California only has about year of water left

A section of Lake Oroville is seen nearly dry on August 19, 2014 in Oroville, California. As the severe drought in California continues for a third straight year, water levels in the State’s lakes and reservoirs is reaching historic lows. Lake Oroville is currently at 32 per cent of its total 3,537,577 acre feet. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There was an op-ed published Friday in the Los Angeles Times about the complete calamity that is California’s water supply.

The state is in its fourth year of drought conditions. California’s official drought site notes that this January was “considered the driest January since meteorological records have been kept.” Reservoir levels remain way below average.

Resevoir levels are so low that the LA Times op-ed says this:

Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.

You could write this off as hyperbolic. But look at the description of the author, from the bottom of the story:

Jay Famiglietti is the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech and a professor of Earth system science at UC Irvine.”

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