Thursday, January 29, 2009

'Worst drought' looking likely, California official says

San Jose Mercury News: ....California appears to be heading into a third dry year — and the first significant drought since the early 1990s. It could get even worse. "We may be at the start of the worst California drought in modern history," warned Lester Snow, director of the state Department of Water Resources. "It is imperative for Californians to conserve water immediately at home and in their businesses."

State water managers months ago told their customers — which include a few East Bay and South Bay agencies and Southern California — they would likely get 15 percent of their requests for Delta water. That figure might have to be reduced. Many local water agencies, including the Contra Costa Water District, are waiting for definitive figures before announcing decisions about water rationing in March or April, but the likelihood of rationing in many parts of the state is high ... and growing.

…It would take 30 feet of snow in the Sierra to bring the snowpack up to normal, state meteorologist Elissa Lynn said. "That's probably not going to happen," Lynn said. "We're in a third dry year." The state's major reservoirs are about one-third full, or about half of where they normally would be this time of year….

An aerial shot of Mount Shasta (in California) from the west, shot by Ewen Denney, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's see, in California, growing alfalfa uses 4 million to 5.5 million acre feet of water a year. The entire city of Los Angeles uses only about 650,000 acre feet. Agriculture uses four times more water than urban areas. The California gross domestic product for agriculture is $15 billion; for urban-based manufacturing, it's $172 billion. So, when we talk about water conservation, let's start the conversation with California's biggest water user -- agriculture.