"The past five years were by far the driest and hottest in more than a century of recordkeeping—in part because of human-caused climate change—and those high temperatures played a key role in worsening the scarcity of water and devastating the snowpack. This combination of hot and dry led to massive groundwater overdraft, cutbacks to farmers, loss of snow storage in the mountains, reductions in hydropower production, and a range of voluntary and mandatory restrictions on urban water use. And while the wet year may end the “precipitation drought,” higher and higher temperatures and a persistent “snow drought” are here to stay.
Worst of all, these hydrological and meteorological measures don’t tell the whole story. Even in a wet year in California, nature’s bounty of water is no longer enough to satisfy all the state’s demands, recharge overdrafted groundwater basins in the San Joaquin valley, or overcome the massive deficits suffered by California’s ecosystems and endangered fisheries. Far more water has been claimed on paper than can ever be reliably and consistently delivered to users. If the most straightforward definition of drought is the simple mismatch between the amounts of water nature provides and the amounts of water that humans and the environment demand, California is in a permanent drought.
Whether or not the drought is officially declared “over” and emergency restrictions are lifted, we must still face up to the fact that our water system is out of balance, even in a wet year. Demands exceed supply.. The good news is that the last five years have shown that California can still have a healthy economy and a strong agricultural sector if we work to improve our use of water, cut inefficient and wasteful practices, and expand the use of non-traditional sources of water... " Peter Gleick #signsoflife #soakinitup #droughtisonitswayout #blossoms #blooming #frombrowntogreen #landmeetssea #pacifcocean #ilovecali