The California Energy Commission is leading a joint workshop today with state agencies focused on energy, water, planning, climate change and agriculture to examine the impact of the drought on California and its energy systems.
Along with Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister a number of the state’s key leaders in drought response have joined us, including Commissioner Catherine Sandoval of the California Public Utilities Commission, Secretary Karen Ross of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Vice-Chair Frances Spivy-Weber of the State Water Resources Control Board and Deputy Secretary Ashley Conrad- Saydah of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
We are continuing an open, frank discussion about the hardships of the drought, how Californians have responded and what steps we should consider next. With that in mind, here are five facts to put the drought in perspective:
- Californians Continue to Exceed the Governor’s 25 Percent Conservation Target: New data from the State Water Resources Control Board shows Californians cut water use by 31.1 percent in July, again exceeding the Governor’s 25 percent reduction order.
- Two More Years of Drought Could Drastically Harm Native Fish and Dry Thousands More Wells: If the drought continues another two years, wells in low-income rural communities will run dry at an increasing pace and 18 native fish species are at risk of extinction, including most salmon runs and steelhead, according to a Public Policy Institute report published last week.
- Study Finds Climate Change Is Making Drought 20 Percent Worse: A new report published in the journal of Geophysical Research Letters confirms that climate change is affecting California in the form of higher temperatures and more devastating drought. Global warming made California’s drought 15 to 20 percent worse than what it would have been, and dry spells are almost certain to be worse in the future.
- Central Valley Land is Sinking Faster than Ever Before: A new study from NASA shows land in the Central Valley is sinking faster than ever before, nearly two inches per month in some locations.
- July was the Warmest Month on Earth in 136 Years: July was the planet’s warmest month in world history according to NOAA at 61.86 degrees on average.