cali drought

It’s finally happening. The world is running out of fresh water…or at least in the state of California.  The Golden State has been experiencing one of its worst droughts ever.  It’s so severe that state officials issued a press release announcing that residents and farmers will be receiving less water in an attempt to conserve the water the state still has in reserve.

Following Governor Jerry Brown’s State of Emergency, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) began enforcing this conservation.  Mark Cowin, director of DWR, stated, “The harsh weather leaves us little choice.  If we are to have any hope of coping with continued dry weather and balancing multiple needs, we must act now to preserve what water remains in our reservoirs.”

California residents have been urged to significantly reduce their water usage and adhere to mandatory restrictions which include no fishing in designated areas due to low water levels, and avoiding outdoor fires because of the dry conditions and the elevated risk of wildfires. 

Conditions are dropping with each passing day and Governor Brown has requested that residents voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent.  “I’ve declared this emergency, and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible,” he said.

2013 proved to be the driest year on record for California, followed by very little precipitation in January as well.  The reservoir is so low that over 15 communities are at high risk of running out of water within the next few months.

Cowin commented on the situation,

As Governor Brown has directed, we will work closely with our state, federal and local partners to meet health and safety needs and deliver what water is available to critically dry areas.  Even though it’s dry everywhere, California agencies have traditionally been willing to transfer any water they can spare to more needy areas.  Today is a stark reminder that we all have to save every drop we can in our homes and places of work.  Conservation is always important, but today it’s an absolute necessity.

It’s hard to predict how much longer this drought will last or how much worse it is going to get, and although California is not completely bone dry, residents should be practicing extreme conservation measures to prevent the worst from happening.

Photo Credit: California and Water Supply/shutterstock