California appears to be on track for its worst drought since the early 1990s, warned the state’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) following its survey of snowpack and other water resources.
A third straight year of below normal rainfall has the state considering water rationing.
“The low precipitation in January and snowpack results from today’s survey indicate California is heading for a third dry year,” said DWR Director Lester Snow. “We may be at the start of the worst California drought in modern history. It’s imperative for Californians to conserve water immediately at home and in their businesses.”
Eastern Sierra Nevada in California.
The survey, released Thursday, found the Sierra snowpack at 61 percent of normal. Last year it was 111 percent, but the driest spring on record resulted in a low water year.
The agency also said that storage in California’s major reservoirs is low.
“Lake Oroville, the principal storage reservoir for the State Water Project (SWP), is at 28 percent of capacity, and 43 percent of average storage for this time of year,” the DWR said in a statement. “With only two months left in what is normally the wettest part of the season, it is growing increasingly unlikely that enough precipitation will fall to end the drought.”