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. California may face long-term drought

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Sacramento (UPI) May 3, 2008
California officials said the state could be forced to ration water after the driest spring in at least 150 years.

Water officials told the San Francisco Chronicle the state could be on the verge of a long-term drought.

The Sierra Nevada snow pack is only 67 percent of normal and many reservoirs are at well-below-average levels.

"We're in a dry spell if not a drought," California Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman told the newspaper. "We're in the second year, and if we're looking at a third year, we're talking about a serious problem."

San Francisco and Marin County have asked residents and businesses to cut water usage by 10 percent to 20 percent and the water district serving 330,000 people in Orange County enacted water rationing last year, the Chronicle said.

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The Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s was one of the worst environmental disasters of the Twentieth Century anywhere in the world. Three million people left their farms on the Great Plains during the drought and half a million migrated to other states, almost all to the West. But the Dust Bowl drought was not meteorologically extreme by the standards of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.

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