A pair of storms in the past week have water officials keeping an eye on the snowpack in the Sierra.
While recent storms have produced more rain than snow, they could be building the foundation the mountains need this winter after a long, hot and dry summer.
“Snow is really important. The rain will run off real quickly and to some extent that is not a problem right now Pine Flat Reservoir is only 26% full and there is plenty of flood control space,” said Randy McFarland, Kings River Water Association.
The association oversees water deliveries of the Kings River for irrigation and domestic users in Fresno, Tulare and Kings Counties.
Right now the only water in the Kings River is from fish flow and not recent run-off.
McFarland says the rain will seep water into the ground since it has been so dry but if a mix of rain and snow is followed by colder storms with heavy snow that will be the blueprint for a successful snowpack.
“We need to build a lot on it between now and where we want to be on April 1st when the snowpack and water content are believed to peak,” he said.
McFarland says it is too early to tell what will happen this rainfall season.
But he points out the Kings River was able to provide water to irrigation and domestic users this past summer only because of the record water year of 2017.
“We had a lot of carryover storage from the big year the year before. This year we have very little carry over storage. So we are going to be relaying this year on what nature provides,” said McFarland.
As originally published on KFSN – Fresno by Reuben Contreras, November 29, 2018