LOS ANGELES — Even with the first significant storm in nearly two months dropping snow on the Sierra Nevada, Thursday’s mountain snowpack measurements were the lowest for the date in more than a half-century of record keeping.
At 12 percent of average for this time of year, the dismal statewide snowpack underscored the severity of a drought that is threatening community water supplies and leaving farm fields in many parts of California barren.
As snow survey crews worked, Gov. Jerry Brown met with Southern California water leaders as part of a series of drought meetings he is holding around the state.
“Every day this drought goes on, we’re going to have to tighten the screws on what people are doing,” Brown said in brief remarks before the private meeting with regional water managers at the downtown Los Angeles headquarters of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
Brown earlier this month declared a state drought emergency and called on all Californians to cut water use by 20 percent. “Make no mistake,” he said Thursday. “This drought is a big wake-up call and a reminder that we do depend on natural systems. It’s not just going to the store.”