Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Drought-Stricken California Has One Year Left of Water, NASA Scientist Warns

Climate
Drought-Stricken California Has One Year Left of Water, NASA Scientist Warns

In an LA Times editorial published last week, Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, warned that California has about one year of water left. "Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing," said Famiglietti. "We're not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we're losing the creek too."

The water level is extremely low at a South Lake Tahoe reservoir because of the prolonged drought.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

The problem started even before the current mega-drought. "NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002, when satellite-based monitoring began, although groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century," said Famiglietti. The NASA scientist says, first we need to have immediate mandatory water rationing statewide. Second, we need to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014, which establishes "groundwater sustainability agencies," but isn't doing it quickly enough. Third, "the state needs a task force of thought leaders that starts, right now, brainstorming to lay the groundwork for long-term water management strategies." Lastly, "the public must take ownership" of this crisis.

The op-ed naturally garnered a lot of attention and state agencies have started to respond. On Tuesday, the State Water Board tightened its watering restrictions, "telling urban agencies to limit the number of days residents can water their yards," said the LA Times. That kind of restriction is a mere drop in the bucket (pun intended), but the state agencies did warn they would impose tougher restrictions in the coming months if local agencies did not "ramp up conservation efforts," reports the LA Times.

California may finally get the leadership it needs on water conservation from Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders, who are expected to unveil a $1-billion relief plan today, according to the LA Times. Gov. Brown, along with Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), will introduce emergency drought legislation, Gov. Brown's office told the LA Times.

Ed Schultz hosted Rep. John Garamendi, Paul Douglas, Peter Gleick and Scott Paul on The Ed Show last night to discuss the gravity of the crisis and how Republicans' denial of climate change could have irreversible effects.

"Record after record continues to be broken in this environment," says Schultz. "Severe temperature, severe storms, the snow numbers—unbelievable—droughts, fires, water prices are responding—you name it, it's happening." Meanwhile, the Republicans are staying the course with their climate denial, says Schultz.

Schultz highlights all of the major recent environmental news, including how California is responding to the extreme drought and how water prices have reached a record high in the state. He also talks about scientists' discovery of warm water troughs under the Antarctic ice sheet which are accelerating warming and China's plans to rapidly expand its solar projects in 2015.

Watch the clip below to see what Schultz thinks of the Republicans in Congress who still deny climate science:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Antarctic Expedition Team Finds Clear Signs of Climate Change at the Bottom of the World

Epic Drought Spurs California to Build Largest Desalination Plant in ...

President Obama: Some in Congress Are ‘Shills for the Fossil Fuel Industry’

Air France airplanes parked at the Charles de Gaulle/Roissy airport on March 24, 2020. SAMSON / AFP via Getty Images

France moved one step closer this weekend to banning short-haul flights in an attempt to fight the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A woman looks at a dead gray whale on the beach in the SF Bay area on May 23, 2019; a new spate of gray whales have been turning up dead near San Francisco. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Four gray whales have washed up dead near San Francisco within nine days, and at least one cause of death has been attributed to a ship strike.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A small tourist town has borne the brunt of a cyclone which swept across the West Australian coast. ABC News (Australia) / YouTube

Tropical Cyclone Seroja slammed into the Western Australian town of Kalbarri Sunday as a Category 3 storm before grinding a more-than 600-mile path across the country's Southwest.

Read More Show Less
A general view shows the remains of a dam along a river in Tapovan, India, on February 10, 2021, following a flash flood caused by a glacier break on February 7. Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Images

By Rishika Pardikar

Search operations are still underway to find those declared missing following the Uttarakhand disaster on 7 February 2021.

Read More Show Less
Indigenous youth, organizers with the Dakota Access and Line 3 pipeline fights and climate activists march to the White House to protest against pipeline projects on April 1, 2021. Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden's refusal to shut down the Dakota Access Pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.

Read More Show Less