California Sees Yet Another Year of Drought

Dried+mud+and+the+remnants+of+a+marina+is+seen+at+the+New+Melones+Lake+reservoir+which+is+now+at+less+than+20+percent+capacity+as+a+severe+drought+continues+to+affect+California+on+May+24%2C+2015.++California+has+recently+announced+sweeping+statewide+water+restrictions+for+the+first+time+in+history+in+order+to+combat+the+region%27s+devastating+drought%2C+the+worst+since+records+began.++++++++++AFP+PHOTO%2F+MARK+RALSTON++++++++%28Photo+credit+should+read+MARK+RALSTON%2FAFP%2FGetty+Images%29
Dried mud and the remnants of a marina is seen at the New Melones Lake reservoir which is now at less than 20 percent capacity as a severe drought continues to affect California on May 24, 2015.  California has recently announced sweeping statewide water restrictions for the first time in history in order to combat the region's devastating drought, the worst since records began.          AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Dried mud and the remnants of a marina is seen at the New Melones Lake reservoir which is now at less than 20 percent capacity as a severe drought continues to affect California on May 24, 2015. California has recently announced sweeping statewide water restrictions for the first time in history in order to combat the region's devastating drought, the worst since records began. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Dried mud and the remnants of a marina is seen at the New Melones Lake reservoir which is now at less than 20 percent capacity as a severe drought continues to affect California on May 24, 2015. California has recently announced sweeping statewide water restrictions for the first time in history in order to combat the region's devastating drought, the worst since records began. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Kaci Davis (9th), Reporter

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A drought is a long period of time when there has been abnormally low rainfall, which means that there is a shortage in water.

According to the California Water Science Center, California was recently in a drought for several years, from 2012-2016. This resulted in low water storage and very hot, dry summers. Weather officials are now saying that California is headed into another year of a drought. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 44% of the state is experiencing a moderate drought. This year, less than around a third of the normal snowpack in the Sierra Mountains was produced this year. The snowpack from the Sierras counts for about 30% of our water supply.

Although last year we seemed to get a lot of snow pack and rain, this year did not have that same level of precipitation, resulting in a dry winter. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the water from the snow as of March 14, 2018 is only 38% of normal. 

This drought can come with detrimental effects to the welfare of the state. One effect of the dry and hot summers are the fires that have been occurring all over California. The fires have been abnormally bad these past couple of years, much has already been damaged such as the area around and inside of Yosemite and the Los Angeles area, with a combined total of 9,133 fires and 1,381,405 acres burned. Also, over 10,800 structures have been destroyed and about 46 people have been killed.

Another disastrous effect that occurs from the drought are the lakes drying up tons of water used for farming, drinking, and various other necessities. There are many ways to try and conserve water. One way is to take less time in showers as the average American shower lasts about 8.2 minutes and uses about 17 gallons of water. Another conservation tactic is to not water lawns as often and to stick to watering schedule provided by the City of Turlock.

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