A series of bar graphs from the California Department of Water Resources compare the accumulated natural flow at state reservoir locations this water year with that of the same timeframe in the 2014 and 2015 water years. California Data Exchange Center/Department of Water Resources

The Numbers California's Drought Manager Wants You to See

Jun 2, 2021 at 11:25am

Amy Graff, SF Gate

With California's rivers running low after two consecutive dry winters, state officials and local water agencies have pumped out a steady stream of  drought declarations and calls for water conservation in recent weeks.

It's clear the Golden State is in a drought and it could escalate to a crisis, but, you may be wondering, just how bad is it?

For an answer to that question, the California Department of Water's Resource's drought manager Jeanine Jones pointed to a series of bar graphs (see above) that she asked her web team at the department to create earlier this year and post online.

The one-pager conveys the perilous state of California's water supply and reveals that the situation is especially dire in the Northern California watersheds that provide drinking water to nearly 30 million Californians and irrigate hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland that supply more than a quarter of the nation's food supply. 

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