California suffering worst drought since records began 119 Years ago

Avisitor to Folsom Lake, California, walks his dog down a boat ramp that is now several hundred yards away from the waters' edge
California has declared an emergency with 90 per cent of America’s most populous state now suffering severe drought, following its driest year since records began 119 years ago. Governor Jerry Brown has called on all citizens to voluntarily cut their use of water by 20 per cent as farmers find themselves unable to water their cattle, ski resorts remained parched in January, and meteorologists warned of a “giant fire year” ahead with no rain on the horizon. While much of the rest of the US was hit by a polar vortex earlier this month, which brought bitter cold and snow, California continued to bake – leaving reservoirs and rivers depleted.
The Sierra Nevada snow pack, from which much of the state’s water ultimately originates, is now at 17 per cent of its normal January level. The Golden State is, as one climatologist put it, “as dry as a box of popcorn in the desert”.  “We’re facing perhaps the worst drought California has ever seen since records began being kept about 100 years ago,” according to Brown. “It’s important to wake all Californians to the serious matter of the drought and lack of rain. “We are in an unprecedented, very serious situation. We ought to be ready for a long, continued, persistent effort to restrain our water use. This is not a partisan adversary. This is Mother Nature. This is an effort to call for arms.” In Sacramento, the state capital, half a million people have already been ordered to reduce water use by 30 per cent after the reservoir at nearby Folsom Lake fell to 18 per cent capacity.

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