EXPLAINER: How much will the rain help California’s drought?

Jan 11, 2023 at 1:15pm

Michael Phillis

California has experienced a devastating, multi-year drought that’s depleted reservoirs, forced officials to plead with residents to conserve water and constrained supplies to vital farmland.

Suddenly, the state has been hit by a severe series of storms, with more expected in the coming days. The rain is soaking a state that desperately needs water, even as it takes a devastating human toll. Experts say it will help drought conditions, but it isn’t yet clear exactly how much. And the rain and snow won’t be enough to fix some of California’s long-term water problems that climate change is making worse.

“We are transitioning to a climate that is warming and more arid,” said Jeannie Jones, the interstate resources manager at California Department of Water Resources.

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