On April 1, the California Department of Water Resources is expected to announce the lowest snowpack measurements in state history. Snowpack serves as a natural reservoir for surface water supplies and delivers 30 percent of California’s water in the form of runoff throughout the year. On April 1, the fourth snow survey of the year is expected to confirm data from electronic readings, which show that the Sierra Nevada snowpack is at a record low of only 8 percent of normal. California snowpack is historically at its peak by this time of the year, but has been hindered by unusually warm temperatures combined with below-normal precipitation correlated with the recent drought.

At 10 a.m. PDT on April 1, Stanford Woods Institute Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science) will discuss the findings in an open-access experts briefing convened by the non-profit group Circle of Blue. Diffenbaugh will be joined by David Rizzardo, Chief of Snow Surveys and Water Supply Forecasting for the California Department of Water Resources and Heather Cooley, Water Program Director at the Pacific Institute. They will discuss the likely drivers behind the record-low snowpack, and what it means for California. The public can register to participate in the briefing.

Research on Climate Change, the California Drought and Precipitation Patterns 

Recent research by Diffenbaugh and his lab analyzes the connections between the California drought and climate change:  

Stanford Experts Are Available to Comment on Drought and Water Issues 

Professor Diffenbaugh is available for media interviews on his lab’s recent findings; click here for more information about him and other Stanford experts who can comment on water, drought and climate.

Research topics include: 

  • Climate change and the California drought
  • Urban water policy 
  • Groundwater resource management 
  • Water and energy 

For assistance in locating these experts, contact:

Christine Harrison Black at christine.harrison@stanford.edu or (650) 725-8240
Paige Miller at paige.miller@stanford.edu or (650) 498-0607