California In A Drought – Who Knew?

By: Ellisha Rader Mannering - January 1, 2014

According to records maintained by the Enterprise-Record, California is in the middle of a drought. Few people are aware of how bad the drought really is and officials say that the real threat could be in the near future. Nine of California’s 12 major reservoirs are below 50 percent capacity and in some areas like Chico, as little as 3.45 inches of rain has fallen since July 1st, 2012.

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture and representatives from the California Department of Water Resources and State Water Resources Control Board will be meeting next week to discuss just how bad the drought is currently and could become during the warmer months of the year. They will also be working on plans to deal with the drought not only now, but if and when it becomes more severe.

“We are sounding the alarm on behalf of the agricultural industry,” said Craig McNamara, president of the state’s food and agriculture board. “With the strong potential that California is entering its third dry year, we need to start planning now to minimize long-term impacts.”

Experts say that the drought could mean severe problems for many people in California, especially farmers. A severe drought could lead to land fallowing and unsustainable groundwater overdraft that could prevent crops from growing properly or at all. Livestock farmers who raise their livestock on natural pastures are already having to pump ground water into water troughs for their animals in some dryer areas of the state.

In other areas, the effects of the drought are not severe and in some ways, beneficial. Less rain means less tree disease in Butte County’s orchards and better conditions for workers to maintain the trees and fruits.

After Tuesday’s meeting, more farmers will be made aware of the drought and be able to develop plans to protect their farm and livelihood.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

About the Author

Ellisha Rader ManneringEllisha is a writer, wife, and mommy to Cyrus and Milo. She enjoys fishing, hiking, being outdoors, shopping, traveling with her family and teaching baton twirling. Follow her on Twitter @lishann

View all posts by Ellisha Rader Mannering
  • Maggie Robinson

    Honestly, media reports are written with less accuracy more and more often. This piece, though it makes a valid point how the “here and now” of the drought, indicates that this is something people in California don’t realize yet and makes it seems as though we’ve never been through this previously.

    We experience this every 10-15 years and it’s awful, but not a new phenomenon. California uses it’s water resources imprudently and many counties allow building without a great deal of thought about water use (or, in some cases ignore the problem entirely). There are other water options always being explored, but politics disallow for things to happen quickly and we usually end up being on water rationing for a year or so.

    Don’t make this seem like a first-time event and certainly the “who knew” has to be out-of-state people —– a majority of Californians always know it’s a possibility from year to year!

  • Gregory

    You have to love this Jack Ass Obama. All of the problems that the people who were born in this country have to face as it is we are now going to have to ration water and see our water bills go thru the roof after he lets 11 million more illeagal aliens stay here. People
    just don’t seem to understand there is only a finite amount of

    Think I am crazy just wait and see.
    On top of that just wait and see how bad traffic is going to get in California.

    • Jim Greenwell

      Gregory: Either you are crazy or just plain stupid. All of the problems that the American Indians have to face are caused by “illegal alien Europeans”. Now they have to ration buffalos, and see their meat bills go up.

      At last count, there were more than 285 million “illegal European aliens” in this geographical area. They just don’t seem to understand that there is only a finite amount of bison and everything.

      Oh, and traffic is just as bad, even with the winnowing herd on the plains. I suggest you leave immediately.

      • Bill K

        Before you call someone stupid, you might want to take a look at yourself. There is no such thing as an “American Indian” or “Native American.” There is no race on this planet indigenous to this particular continent. We ALL got
        here from somewhere else. Even the “Native Americans.” They
        arrived here from Asia – what is now known as Siberia/Mongolia – some 8,000 years ago via the Bering Land Mass on foot and on the backs of animals when it was still
        a navigable body. It’s always been about who can keep it and who could develop it. I’m of european heritage and I’m not here illegally, nor were my ancestors.

    • mysterioso

      You do know that Obama has deported more illegals than any president before him. But in your right wing dream state you just keep making things up in your head.

      • Bill K

        Your hero Obama has done nothing of the sort. His administration counts the ones that are turned back at the border as “deportations” which naturally skew the figure in his favor. Before you post, get your facts straight.

    • Ted Turner


  • Candi

    “Few people are aware of how bad the drought really is and officials say that the real threat could be in the near future.” Really? I didn’t think one needed an advanced degree to realize it HASN’T rained but a few inches the past two years! I am not a water expert by any means, but I find it incredulous that our governor only set up a task for to study this problem on December 17.

  • Ken

    Drought ? – It is only effin January !

  • Sara Lee

    None of you really understand . Due to the LOSS of Ground Water, Due to the Sale of Stored Lake Water, by the U.S. Government, to Large Cities…THERE IS NO MORE WATER in Central California!!!!!!!!!!!

    With NO WATER, what would your Home be worth???? Look into what happened in Oklahoma and Texas.
    Why is it so much cheaper to live there???? WATER. A lot of homes have the Water Trucked in. But the Land Value is NOT THERE. So ask yourself something….’What COULD happen to my Land Value WITHOUT the Availability of Water????’

    There is NO GROUND WATER to put a Well in for. The Federal Government, the Feds OWN the Water Rights, SELLS the Stored Lake Water to San Francisco and Los Angeles Areas. THERE IS NO MORE WATER IN CALIFORNIA!!! Wells are drying up!!!!!!!!! Most of the Large Farms are going to ‘Dry Farming’ due to the lack of Water!!!! Look it up!!!!!!!!!!

    The cost of food will be going up and more food will be imported WITHOUT FDA INSPECTION due to NAFTA!!! Look it up!!!

    The current Bottled Water available is NOT Spring Water nor is it Well Water!!!!!!!! Your Bottled Water is RECYCLED WASTE Water from the Great Lakes!!!!!!!!!! The Great Lakes have a number of Waste Water Recycle Plants right on the Lakes. Look it up!!!

  • Laura

    Maggie, true, we do get droughts, but not for 14 consecutive years. We have not had ‘normal’ or anywhere near normal rain or snow since 2001, and some of my neighbors are out of water. They turn on the taps and nothing.

    They are not painting the picture desperate enough, here in Fresno, the bottom of the valley, we will be out of water by july.