This Year’s California’s Drought the Worst in the Last 100 Years

This Year’s California’s Drought the Worst in the Last 100 Years


The temperature in California has gradually been increasing over the last three decades, and the warmer it is, the more water evaporates and more quickly. This means that dryness has increased, which eventually leads to drought.

Palmer Drought Severity index (PDSI), founded by Wayne Palmer (a meteorologist) showed that this 4-year drought is the worst one California has seen in the last 100 years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used this index as the main drought index.

According to PDSI, 0 means that the conditions are normal, while -1 means that there is drought. Anything below -4 means that the drought is extreme. The graphical image of drought on PDSI over the last century shows exactly how horrifying the situation has become and how much everything changed for the worse.

In the last three years, drought reading was -3.67 on average, which is two times worse than the horrific drought that occurred in 1959.

Then, the situation was somewhat fixed thanks to the governor who approved a release of $1.8 billion U.S. dollars in order to provide water for the people of Southern California and revive agriculture. But this time, it doesn’t seem that this contribution would be enough. It appears that it will take a lot more time and effort to reduce the damage that this drought has been causing.


Several studies also used PDSI data, including a study conducted by the researchers from the University Of Minnesota And Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute which found that this drought is worse that any other drought in the last 1,200 years.

Now that the drought has struck, there is less surface water and the lakes and rivers are drying out as the evaporation due to the increased heat is faster and there isn’t enough rain or snow to replenish what was lost. This is why people are trying to find underground waters for wells. Drinking water is brought from Northern California, and it hasn’t become much more expensive than it was before, but since Californians have learned to use less water and they are buying less, water agencies have less revenue which will probably soon make them raise their prices.

But there is hope that this drought will decrease soon, with the occurrence of El Niño, a change in the patterns of trade winds across the Pacific Ocean.

This can warm up the ocean, while the winds carry the ocean water to the land and provide it with the rainfall it needs for the crops. It can also result in flooding in America, which may be exactly what California needs right now to recuperate. El Niño usually happens during the winter and the chances that it will improve the water situation in California are currently, according to meteorological predictions, around 80 percent, and it is possible that its effects will last until the spring of 2016.

However, until something changes for the better, California has ordered farmers to reduce watering of their crop fields.

This decision brought by state water officials will maybe conserve some water for people to drink, but it will affect thousands of farmers and contribute to crops failing to grow which will eventually lead to both hunger and thirst. If something doesn’t change soon, California will suffer disastrous consequences.