Is California Still In A Drought?

Featured Faculty: Roger Bales

Despite storms and torrential rain affecting the Golden State this past week, the massive downpours have not had much effect on changing California's drought. As of January 5, 2023, all of California was experiencing some degree of drought conditions, with 71 percent having "severe" to "extreme drought" despite the increased rainfall.

Last year's blisteringly dry weather caused water levels in reservoirs and other bodies of water in California to be shallow, including several essential water sources for millions of people in towns and cities and agriculture.

CEE adjunct professor Roger Bales recently commented on the drought situation in a Newsweek article. "In California, we're in a multi-year drought. We have some resilience for shorter droughts, one year or two," said Bales.

He added, "our climate here in the West is a mix of wet & dry years, and we have both natural and built multi-year storage. But this storage can only provide water for so long."