Multi-Year Drought Coming in California?

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Multi-Year Drought Coming in California?

Postby WB Staff » Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:29 pm

Multi-Year Drought for Califormia.png

Is California Heading for a Multi-Year Drought?

Yes, California will have another multi-year drought. California has immense hydrologic variability, with more droughts and floods per average year than any other part of the country. California’s water users, managers, and regulators should always be prepared for droughts (and floods). Eventually, California will have a multi-year drought worse than any we have ever seen.

More immediately, since the 2020 water year was dry in northern California, will this current 2021 Water Year be dry enough to put us into year two of a multi-year drought? (California’s water infrastructure and management system almost eliminates one-year drought effects for most uses in most years. This contrasts with the Eastern US, where rainfed corn or soybeans can die from a few weeks of drought.)

So far, we are early in the 2021 Water Year (October 2020 – September 2021) with essentially no October precipitation and almost none in November. Although early in the wet season, this water year’s Sacramento, San Joaquin, and Tulare precipitation, so far, are the lowest, or among the lowest of record. And the 2-week forecast shows no substantial precipitation. Last year was definitely dry for northern California, so most of California’s reservoirs are drawn down a bit. People also keep talking about El Nino. Let’s look at some historical statistics on how these factors affect the likelihood that we are entering a multi-year drought, and what we should do about it.
FUll story: ... r-drought/

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