Drought Watch 2015
How Bad Is It?
It’s bad. After heavy rains raised hopes in December, what should have been the heart of the rainy season then turned into the driest January-March period on record, exacerbated by record-high temperatures. Firmly into the fourth year of drought, one of the state’s top water regulators calls it “the most serious challenge our generation has ever faced.” In April, Governor Jerry Brown issued a first-ever executive order mandating statewide reductions in water use.
More than two-thirds of California remains in “extreme” drought, with more than 40 percent of the state in “exceptional” drought, the most extreme category according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Our best climate models, combined with our best climate records, foresee at least a century of profound drought in the Midwest and Southwest.
Can you remember, without thinking about it too hard, the last time you saw rain here in the Bay Area? For me, it was Christmas Eve, when it rained just hard enough and long enough to get water running in the Berkeley gutters. Then the sun came out, and it's ...Read More
'Frozen reservoir,' source of a third of California's water, is far below historical average.
Newest Earth science mission could extend the accuracy range of weather forecasts, fine-tune flood forecasts.
Scientists hope a stubborn high-pressure bubble over the West Coast isn't a replay of the last two winters.
The central coast town of Cambria faced running out of water this year. This week, the town launches its new emergency water source, but some in the community believe a fight to shut it down is only just beginning.
Here’s the thing: Water rights in California are based on who got there first. It’s as if you had to line up with all your coworkers to get a cup of coffee at work, and maybe the pot’s empty when the new guy gets to the front. Some are asking, in a drought like the one we’ve been having, is that really fair?
Low precipitation and record high temperatures combine to set startling record.
The year-over-year water-saving rate slid by more than a third in October, worrying officials calling on residents to reduce water usage during record drought.
California homeowners are replacing Kentucky bluegrass with native species and other water-friendly options to try and cut back on outdoor watering. Depending on what replacement residents choose, water districts may offer a cash reward for tearing out that thirsty lawn.
Drought conditions in parts of Central California are now so harsh that it has become normal to turn on the tap and have no water coming out. In the rural town of East Porterville, more than 600 household wells went dry this summer. Tulare County is now providing showers for the town's residents.
But given the state of long-range forecasting, climatologists admit that the glimmer could be a mirage.
Scientists say it’s possible California’s drought may last a lot longer than a few years. No one knows for sure, but we could all simply have to adjust to a drier climate. That could mean changing the way we build cities to make them more porous. The 'Hydramax,' a futuristic design pictured above, rises with the tide and captures water from the air.