On 12 February, water resource managers at the Oroville Dam issued an evacuation warning that forced some 180,000 Californians to relocate to higher ground. The story of how conditions got to this point involves several factors, but two clearly stand out: the need to prevent water shortages during a record drought, followed by one of the wettest October–February periods in California history.
The situation at Oroville Dam highlights difficulties that many reservoir managers face in managing flood risks while simultaneously storing water to mitigate severe droughts and smaller snowpacks. Central to this difficulty is the idea of “snow drought,” a term that’s gaining traction in both scientific and lay literature.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Defining snow drought and why it matters|
|Series title||Eos, Earth and Space Science News|
|Contributing office(s)||National Research Program - Western Branch|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|