New Water Year Begins with Most of the Basin in Drought

October marks the beginning of a new calendar for those who measure and manage the west’s water. The good news? Across the Colorado River basin, there’s a lot less “exceptional drought.”

The amount of land under the absolute driest designation is down about 60% in less than a year. The bad news is that more than 90% of the basin remains in some level of drought.

Opinion: Happy New Water Year — Californians Have to Face Some Difficult Wet Season Truths

Happy New Water Year. For those of us who work on California water challenges, the start of the new year isn’t Jan. 1; it’s Oct. 1, the official beginning of the state’s wet season. This is the time of year we start to look out over the Pacific for the storms we hope will bring life-giving precipitation, replenishing our rivers and streams, coating our mountains with snow, refilling our reservoirs and recharging our soils, forests, wetlands and groundwater.