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.
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 – […]
California's deepening drought could have an effect on the electricity supply. Hydropower usually accounts for about 14 percent of the state's power, but with low reservoir levels, officials are preparing for it to be less.
Despite some welcome snow in the Sierra this week, California still faces a deepening drought with no end in sight. State officials said this week that 17 communities across the state are at risk of completely running out of water within two months. Host Scott Shafer talks about the issues ...Read More
Department of Water Resources says reservoirs are too low to make deliveries to farms and cities. ...Read More
Seeking haiku, sonnets and any other art inspired by the current lack of precipitation. ...Read More
And the clock is ticking toward April 1, when snow accumulation usually peaks.
If you live in California, it's safe to say that snowpack is a pretty crucial part of your existence. That's because about a third of the state's water supply comes from.
Showers break historic dry spell in Sacramento. Month likely to end as driest in San Francisco history.
It finally rained and snowed in parts of Northern California, but we are still deep in a drought. Now, 17 communities in California are at risk of running out of water within 60 to 100 days.
The voluntary cut comes as East Bay district considers tapping the Sacramento River for the first time. ...Read More
Keep your fingers crossed: We've got a decent shot at some actual moisture falling out of the sky. ...Read More
As California's drought gets worse, farmers and conservationists are teaming up to create temporary wetlands for birds migrating on the Pacific Flyway.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner joined a trio of Central Valley Republican Congressmen in a dusty cotton field near Bakersfield on Wednesday to throw his support behind emergency legislation to ease the impact of the state's drought on farmers. But the proposed bill is not without its critics, since it ...Read More
Governor Jerry Brown's emergency drought declaration allows regulators to relax some water quality standards, as the state tries to balance the needs of wildlife and people.
Governor Jerry Brown's emergency drought declaration allows for easing some environmental rules in the face of low water supplies. That makes environmentalists, and fishing groups, nervous about water being held upstream. ...Read More