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Calif Drought: Schwarzenegger declares a state of emergency

Posted by feww on February 28, 2009

California drought: An ecological time bomb

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Friday declared a state of emergency because of three  consecutive years of drought.

He urged Calif residents to cut their water consumption by 20 percent or risk mandatory cuts.


Layers of sun-baked earth are exposed in an area of the San Luis Reservoir near Gustine that was previously underwater but was dried out in January because of drought conditions. (Patrick Tehan / Mercury News). Image may be subject to copyright.

The governor said drought conditions were having “a devastating impact” on people, causing enormous financial harm to California’s economy, with losses to the farmers  approaching $3 billion in 2009.

Schwarzenegger reportedly said the water crisis was “self-inflicted, it’s not mother nature’s fault.”

“This drought is having a devastating impact… making today’s action absolutely necessary,” Schwarzenegger said.

“We have a water system that is for 18 million people [but] now we are 38 million. We’ve got to go and redo our water system [to] bring it up to date.”

“The Santa Clara Valley Water District board is expected to consider recommending mandatory reductions of 10 to 20 percent for customers, which include more than a dozen towns and cities, including San Jose.” Mercury News reported.

“Our board was already considering calling for mandatory conservation, and the governor’s proclamation will give them another reason to move ahead with it,” said Susan Siravo, a spokeswoman for the district.

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2 Responses to “Calif Drought: Schwarzenegger declares a state of emergency”

  1. jace666 said

    [Comment rejected as spam. FEWW]

  2. feww said

    California snow not enough to overcome drought, Reuters reported.

    “Although recent storms have added to the snowpack, California remains in a serious drought,” said Lester Snow, director of California’s Department of Water Resources.

    “This year’s precipitation levels are still below average. On the heels of two critically dry years it is unlikely we will make up the deficit and be able to refill our reservoirs before winter’s end. It’s very important that Californians continue to save water at home and in their businesses.”

    “California’s mountain snowpack is only at 80 percent of normal, despite recent snowstorms, and is far from enough to ease a prolonged drought, making water conservation measures a necessity, state officials said on Monday.” Reuters reported.

    “The drought is forcing municipal water rationing and sharp cutbacks in irrigation supplies to farmers.”

    “Snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range was measured on Monday at 84 percent of normal in the northern part of the range, 77 percent in the central portion, and 83 percent in the southern stretch of the mountains.

    “State hydrologists predict that the water season would have to end at 120 to 130 percent of normal in order to adequately replenish dwindling reservoirs. The chance of above-normal precipitation becomes less likely as the water season advances.

    Most the state’s rain and snow usually falls in the winter.

    “Last year at this time, snowpack in the Sierra Nevada was measured at 114 percent of normal, but spring 2008 turned out to be the driest on record.

    “Storage in the state’s major reservoirs also is low. Lake Oroville, the principal reservoir operated by the state, on Monday was at 39 percent of capacity, and only 55 percent of the average level for this time of year, the CDWR reported.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE51Q5XC20090303

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