California should expect a ‘fourth dry year’

  • 25.09.2022
  • LA Times

California’s reservoirs will enter fall in a slightly better position than last year, but the Golden State should prepare for more dryness, extreme weather events and water quality hazards in 2023, officials say.

Water managers are now preparing for a “fourth dry year,” as well as more unpredictable weather and wildfires associated with climate change, DWR Assistant Deputy Director John Yarbrough said during a meeting of the California Water Commission.

The 2022 water year also saw warmer-than-normal temperatures and drier-than-normal conditions, he said, but both metrics were slightly improved from the year prior. Lake Shasta, the state’s largest reservoir, is projected to end the water year with 1.48 million acre-feet in storage — up from 1.07 million acre-feet last year.

California has been investing in such work, with the 2022-2023 state budget carving out $1.2 billion in new funds to lessen wildfire risk through better forest management and $2.8 billion to support drought resilience and response, among other items