Less snow and less water. Federal study paints bleak picture of American River’s future
Hotter weather, less snow and more water shortages. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation offered a bleak vision of the future of the American River watershed Wednesday, releasing an extensive report on how the basin that’s so vital to the Sacramento region’s water supplies will be affected by climate change in the coming decades. The bureau, which operates Folsom Lake, said the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento could eventually see shortfalls of as much as 78,000 acre-feet per year unless stronger conservation and water-storage projects are undertaken. … The heart of the problem is the warming climate. Average summer temperatures in the watershed are expected to increase by 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, the study said. Winter temperatures will climb 4.9 degrees.