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Schwarzenegger declares statewide drought

I blogged in 2007 that California is still very much about water – one of the reasons for my choice of WordPress themes.

Yesterday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a statewide drought, after the second year of below-average rainfall, low snowmelt runoff, and the largest court-ordered restrictions on transfers of water in history. The statewide declaration of drought is the first since Governor Pete Wilson’s in 1991, which was the fifth year of a drought that continued into 1992.

Schwarzenegger directed the state Department of Water Resources to speed water transfers to areas with the greatest need. He also named two “water czars,” one to coordinate water transfers around the state and one to coordinate conservation efforts.

Precipitation during March, April, and May was only 1.2 inches statewide or just 22% of average during the 114 years since records have been kept. Sierra snow measurements are only 69% of that for an average winter. The major reservoirs are at 50 to 63% of capacity at a time when they would ideally be full.

Schwarzenegger used the declaration of drought to promote his nearly $12 billion proposal to build more water infrastructure, including more reservoirs and a canal to bypass the delta.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide!

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