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Gov. Brown Declares Drought Over

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Snow coats the trees in Murphys, Calif., about 2,000 feet above sea level on March 20, 2011. (Sandy Skaar/Good Day Sacramento)

Snow coats the trees in Murphys, Calif., about 2,000 feet above sea level on March 20, 2011. (Sandy Skaar/Good Day Sacramento)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Gov. Jerry Brown has declared an official end to California’s drought as state water officials reported one of the wettest years of snow buildup in the Sierra Nevada.

Brown ended the state of emergency declared by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in February 2009 after three relatively dry winters. Schwarzenegger had declared a statewide drought in June 2008.

The announcement came after the Department of Water Resources reported Wednesday that the water content in the statewide snowpack is 165 percent of average for this time of year. The snowpack also was slightly above average last year.

This year’s snowpack is 174 percent of normal in the north, 163 percent in the central Sierra and 158 percent in the southern part of the range. Sierra snow provides a third of California’s water.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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