Tag Archive for: California’s water supply

Seawater Desalination Possibly Expanding in California Amid Worsening Drought

As the pressure on California’s water supply grows more intense this summer, another urban area could begin the process of producing their own. The California Coastal Commission is set to vote later this spring on what would be the state’s second major coastal desalination plant in Huntington Beach, south of Los Angeles.

Glenn Farrel is with the industry group, CalDesal.

Opinion: California is Failing to Prepare for Droughts

Climate change isn’t a problem for the future. It’s here, and California isn’t remotely prepared to deal with the consequences.

The state’s latest snowpack report makes that clear. The Sierra Nevada snowpack provides nearly one-third of California’s water supply. On Tuesday it was at 63% of its historical average for that date. That’s despite the heavy storms in October and December. The months of January and February were the driest in the state’s recorded history, meaning Californians are facing a third consecutive year of severe drought.

As Drought Lingers, Larger and More Destructive Wildfires Pose New Threats to Water Supply

Already diminished by drought and extreme heat, California’s water supply will face yet another peril as wildfires continue to incinerate ever larger areas of forested land, according to new research.

In a UCLA-led study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers determined that increasing forest fire activity is “unhinging” western U.S. stream flow from its historical predictability. In areas where more than a fifth of the forest had burned, stream flow increased by an average of 30% for six years after the fire.

Opinion: California’s Variable Water Supply Needs More Than Rainfall

Downpours in October and December, along with record snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, alleviated dry conditions statewide and moved California out of the U.S. Drought Monitor’s “exceptional” drought category. The state is still mandating conservation and curtailing water diversions, however, and water agencies have declared water shortage emergencies and called for mandated water use restrictions.

Why is most of California still in an “extreme” or “severe” drought?