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Measuring snowpack in the mountains? We've got a tool for that.

In this photo provided by the California Department of Water Resources, manager Sean de Guzman, right, examines the aluminum snow depth survey pole during the second survey of the season at Phillips Station, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. The water content of California's mountain snowpack is just over half of normal. The California Department of Water Resources says electronic measurements statewide on Tuesday show a snow water equivalent of 8.4 inches or 52% of average to date. (Xavier Mascareñas/California Department of Water Resources via AP)
Xavier Mascareñas/AP
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California Department of Water Resources
In this photo provided by the California Department of Water Resources, manager Sean de Guzman, right, examines the aluminum snow depth survey pole during the second survey of the season at Phillips Station, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024. The water content of California's mountain snowpack is just over half of normal. The California Department of Water Resources says electronic measurements statewide on Tuesday show a snow water equivalent of 8.4 inches or 52% of average to date. (Xavier Mascareñas/California Department of Water Resources via AP)

More than 100 years ago, a professor in our region invented a tool and technique to measure the amount of water in a mountain snowpack.

The Mountain West News Bureau’s Kaleb Roedel explains the importance of this discovery – and why it lives on to this day.

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