Governor Newsom Unveils Water Strategy, Planning for Greater Scarcity in CA

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a new water strategy on Thursday that plans for a future with 10% less water and shifts the emphasis from conservation to capturing more water that otherwise flows out to sea.

Climate change has contributed to more severe drought but has also set the stage for more intense flooding when rain does fall, as was demonstrated last week in California’s Death Valley, one of the hottest, driest parts of the United States.

Popular Joshua Tree Park Trail Closed So Bighorn Sheep Can Get Water Amid Drought

A popular Joshua Tree park trail is now closed so that bighorn sheep can have easier access to water amid the state’s continuing drought conditions, park officials said.

The 49 Palms Trail was closed on June 1 and was expected to stay off limits until summer monsoon rains provide enough rainfall to make water more available to the animals, according to Joshua Tree National Park officials.

Farmers Across State Face New Water Cuts, California Farm Bureau Reports

With 60% of the state now in extreme drought conditions, state officials are warning water-right holders that they should expect more curtailments during peak irrigation season in June and July.

In a statement last week, the state Division of Water Rights said “curtailments are expected to increase progressively through the spring and summer and continue through the early fall until significant precipitation occurs.”

California, Utah and Other Western States Face Scary Wildfire Season

Northern California is suffering when it comes to extreme drought conditions, very little snow and a wildfire season predicted to start much earlier.

Last year, more than 2.5 million acres burned in that state, and officials fear it could be as bad this year, if not worse.

An Axios report noted that already this year, the Sacramento office of the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning for wildfires.