California is in the middle of one of its worst droughts in history. Evidence suggests it’s the worst in 1200 years. The governer has recently placed limits on all personal and outdoor water usage, with more cuts to come over the coming months. But do you really have an idea just how much California is struggling from the 4 year long drought?
First, check out these 4 DESERTS that have gotten more rainfall in 2015 than Southern California
To make matters worse, the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which typically provides most of the water source for summer, is drastically reduced in size from the average. This means less on the ground water available, which is going to put more stress on the already existing infrastructure. This lack of existing snow pack has taken a severe toll on the water levels in California’s reservoirs. The California Department of Water Resources has listed several reservoirs that are currently operating at levels below 40% capacity, and they predict they will only be able to deliver 5 percent of the water requested by public agencies.
Add in the fact that California is one of the biggest agricultural producing regions in the world, with vast water needs, and you have a recipe for some serious damage over the next few years. While the size of the industry has grown over the past 10 years, adequate steps were not taken to protect the groundwater in regions with heavy agricultural industries. The Central Valley (homebase for many agricultural operations) is one of the hardest hit regions and is in the “extreme drought” category, per the U.S. Drought Monitor. It would take nearly 48 inches of rainfall over the next year to bring California back into the “average” category. Most weather forecasts predict 7-1o inches only.
What does this mean for locals and visitors alike? Well, it remains to be seen. If California continues to receive the same amount of rainfall, there are bound to be great restrictions placed on water in every aspect. No more golf courses, lawns, or public spaces. More restrictions could limit activities available to visitors to the state. All that can be done now is attempts at conservation and continuing to hope for more rain.