Sunday, September 28, 2008

California's water crisis

San Francisco Chronicle: ….While not every community in California is suffering…, many are facing serious water shortages....

Public water agencies are only receiving 35 percent of their annual allocation of water from the State Water Project this year - the lowest level since the severe 1991 drought. In the coming year, deliveries will likely be even less. California is looking down the barrel of a potentially severe, long-term drought. We've had two extremely dry years and initial forecasts from the National Weather Service are that the drought conditions will continue into next year.

Our reservoirs are low. Our groundwater supplies are being overdrafted in some areas. And court-ordered pumping limits have restricted our ability to move water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the Bay Area, Central Valley and Southern California due to environmental concerns. A third dry year could have devastating consequences to California's economy at a time when many businesses, industries, workers and farmers are already struggling. In June, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought emergency and directed state agencies to take immediate action to address the drought impacts.

...The drought reminds us all of the importance of providing a sustainable water supply system capable of meeting the needs of consumers now and in the future. The governor and Sen. Dianne Feinstein have proposed a comprehensive solution to California's water crisis. It addresses conservation as well as new groundwater and surface storage facilities, conveyance facilities and environmental restoration….

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park, shot by "Samuel Wong (wongsamuel)", Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 License

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