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Sierra Nevada snow pack and snow melt -- Sustainability: Water

Sierra Nevada snow pack and snow melt

Snow melt from the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range provides drinking water to about 30 percent of California's residents, irrigates key crops in the San Joaquin valley and is used to run hydroelectric power plants that supply at least 15 percent of the state's electricity. Scientists Martha Conklin and Tom Harmon of the University of California, Merced, are conducting research at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory, using wireless sensor technology to more accurately measure snow pack and snow melt so that state water managers can make better decisions on how to allocate this precious resource.

Credit: NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation

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