California should expect a ‘fourth dry year’ as drought persists, meteorologists say The dry conditions in western California are likely to persist for several months. less California should expect a ‘fourth dry year’ as drought persists, meteorologists say The dry conditions in western California are likely to persist for several… more Photo: Elizabeth Conley, Getty Images Photo: Elizabeth Conley, Getty Images Image 1 of / 23 Caption Close California should expect a ‘fourth dry year’ as drought persists, meteorologists say 1 / 23 Back to Gallery
California faces an additional year of drought conditions, according to weather forecasters.
The state’s Drought Monitor – a tool designed to keep track of local and state-wide drought conditions – said on Wednesday that the number of counties in its “extreme” drought category will grow to 51 – up from the current list of 47. That’s more than a two-percent increase.
Drought has pushed agriculture officials to call for an early end to the current state water shortage, which is projected to last from October to July as long as rain continues to be limited. If not, the state will have to divert most of its available water to the state’s largest cities – Oakland, Los Angeles and San Francisco – to alleviate pressure and keep those areas running.
Water usage could triple in Oakland during the next decade if authorities don’t act to relieve pressure on the system, according to a report being released Tuesday by the city’s water authority.
The report showed that the amount of rain that falls on the region would be sufficient to replenish supplies if an adequate reservoir – called the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s reservoirs – was built, but there is the possibility that a new reservoir would not solve the problem – because of water-use restrictions imposed by the state.
A study released last month confirmed that the reservoirs were in desperate need of repairs to prevent a catastrophic water shortage in the South Bay. The study estimated that at current water usage rates, more water than needs to be in the system by 2063.
The drought has led to farmers pulling their produce from market shelves and cities shutting down their water fountains to conserve water. Nearly 200,000 people in the Sacramento region have been put on the county water system’s waiting list for drinking water, according to the authority and county officials.
In Southern California, where