow in the Sierra Could Vanish in 25 Years: Study



Photo of three snow survey members
In 25 years, Sierra snow surveys could find little or no snow to measure, a new study warns. (DWR)
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According to a new study led by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, snow could vanish for long periods in the Sierra Nevada in as soon as 25 years.

That conclusion is based on warming trends and could have potentially catastrophic consequences for California, the authors wrote.

Because the Sierra snowpack supplies about 30% of the state’s water, the disappearance of snow could devastate farming and endangered species and lead to more urban water-use restrictions.

“Warming just doesn’t allow for snow to persist,” Alan Rhoades, a hydroclimate research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Lab and one of the lead authors of the paper, told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Kurtis Alexander. “Our one major goal was to identify how much time we have to roll out adaption strategies.”

Ballot Measure Funds Water Infrastructure

A proposed ballot measure aims to increase spending for California’s storage and supply of clean, safe drinking water. The proposed Water Infrastructure Funding Act of 2022 would allocate 2% of the state’s general fund every year to invest in California’s sustainable water supply without increasing state taxes.

Back in September, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that several billion dollars in new state funding would go to fighting the drought.

Ellen Hanak, director of the Water Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California, said the state will have to implement a range of initiatives to combat the snowpack decrease.

Read more at this link.


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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