California Agricultural Production, California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Drought 2020-2021, California’s Drought State of Emergency 2021, Climate Change, Colorado River Basin, Los Angeles/California/USA, U.S. Drought Monitor California
I was so consumed with the COVID-19 pandemic that I paid no attention to the lack of rainfall in the early months of 2020 and 2021. To tell the truth, I enjoyed the dry winter months. I got to spend more time gardening. Cold and damp days kill the joy of being outdoors. Then, on May 10, California Governor Newsom grabbed my attention when he placed 41 counties, 30 percent of our state’s population, under a drought state of emergency.
“With the reality of climate change abundantly clear in California, we’re taking urgent action to address acute water supply shortfalls in northern and central California while also building our water resilience to safeguard communities in the decades ahead,” said Governor Newsom. “We’re working with local officials and other partners to protect public health and safety and the environment, and call on all Californians to help meet this challenge by stepping up their efforts to save water.”
Learning that water storage in Lake Mead and Lake Powell has now fallen to about 35 percent of their capacity is also alarming. America’s two largest reservoirs, created by dams along the Colorado River, provide water to 40 million Americans and irrigation for more than 4 million acres of farmland across California and six other states—Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Twenty-nine Native American Tribes also depend upon the Colorado River Basin for their water supply and preserving fish and wildlife habitats. The Bureau of Reclamation has forecast that the Lake Mead reservoir will hit a historic low of 1,065 feet by the end of 2021. The future of this reliable water resource is now at risk.Continue reading