As the official “rainy” season draws to an end, California is facing a fourth year of drought and seemingly endless troubles that are impacting all parts of the state. Last weekend, temperatures in some parts of Southern California approached 100 degrees. The Sierra Nevada snowpack (which provides a large percentage of the state’s water supply) is at a near record low.
How’s the state coping? In various ways. On Tuesday, the state announced a new round of water conservation measures. Farmers anticipate leaving twice as much land fallow as last year: possibly as much as one million acres. The coastal community of Santa Barbara is turning to desalination. Some communities are reporting a rise in water theft. And the regional agency that provides water for much of Southern California has authorized up to $71M to buy water from farmers in the Sacramento area.
“This is going to affect everyone in the state,” said Paul J. Wenger, the president of the California Farm Bureau Federation. “I can’t think of any part of the state where people aren’t going to be suffering from diminished water supplies.