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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

California drought breaks state record

Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency late last month, urging a need for conservation efforts in what looks like the driest year on record in the history of California.
Governor Brown stated this is the third year of below normal precipitation.
“We are in an unprecedented and very serious situation,” Governor Brown said.  “It’s important to awaken all Californians to the serious matter of drought and the lack of rain.”
In efforts to better conserve what little water resources we have left, Californians are being urged to voluntarily reduce their water consumption by 20 percent and do what they can in terms of watching their water consumption, according to Fox News.
According to the state’s water managers, California’s river and reservoirs are below their record lows.
Rivers have reduced to a trickle and fish populations have decreased significantly.
Reservoirs are lower than they were at the same time in 1977, which is one of the two driest water years on record.
Farmers and ranchers throughout the state have already felt the drought’s impact.
Many have been forced to tear out orchards of trees that take years to mature, truck in alfalfa to feed cattle on withered range land and lay off workers that would normally tend to the profitable fields.
“For this area right now, we’re doing alright; farming is at a standstill,” Richard Maragliano, local farmer from Linden, said.
“There’s nothing being picked right now, other than maybe lettuce in Salinas Valley, so it’s too early to tell if our workers will lose jobs.”
A 2012 study by the Agricultural Issues Center at University of California, Davis found that every 100 farm and processing jobs create work for another 92 people. The report measured agriculture’s impact on the state’s economy.
California would have to experience heavy rain and snowfall every other day from now until May to get the state back to its average annual precipitation totals, according to the Department of Water Resources.
“It just doesn’t go ‘boom’ and fall down to nothing,” Maragliano said.  “Everybody was pumpin’ the wells last week, but hey they have to or else the orchards will dry up.
“Then you’re kind of up the creek without a toothpick.”

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California drought breaks state record