U.S. News


Calif. Cutting Off Major Water Supply Amid Drought

The state's major water supplier, which serves more than 25 million people, is halting distribution because of the state's worsening drought.
Posted at 9:10 AM, Feb 01, 2014

California's drought situation has gone from bad to worse as state officials announced Friday water supplies will be cut off to agencies that supply millions of residents.

KCBS calls the move "unprecendented" and reports more than 25 million Californians will have a significant part of their water supply cut. Other resources for parts of California include ground and river waters.

According to KTTV, the State Water Project is cutting out its water distribution for the first time in its history in a move to conserve the little water it has left as the state's drought continues to get worse.

This cutback means Californians will still have drinking water, but they'll be getting it from different sources.

The state's drought has gotten so bad, it's even noticeable on satellite images. This side-by-side comparison from ABC shows the difference in the mountain snow pack from January of last year to January of this year.

NBC points out the water level at Lake Oroville in Northern California has dropped two feet in just the last month.

And KABC reports Sacramento finally got its first measurable rainfall in more than 50 days Wednesday.

The latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of California is what's considered an extreme drought. Some parts of Central and Southern California are in an exceptional drought — the highest designated ranking.

January is normally one of the wettest months of the year in California, but The New York Times notes most cities got little to no rain. This comes after 2013 was the driest year in the state's recorded history.

In response to the worsening drought, KNBC reports Governor Jerry Brown already declared a state of emergency earlier in mid-January as water supplies dwindled.

The state has asked residents to voluntarily cut their water use by 20 percent. On top of that, ABC notes more than a dozen towns could run out of drinking water in the next two months.