Preparing for Another Dry Year

Taylor Hillman Cattle, Citrus, Corn, Dairy & Livestock, Energy, Field & Row Crops, Forage Crops, General, Grain, Specialty Crops, Tree, nut & vine crops, Water

The Department of Water Resources is sponsoring events throughout the fall in preparation for the possibility that water year 2014 could be a third consecutive dry year. Sabrina Hill has more.
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Our state’s water woes continue.

Water year 2012 ranked as the 25th driest year – out of 112 years on record – in terms of statewide runoff. Good reservoir and groundwater basin storage from a wet 2011 reduced the impacts of the dry conditions for many water users. Water year 2013, which ends at the end of this month, began with above-average precipitation but then turned dry.

Sacramento Valley and San Joaquin Valley watersheds experienced record dry conditions in January through May.

If 2014 is also dry, its impacts are expected to be more widely felt due to reduced carry-over storage statewide. Advanced preparation for dry conditions helps water suppliers put in place actions to help mitigate impacts such as enhanced water conservation programs or water transfers and helps agricultural water users consider risk management tools such as crop insurance.

Here’s a fact that demonstrates how widespread the state’s drought is. As of now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has included all but one of California’s counties in its list of 2013 drought – related agricultural disaster designations. These designations allow agricultural producers to qualify for federal financial assistance programs, such as low-interest loans.

The one county not designated with agricultural disaster from drought is San Francisco.

For more on the scheduled events, click here.