California's plentiful snowpack not enough for thirsty farms

Nature blessed the Golden State with an abundant snowpack this year, and the rivers are rushing with cold, clear melt water. But the blessings won't include an end to California's water wars.

State and federal water agencies on Tuesday both boosted their water delivery forecasts in response to the rich snowpack, which stood at 149 percent of normal statewide as of Monday.

Yet the state's complicated plumbing and varied geography mean some areas may still experience shortages, either because they didn't get enough rainfall locally to recover from three drought years, or because they can't import enough water from elsewhere.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced Tuesday that one of California's hardest-hit farming regions, the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, will get 40 percent of its contracted water deliveries. That's substantially better than the 10 percent offered at this time last year, and better than the 30 percent forecast last month.

Yet some view the new forecast, instead, as a 60 percent cut.

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