California faces severe drought

A new survey of California winter snows shows that the most populous American state is facing one of the worst droughts in its history, Reuters reported. California, which produces about half the fruit and vegetables in the United States, is in its third year of drought. Twenty-five local water agencies already are mandating water rationing.


Scientists say California’s main system supplying water to cities and farms may be able to fulfill only 15% of requests. The snowpack on its mountains is carrying only 61% of the water of normal years, according to a survey by the state department of water resources. While the snowpack held 111% of the normal amount of water in 2008, spring was the driest ever recorded.


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has pushed for new dams and reservoirs to catch the melting snow that feeds rivers, but environmentalists have opposed the measures.


"California is headed toward one of the worst water crises in its history," he said, "underscoring the need to upgrade our water infrastructure by increasing water storage, improving conveyance, protecting the [Sacramento] delta’s ecosystem and promoting greater water conservation."


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