PHILLIPS STATION, Calif. (AP) — California water managers will conduct the season's first manual surveys of the state's crucial winter snowfall.

Winter snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains supplies drinking water for much of California as it melts throughout the spring and summer. The amount of snow is measured monthly through the winter at more than 260 locations to help water managers plan for how much they can deliver to customers later in the year.

The survey will take place Thursday.

A more limited index from the Department of Water Resources shows mountain precipitation has been lower than average so far this year.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a formal end to a three-year drought emergency in 2017, but said water conservation efforts must continue.

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