March 6, 2014
Levels of California Reservoirs. Click for updated map.
- Recent rains in California were insufficient to alleviate an historic drought in the Golden State, leaving reservoirs and snowpacks woefully below average as the spring agricultural season approaches.
The California Drought Task Force said that snowpacks were 20 percent of average for this time of year. Further, the reservoirs, shown in the map to the right, are far below average.
These inadequate supplies have induced serious conservation and rationing measures. The California State Water Project, the largest public water utility in the world, has told customers not to expect state water.
In response to the drought Gov. Jerry Brown Feb. 28 signed a $687 billion drought relief bill sent to him by the state legislature. The new law calls for a bond issue of almost a half billion dollars for water projects.
Extreme and Exceptional Drought
This curtailment is falling on some very thirsty jurisdictions. In the last week of February and the first of March all but two of California's 58 counties experienced, either in part or in whole, extreme or exceptional drought, according to the US Drought Monitor.
The rains slightly lessened the areas extreme or exceptional drought with the state and filled the state's reservoirs a small amount. But the Drought Monitor and state officials still warned that the problem is persistent. Click to read more.