SACRAMENTO - We don't know if the winter of 2013-14 will take us into a deep statewide drought, but officials are making some decisions now, just in case.
The California Department of Water Resources is putting together a management team to prepare for what's shaping up to be a lackluster end to the winter rainy season. So far, it's been the driest calendar year on record with a little more than six inches of rain in Sacramento.
The story is the same for the Sierra Nevada and Southern California as well.
In short, the state is dealing with a drought that is covering all of California.
The big question is the second half of the rainy season, and there is any shot of getting us out of a drought moving into the dry summer months. At this point, meteorologists, and climatologists don't see any strong indications that there will be anything other than average precipitation going into 2014. Considering the first half of the rainy season was fairly dry, that means there would have to be above-average rain and snow to make up the difference.
A looming drought is something that will have far-reaching consequences. Recreation on lakes and reservoirs could be limited; agriculture may have to limit water use, and residents may see some short-term restrictions for water use as well. It will take a collective response from business, government, and citizens to help minimize the impacts of a reduced water supply, and the puzzle pieces are lining up to prepare for that possibility.
Looking far into the forecast, we do not see any significant storms for the rest of 2013.
by Rob Carlmark, RCarlmark@news10.net