California officials warn of more water restrictions in 2023 as fourth year of drought looms

Oct 4, 2022 at 10:30am


California cities and farms should brace for little or no water from the state’s big reservoirs in the coming year, a prospect that signals more water restrictions for households and more fallowed fields in the farm belt.

The warning was delivered Monday by state and federal water officials who said they are preparing for the possibility of a fourth year of drought. Both are considering, at least initially, reduced allocations for the many water agencies that contract for reservoir supplies from California’s sprawling water projects.

The past three years, as tracked between October and September, marked the driest three-year period on record in California, yielding a statewide average of just over 46 inches of precipitation. Typically, California gets closer to 65 inches over three years. While no one knows for sure what the coming months will bring, many believe the odds favor another dry year, particularly in light of the warming climate.

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