It’s no secret that California is deep in drought, and though officials have made efforts to keep the state’s dwindling water resources from diminishing completely, it still may not be enough to stop the inevitable. Now one water scientist with NASA has made a strong prediction – California will run out of water in about a year.
Jay Famiglietti, the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, penned his startling warning in a recent issue of the Los Angeles Times. The picture he painted was bleak.
“As our “wet” season draws to a close, it is clear that the paltry rain and snowfall have done almost nothing to alleviate epic drought conditions,” Famiglietti wrote. “January was the driest in California since record-keeping began in 1895. Groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows.”
He added, “We're not just up a creek without a paddle in California; we're losing the creek too.
Just how bad is the situation in California?
Currently 93 percent of the state is in severe or worse drought, and NASA satellites show the total amount of water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins in 2014 were 34 million acre-feet below normal.
Farms in the agriculture-rich Central Valley have been hit especially hard – wells are running dry, and the land is sinking by more than a foot each year. Farmers have seen their surface water allocations slashed by upwards of 80 percent, if not cut altogether.
Famiglietti urges that now is the time to act. Click here to read more about his suggestions to engage the public and provide better long-term planning to cope with this and future droughts.