A trio of images released by NASA shows satellite observations of declining water storage in California since June 2002 (left).
Colors progressing from green to orange to red represent greater accumulated water loss between April 2002 and June 2014.
According to NASA:
“California's Sacramento and San Joaquin River basins, including the Central Valley, have suffered the greatest losses, in part due to increased groundwater pumping to support agricultural production. Between 2011 and 2014, the combined river basins have lost 4 trillion gallons (15 cubic kilometers, or 12 million acre-feet) of water each year, an amount far greater than California's 38 million residents use in cities and homes annually.”
Moreover, U.S. Drought Monitor revealed last week that 100% of the state of California was in a severe state of drought.
“More than 58% is in "exceptional" drought, the worst level. Record warmth has fueled the drought as the state sees its hottest year since records began in 1895, according to data from the National Climatic Data Center,” USA Today stated in a report.
Through the winter of 2013-2014, many areas of The Golden State continued to receive record low rainfall. For many locations, the calendar year of 2013 was declared as the driest year in more than 130 years.
What’s worse, is that the current conditions suggest no change in sight for 2014.
On January 17, California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. confirmed a drought state of emergency and directed state officials for contingency plans.
California Department of Water Resources gave an idea of the situation by releasing the image posted above.