The state of California has been experiencing drought conditions for the last three years in a row. This has taken the situation in California to an unprecedented level. Parts of southern California and southern Sierra Nevada are short of more than two years of precipitation (rain and melted snow) since October 2011. A much extensive area of central and northern California is short of one to two years of precipitation for the same period. The places which have maximum impact include Los Angeles, San Francisco both in California and Reno, Nevada.
In fact, in San Francisco there has been a rainless January this year and this has happened for the first time in 165 years since 1893. According to the National Weather Service, January has been the driest on record for the entire bay area. Last December saw decent rainfall which raised hopes of a wet winter but sadly, January turned out to be extremely dry and unusually warm. Although, some parts of southern California experienced some showers in January.
This year the spring season has started early which is bad news as the snow will start to melt early. This could make the water situation worse. The state’s water supply is largely dependent on the melting snowpack. One-third of the drinking water of California comes from the Sierra Nevada snowpack. The reservoirs are replenished from the melting later during the summer. This could lead to an acute shortage of drinking water.
Image Courtesy: motherjones.com