NASA satellite imagery comparing California’s snowpack in January 2013 to January 2014. GIF animation created by Rhett A. Butler_Mongabay.com.
If you live in California, snowpack is a pretty crucial part of your existence.
That’s because about a third of the state’s water supply comes from snow that accumulates in the mountains, mostly during the winter months. In fact, California receives roughly half of its entire year’s water supply between December and February alone. Continue reading →
A parched Folsom Lake, at less than 20 percent of capacity (photo courtesy of National Weather Service).
This is not a good time for umbrella merchants in California.
2013 was one of the driest years on record in the state. And January – usually among the wettest months — has failed to provide any relief. With the precipitous drop in reservoir levels, Gov. Jerry Brown recently declared a statewide drought emergency, calling this “perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago,” Continue reading →
About two-thirds of Californians drink, bathe, brush their teeth, and flush their toilets with water that comes from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. That’s roughly 25 million people who get at least some portion of their hydration from one big triangular watering hole.
But ask most folks what the Delta is, and you’re guaranteed to get a lot of blank stares. One recent poll found that about 4 out 5 people in California had pretty much no idea about it.
It’s pretty easy to take for granted that water magically pours out of the tap when you turn your faucet on. But chances are, that H20 has gone through a pretty serious journey to reach you – and it’s probably worth knowing where it comes from, and how safe the supply is. Continue reading →
Mark Twain is credited with the famous remark: “Whiskey’s for drinking, water’s for fighting about.”
And there is pretty much no better example than the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which over the last 150 years has undergone epic transformation and been the epicenter of equally epic political battles.
Scroll through the timeline to get a sense of the modern evolution (or de-evolution, depending on how you look at it) of California’s largest water source.
(It may be easier to view in fullscreen mode: to do so, click on button at the bottom right-hand corner of the timeline)