Thursday, November 20, 2008

DWR warns of drought, water rationing in 2009

From Capitol Weekly
By Sarah Kay Hannon

California faces another drought as 2009 approaches, and the state’s top water officials say they’re doing what they can to prevent water shortages. But projections show that 2009 could look like the early, parched 1990s — or even worse.

Nine counties have already requested emergency drought assistance, including Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Kern.

Wendy Martin, statewide drought coordinator for the state Department of Water Resources (DWR), said the state has informed contractors they will only receive 15 percent of their normal allocation.

As of Sept. 1, the drought has cost farmers of the Central Valley $260 million, a figure that doesn’t factor in the amount for crops that won’t be harvested this fall. Many farmers are being forced to make difficult choices, including abandoning harvesting some crops this year altogether. More >>>