After experiencing their first above average season of rainfall in about 8 years, California has made the correct decision to extend their water usage restrictions throughout the state. The restrictions must stay in place, regardless of the state’s current conditions in order for the state to make a full recovery from the drought.
California is sitting pretty when it comes to overcoming the devastating drought, all of Northern California is free of drought conditions, however, some central and southern California areas still remain affected.
The most recent drought monitor map, released on Feb. 21 by the National Drought Mitigation Center stills shows that roughly 40% of the state is affected by some form of water shortage.
Last year was a big let down for the state which expected a huge El Nino that was supposed to have made a large dent in the drought, but the state experienced see minimal rainfall. California was once again on the defensive when it came to water conservation, leading them to uphold their water restriction statewide.
California put into place a number of restrictions to limit water use, such as no water run off when washing your car, no watering plants or use of sprinklers during certain hours and limiting water usage for landscaping purposes.
Long-term and even permanent restrictions should be put into effect due to the fact that california is a state that is greatly affected by climate change.
According to a paper published in the American Geophysical Union, the drought in California was magnified by 15-20% due to global warming.
As a result of increasing temperatures, the mountain snowpack which provides close to a third of California’s water supply during its runoff in the spring and summer seasons will begin to dissipate at a more rapid rate. Making it harder to utilize.
Putting these restrictions into effect permanently will ensure that the state has enough water next time a drought of this magnitude comes around. Simply coming out of the drought is not solving the problem, the state’s ongoing persistence in water conservation is the key to a successful future.
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