Drought feels like the new normal

California is, AGAIN, very dry this year. Most artificial reservoirs are near normal for this time of year, which would usually be pretty comforting. Except that our largest reservoir, the natural reservoir which is the enormous quantity of water contained in snowpack is virtually nonexistent. We rely on the melting snowpack to replenish the artificial reservoirs in spring and summer as use increases (mostly agricultural use, but that's a topic for another day...). Snowpack is less than one third of average for this time of year.  So despite water levels behind the dams, California is again facing a water crisis.

There was so much rain in 2017, it felt like everyone who depends on water was celebrating. Farmers, fishermen, skiers, water managers, anyone that eats food, anyone not downstream of Oroville Dam.

But all that rainfall followed 4 years of the most severe drought in California in 1400 years. Drought and increasing water scarcity are becoming the new normal.