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California Snowpack Levels Could Stir More Water Worries

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Aired 4/20/09

Today, we'll learn more about the state's grim water supply outlook. The Department of Water Resources will do its monthly snow survey to measure how much water we can expect to get out of the snowpack.
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(Photo: The Los Angeles Aqueduct carries water from the snowcapped Sierra Nevada Mountains, which carry less snow than normal, to major urban areas of southern California. David McNew/Getty Images)

Last week, Governor Schwarzenegger declared a drought-related emergency and asked Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent.

Department of Water Resources Director Lester Snow says we may be looking at a historic dry period.

"The three year drought ranks as the fourth worst in state history for low precipitation.  The key there is that even though it's the fourth-worst it may be the worst in terms of economic impact because of the growth and the switch to permanent crops that we've seen in the state," said Snow.

The Schwarzenegger administration says total economic losses could be more than $3 billion this year.

A number of bills to increase water storage are now being considered by the state legislature.

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