Drought Fears Rise in California

Lack of rain depletes snowpack on which state relies for water; scientists cite climate change as possible cause

California’s mountain snowpack is about half its normal level, raising fears that the state could return to drought after a string of mostly abundant wet years.

On Thursday, officials of the state’s Department of Water Resources conducted a survey at a measuring station near Lake Tahoe that recorded 29 inches of snow, or 47% of average for this time of year.