Drought Watch 2014
No matter what happens in the remaining few weeks of the “wet season,” California's drought is unlikely to be quenched. 2013 is already in the books as California's driest calendar year on record, and the winter of 2013-14 will almost certainly go down as abnormally dry, too. More than half of our precipitation typically falls in three months: December, January and February. There was virtually nothing in the rain gauge for December and January and the precipitation window is rapidly closing, with profound implications for life and livelihoods in California.
All Eyes on the Sierra
Water managers are keeping a wary eye on the Sierra Nevada snowpack. Snow that accumulates in the Sierra accounts for about a third of the state's water supply. This winter, water content of the snowpack is a small fraction of what's considered normal.
Officials are also watching key reservoirs that supply the complicated plumbing that carries water to farms and cities throughout the state. Reservoirs are dropping this winter without the benefit of much recharge from winter rain and snowfall. Last winter was dry, too, especially the latter part. That means when spring arrives, there will be little carryover supply to help get us through the summer.
Neither the one big dump in early February nor the more recent string of gentler rains have been enough to put a damper on California's three-year drought. The list of cities and water districts announcing water restrictions – both voluntary and mandatory — is growing rapidly.
The state’s $45 billion agricultural sector faces severe cuts in water supply, too, which could mean acres — reportedly as many as a half-million — taken out of production, leading to high unemployment in farm communities and, potentially, higher food prices. State and federal water managers have set planned allocations from the state's two largest water delivery projects at zero for the first time ever.
Scant rainfall in the new year has set the stage for more than 600 wildfires and added a new threat for endangered salmon.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared an official statewide drought on January 17, as he called for a voluntary statewide reduction in water consumption. The drought declaration outlines 20 steps, some mandatory, some merely advisory, to meet water shortages that have already started to affect many communities in the state.
Recycled water plant relies on technology used successfully from Singapore to Orange County. ...Read More
We've seen lots of rain over the past month. But the drought's not done with us, and here's why. ...Read More
There must be a way to re-use some of our household water without spending a small fortune. ...Read More
No matter where you live in the Bay Area, the answer might surprise you.
Latest series of storms is expected to douse entire region. But the drought? It's still with us. ...Read More
Just as salmon are being returned to the San Joaquin River, the extreme drought is bringing political heat to one of the most ambitious environmental restoration efforts in the state.
Federal water managers have announced some Central Valley farms won't get any water this year unless the drought lets up. It's a dramatic move, and it comes just a couple weeks after state water managers warned they won't be sending water to customers. This could mean hundreds of thousands of ...Read More
Federal officials announced Friday that many California farmers caught in the state’s drought can expect to receive no irrigation water this year from a vast system of rivers, canals and reservoirs interlacing the state.
Package aims at helping those suffering worst impact of crisis, with emphasis on securing emergency water. ...Read More
Soils may be better primed for the next big downpour.
State officials are trying to do damage control to help endangered salmon during the drought, but helping some fish could hurt others.
Proposed $6.9 billion initiative by state Sen. Lois Wolk has strong backing from environmental groups. ...Read More
One home truth for all of Northern California after weekend storm: The drought's a long way from over. ...Read More
California has had its share of "megadroughts." This isn't one of them...yet.
Among the first and hardest-hit by the drought are ranchers and farmers who are now faced with some tough choices. The decisions they'll soon be making will have a ripple effect from the farm to the table.
Even with some recent rain, California’s drought grinds on, and health officials say 17 communities could run out of water within the next four months – or sooner. One of those, an hour north of Los Angeles, is the town of Lake of the Woods, perched above the Tejon Pass.
In Southern California there’s no imminent threat of water rationing. In fact, the region may be in a position to help other water-starved parts of the state.
California faces what may be its worst drought in modern history. At least 17 communities and water districts in the state could run out of water within 100 days. On Tuesday, state and federal officials announced a $20 million aid package for agricultural water conservation. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives …Read More Source: Forum – […]