State water officials met on Tuesday to provide an update on California's water outlook.
Winter storms created an above-average snowpack. Unfortunately, there is evidence that it is already starting to melt away.
An incoming system will pad the snowpack built up during the wettest three-week stretch on record in December and January.
The storms caused extreme flooding in areas such as Planada in Merced County.
"These storms and likely the rain and snow we'll get over the next few weeks did not nor will they fully end the drought, at least not yet," said Yana Garcia, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
April 1st normally marks the state's peak snowpack.
On February 1st, the snowpack was at 205% of average.
Three weeks later though, the outlook is not as promising.
"Our statewide snowpack is now 139% of average. That is an extremely steep drop-off and it's due to the dry weather that resumed in late January and has really followed us to February," said Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth.
The sight of floodwater had many people and water officials looking for new ways to capture the excess flow to recharge groundwater aquifers for use in the future.
"We definitely created new types of water rights permits, temporary permits both for 180 day and now a 5 year permit which really allow an option for folks not to not have to go for a full water right," said State Water Board Chair E. Joaquin Esquivel
A check of our local reservoirs shows San Luis Reservoir is already at 74% capacity.
Pine Flat Dam is 54% full and Friant Dam is at 48% capacity.
Keep in mind, these reservoirs must keep enough room for snowmelt, which could happen quickly if temperatures suddenly warm up.
The Fresno Irrigation District has already announced it will begin water deliveries on March 1st.
A year ago, FID's season ran from just June through July due to drought conditions.