Recent California rains have helped, but not nearly enough. Statewide CaliforniaÂ snowpack is 32% of average. For the northern part of the state, the snowpack that feeds water into the Sacramento Delta is just 23%.Central Valley agriculture gets the vast bulk of its water from the Delta. Thus, hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland are expected to be fallowed. Foods prices are sure to rise.
Although 2013 was the driest calendar year on record for much of California, last-minute November and December storms in 2012 – the first year of the current drought – replenished major reservoirs to somewhat mitigate dry conditions. That comfortable reservoir cushion is now gone.