A beach in Carlsbad, San Diego County, which has the nation's largest desalination plant. (Photo: Sherry V Smith, via Shutterstock)
Here we are again: California is enduring another punishing drought, this one only a few years after the last one ended, which was the most severe drought in the state’s nearly 500 years of recorded history. Low winter snowpack combined with scorching summer temperatures and the driest winter months in 100 years have severely impacted the state’s water supply. Lake Oroville, an important reservoir in Butte County, had sunk to 49% of capacity by July 1
The dry bed of Ivanpah Lake in San Barnardino County, which had been filled by the 2004-05 rains. (Photo: Ed Berlen)
With four fifths of California suffering through extreme drought, the state is poised to impose conservation measures last seen nearly 40 years ago during an earlier, unprecedented parched period. There will be restrictions on lawn watering, car and pavement washing, runoff, fountains and the like, with violations of up to $500 a day.