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A new update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the historic drought spreading deeper into Southern California.

Los Angeles is now considered in an Exceptional drought which is the top level drought for the drought monitor. Thirty-six percent of the state is in the same situation. The addition of Los Angeles, and the 14-million-plus people who live there is a major extension to the drought area. Exceptional drought can have a huge impact on people and businesses and recreation that rely on water. Exceptional drought often comes with a price tag of billions lost in economic activity and hardship in the area.

The last update declared 33 percent of the state in Exceptional drought stretching from far Northern California to portions of the central coast.

This new update also has nearly 80 percent of California covered by either Exceptional or Extreme drought, the next lowest level. The troubling fact about this update is that there is no real potential to see the numbers turn around until we get deep into fall, and most likely winter.

California is a boom and bust state for water resources. We receive nearly all of our rain and snow in the short winter months, and rely on it during the spring, summer and fall. This past winter we really didn't see significant rain until February and if that pattern repeats this winter, severe water restrictions and rationing might be part of our daily lives.

But with El Nino likely by fall and winterm that could help the state in general with most of the increased rainfall in Southern California.

Rob Carlmark

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