California braces for extreme summer drought after dismal wet season


Diana Leonard, The Washington Post

via MSN - May 11, 2022


California’s water officials on Tuesday continued to paint a grim picture of the state’s sapped water supplies as it endures a third year of severe drought. April storms that brought welcome rain and snow did little to alter that trajectory and were not nearly enough to overcome a record dry start to the year.


Despite erratic bursts of precipitation since October, snowpack on April 1 was the fifth-lowest on record since 1950, state climatologist Michael Anderson said. It sits at just 22 percent of average as of May 10.


“We used to get these monster snowpacks above 200 percent of average — the last one was in 1983,” Anderson said Tuesday. “Since then, they haven’t made an appearance.”


 While the reality of the drought — and climate change — may be apparent in parched reservoirs and disappearing mountain snow, that hasn’t quelled the demand for water. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called on Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15 percent last summer, but it declined by only 3.7 percent from July through March compared with the same period in 2020, according to the State Water Resources Control Board.


A historic drought calls for lawn sacrifice in California. Not everyone is on board.


It remains to be seen how well the state can conserve existing supplies through the long, hot summer months ahead.


Major reservoirs depleted ...


Meeting water demands ...


more, including links