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Half of California freed from drought thanks to rain, snow WPXI [Video]

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State Agriculture News

LOS ANGELES — (AP) — Tremendous rains and snowfall since late last year have freed half of California from drought, but low groundwater levels remain a persistent problem, U.S. Drought Monitor data showed Thursday.

The latest survey found that moderate or severe drought covers about 49% of the state, nearly 17% of the state is free of drought or a condition described as abnormally dry. The remainder is still abnormally dry.

Just three months ago virtually all of California was in drought, including at extreme and exceptional levels. Water agencies serving millions of people, agriculture and industry were told to expect only a fraction of requested allocations.

The turnabout began with a series of atmospheric rivers that pounded the state from late December through mid-January, building a huge Sierra Nevada snowpack. After a few largely dry weeks, powerful storms returned in February. Water authorities began boosting allocations.

The monitor shows three regions …

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