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California expects bad news from snowpack survey

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- State water managers expect more bad news from the season's last measurement of the Sierra Nevada snowpack, a key source of water in drought-stricken California.

The Department of Water Resources survey on Thursday is meant to gauge the amount of water that's started to melt from the mountain snowpack into streams and reservoirs.

The Sierra snowpack is an essential element of California's water supply _ it accounts for about one-third of the state's water.

The last measurement was on April 1, considered the peak of the snow season. It showed that the state's snowpack was about 32 percent of average water content.

Water managers say the northern Sierra snowpack that feeds California's major reservoirs is 9 percent of average, and those reservoirs are only half full.

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