California’s deepening drought has worsened into a crisis, as a second dry year in a row has diminished the state’s water supply and another difficult fire season looks inevitable. Nearly three-quarters of the state is in extreme to exceptional drought. With the wet season all but over and a hot, dry summer probably ahead, water shortages and fire danger are poised to intensify.
The past several weeks have shown dramatic change in drought status: Extreme drought has expanded through the northern Sierra’s crucial water region and in the agricultural San Joaquin Valley.
Exceptional drought, the worst category in the federal government’s U.S. Drought Monitor, has descended upon the Bay Area and the nearly snow-free southern Sierra. Moderate drought conditions or worse cover all of California.