California water supplies are in a world of hurt after another winter of low precipitation including a low snowpack. Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency, according to a report from the Palm Springs Desert Sun. From the article:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Friday after three years of below-average rain and snowfall in California, a step that urges urban water agencies to reduce water use by 20 percent. Mandatory conservation is an option if that and other measures are insufficient. “This is a crisis, just as severe as an earthquake or raging wildfire, and we must treat it with the same urgency by upgrading California’s water infrastructure to ensure a clean and reliable water supply for our growing state,” he said in a statement…
In signing the emergency proclamation, Schwarzenegger said California faces its third year of drought and must prepare for more. The drought has forced farmers to fallow their fields, put thousands of agricultural workers out of work and prompted conservation measures in cities throughout the state. “This drought is having a devastating impact on our people, our communities, our economy and our environment, making today’s action absolutely necessary,” the governor said in his statement.
Meanwhile back upstream in Colorado the eastern plains continue to be abnormally dry with the extreme southeast corner of the state in stage 1 drought. The Yampa and White River basins are also abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.