Hotter Planet Brings Chilling Outlook For Water In California

Hotter Planet Brings Chilling Outlook For Water In California

Earlier than usual Sierra snowmelt, along with expected greater rainfall, threatens to hamper the ability of reservoirs such as Hetch Hetchy to manage the runoff and keep valley flooding at bay.
A Look A Global Warming
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Last Updated: October 10, 2006, 07:26:03 AM PDT

Assuming the experts are correct, the day will come when there won't be enough water to go around in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, let alone the state. While no one can predict exactly when that day will arrive, a growing number of scientists and researchers insist it's an unstoppable force -- carrying with it any number of potentially devastating consequences.

A complex web of factors, including climate change, explosive growth and galloping urbanization, will reduce -- dramatically in some years -- the supply of clean surface and underground water. That could put the valley's ag-based economy in harm's way.

"We have droughts and floods," said Dennis Gudgel, Stanislaus County's ag commissioner. "It's always been that way. It's the availability of water that's more of a concern for farmers. It's a very serious issue." Experts say the competition for water will grow ever keener as the century pushes ahead. As for droughts and floods, the experts say they will become more frequent and harsh as temperatures rise.

Precipitation patterns also will change, but Michael Hanemann, director of the California Climate Change Center at the University of California at Berkeley, said that likely will prove to be far less significant than increasing temperatures.
Is this worth continuing to waste water filling your large swimming pools, and not giving a care for the ecosystems affected by your own waste and apathy? This isn't just a problem a world away, for those who think they can dismiss it and continue to waste water.