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California heads into third consecutive drought year

Members of the California Department of Water Resources measure melting snow for a survey near Echo Summit, Calif., on April 1. Associated Press/Photo by Rich Pedroncelli

California heads into third consecutive drought year

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced this week that 2022 is already the state’s driest year since 1895, and the dry season is just beginning. The amount of precipitation from January through April reached only 25 percent of the average amount for the region. Rainfall and snowmelt during this time of year typically supply about one-third of the water for cities and agriculture, according to NOAA. While most weather experts point the finger at climate change for raising temperatures, many also said two-year drought cycles are typical for California.

Is there enough water? Last month, the Metro Water District of Southern California issued a water shortage emergency and restricted outdoor watering to one day a week in the Los Angeles Basin starting June 1. But the warm and dry conditions led to a 20 percent increase in water usage in March compared to a year earlier. On Thursday, the California Coastal Commission rejected a $1.4 billion proposal from Poseidon Water to create a desalination plant in Orange County to convert salt water into drinking water. Gov. Gavin Newsom supported the plan, but environmentalists argued it would damage marine life.

Dig deeper: Read Esther Eaton’s report in WORLD Magazine about how young Christians approach the climate change debate.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Harrisburg, Pa.



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