Reservoirs in California are reporting exceptionally low water levels as this summer’s drought rages on.
A recent report published in The Guardian revealed just how bad things have become.
“This week, officials confirmed that Lake Oroville, the state’s second-largest reservoir, was at just 55% of its total capacity when it reached its highest level for the year last month. Meanwhile, Shasta Lake, California’s largest reservoir, was at 40% capacity last month – after the state endured its driest start to a year since the late 19th century.”
As mentioned in the article, Oroville and Shasta help provide water to tens of millions of Californians. The Guardian report also discussed the effects this would have on agriculture.
“Officials at the State Water Project announced earlier this year that it would only be able to provide 5% of requested water supplies to its contractors. The federal project, meanwhile, announced it wouldn’t be providing any water to the state’s agricultural belt, and that cities would be allocated only 25% of their historical water use.”
While both reservoirs are not as low as last year, this is still an incredibly dire situation that will affect agriculture, electricity supplies, wildlife, and the average person just trying to water their lawn.
Another knock on effect of the drought is that the reduction in hydropower will mean dirtier forms of power production will be relied on even further.
A report from Energy Monitor revealed how a lingering drought will affect energy
“However, if droughts endure in the coming months and years, the state will likely have to fire up more gas-fired power plants instead, warns the EIA. These are far more carbon-intensive than hydroelectric plants: statewide emissions are expected to be 6% higher in a drought scenario this summer, compared with a situation with normal water supply conditions.”
Back at the beginning of May we blogged about this drought and the scorching hot summer ahead for California.
Now that summer is here and is presenting a multiplicity of problems for government officials and state residents.
Once again, a major part of this problem is the overpopulation of the state of California.
Water usage increases as the population increases.
Yet for some reason every article about California’s climate conditions seems reluctant to mention the role overpopulation plays in these climate crises.
Due to a lack of planning and an abuse of existing resources, California is overstretching its water resources beyond reasonable levels of sustainability.
It’ll be very interesting to see where things stand by summer’s end.
With several months of hot, dry weather ahead of us, this is only the beginning.