What is the California Drought?
By: Lauren Michelson
Uh oh, looks like it's here to stay...
How the drought came to be...
November 26, 2014
This is a current image of the California drought. The dark red tones demonstrate areas of exceptional drought. The lighter areas represent only abnormal drought.
November 26, 2013
A year ago, there was no exceptional drought, and less extreme conditions. The red area has expanded dramatically since then and is now even drier covering a larger area (as seen in the first image).
November 26, 2014
Is climate change to blame?
Human-induced climate change acts over long-term time periods and interacts with natural climate changes. Modeling performed by climate researchers suggests a trend toward increasing aridity (warmer and drier) in the U.S. Southwest, exacerbating drought conditions.
are we sure this is true?
Absolutely. Climatologists and meteorologists use rainfall, snowpack, and streamflow data to determine and then monitor droughts. Resources such as the US Drought Monitor compile this data and make it readily available for analysis. In order to understand the conditions of the past, they look at the rings of trees which indicate the level of rainfall based on their width (wider means wetter).
Billboards and signs such as this one have been placed all over the state, encouraging water conservation.
The drought has left many in the agricultural world unemployed.
Only bottled water may be purchased, not tap.
How will we solve this problem?
are there policies in place to combat the drought?
- SWEEP - State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program - it creates opportunities for growers to receive financial assistance to install water distribution systems that save water and reduce greenhouse gases which will ultimately benefit all Californians
- R-GPCD – Residential Gallons Per-Capita Per Day - a new reporting requirement, estimates daily water use by residential customers for nearly 400 urban water agencies statewide alongside the monthly conservation data. It is useful for tracking water use by an urban water supplier’s residential customers and can help determine whether water supplier actions, such as irrigation restrictions, rebate programs, and rate design changes, are effective.