The latest snowpack survey found last month that water content is approximately 80% of normal for the time of year, and well below the comparable finding of 114% last year, despite recent storms.

The third snow survey was carried out at four sites near Lake Tahoe and combined with automatic readings.

Precipitation levels are also below average for the time of year, and the main reservoir for the State Water Project, Lake Oroville, is only 39% full, which is just over half of where it should be on average for the time of year.

A drought problem continues to confront the state. Last month Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a drought state of emergency.