4/19/2005 LADWP releases April 1 snow surveys in eastern Sierra
LADWP snow surveys as of April 1, 2005 show the following heavy snowpacks:

Gem Pass- 151%
Mammoth Pass- 162%
Rock creek- 101%
Cottonwood lakes- 179%

These figures are less than 1982-83, but are quite high compared to any recent years. Recharge of aquifers in the Owens Valley from runoff moving under alluvial fans will be considerable. Depth to water in several well fields has been below 1985 baseline levels. In fact, depths to water in some well fields have been down since massive LADWP pumping in 1987-1989. What will be known soon (April 20) is the level of LADWP groundwater pumping for 2005-2006. Will water tables be allowed to rise closer to the root zones of grasses (2 meters) and shrubs (4 meters)? Or will pumping levels above the 70,000 acre-feet/year thought sustainable by USGS be exceeded once again?

Contacts:  Mike Prather Phone: 876.5807