California has been under a severe drought for years. If things don’t change, the state is on track to have its worst water shortage in recorded history. With California’s population rising and climate change expected to worsen the situation, some are worried that it may lead to political unrest if not handled properly
California is set to restrict water supplies as the drought worsens. The state will be forced to ration water and implement a plan that would allow only 25% of their residents to use water.
(AP) — SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Drought-stricken As the winter draws to a close with little of the hoped-for rain and snow, California is facing another year of dry conditions and conservation concerns.
As the year 2022 started, a rainy December that dumped snow in the mountains sparked hope, but the state may close the month with the driest January through March in at least a century. State water authorities are expected to inform key urban and agricultural water agencies on Friday that they would get even less water from state sources than the little quantity pledged at the start of the year, and that major reservoirs will stay significantly below average levels.
Folsom Lake in Folsom, Calif., on Feb. 21, 2022, amid a drought. January in California was the driest since 1984. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Despite appeals for conservation, Californians’ water use increased in January. Although Governor Gavin Newsom has refrained from imposing obligatory water conservation measures, his Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot recently said that municipal or regional governments may issue their own mandates.
“The more prudent we are with our water consumption today, the more sustainable we will be if the drought continues,” he stated during a Sacramento press conference last week, asking people to save water. “Water is a valuable resource, especially in the American West,” he said, “and we must move away from plainly wasteful behaviors.”
California is undergoing its second severe drought in less than a decade, and experts believe the United States is in the midst of the biggest megadrought in 1,200 years, exacerbated by climate change. During the previous drought, people changed their water consumption, in part by pulling up water-hungry lawns and replacing them with drought-resistant landscaping, and many of those water-saving behaviors have persisted.
However, since reservoirs like as Lake Oroville and Shasta Lake remain below historical levels, and less water from melting snow is projected to stream down the mountains this spring, the drought conditions that started in 2020 necessitate further conservation. According to current projections, the state will get around 57 percent of the historical median runoff from April to July, according to Alan Haynes, hydrologist in charge of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s California Nevada River Forecast Center.
“We wouldn’t have had what we had in December if we hadn’t had what we had in December.” “We’d be in a much more severe problem,” he said.
A shortage of water over an extended period of time may have a variety of negative implications, such as farmers abandoning their crops and endangered salmon and other species dying.
The State Water Project provides water to 27 million people and 750,000 acres (303,514 hectares) of crops via a complex system of canals, dams, and other infrastructure. The state’s contractors are allowed to seek a set quantity of water from the state, and the state decides how much they will get depending on supplies during the winter.
Before the big snowstorm in December, state authorities warned the contractor they wouldn’t receive anything but what they required for urgent health and safety, including drinking and washing. In January, the state increased it to 15%. Director of the Department of Water Resources Karla Nemeth said on Tuesday that the percentage would decrease again, although she did not specify by how much.
“How are we going to get through this drought, which might last for a long time?” Nobody knows, and I don’t believe we’ll get the miraculous March we hoped for,” Jennifer Pierre, general manager of the State Water Contractors, which represents organizations that depend on state supplies, said.
She believes the state should prepare for future droughts by investing money to line canals to prevent water loss, improve groundwater basins, and provide even more financial incentives for residents to make their homes drought-resistant. The federal government said on Thursday that it would lend the state $2.2 billion to help construct a new reservoir, boosting the state’s efforts to enhance water storage.
The greater issue, according to opponents of California’s water policy, is that the state promises more water each year than it can provide. According to Doug Obegi, a water attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, this has resulted in a continuous decrease in supplies in federal and state-run reservoirs.
He said, “We effectively have a system that is all but bankrupt because we promised so much more water than we can really supply.”
Obegi also objected to the state’s intention to waive some water quality standards in the Delta, the area of the state’s watershed where freshwater rivers meet salty ocean water. The water quality regulations are in place, in part, to guarantee that the water does not become too salty to be utilized for farming, drinking, or environmental protection.
“My aim is that this drought serves as a wake-up call that we are really unprepared and lack a drought strategy,” he added.
(The Associated Press owns the copyright to this image.) All Rights Reserved by the Author. It is forbidden to publish, broadcast, rewrite, or disseminate this content.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there water rationing in California?
A: Yes, on the west coast of California there is water rationing.
Is California on water restrictions?
What is California doing about water?
A: The state of California is doing a lot about water. They have many regulations that ensure clean, drinkable and safe drinking water to the general public in their state.
- los angeles water shortage