New water policies aim at dealing with California drought

On March 12, Jay Famiglietti, the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, and a professor of Earth system science at UC Irvine, wrote a piece that was published in the LA Times to inform people that California’s water reservoirs have a supply of approximately one year left. However due to public concern, the article had been revised to appease the public and further discuss. Recently the LA Times corrected themselves on that exact article, saying: “A previous version of this article's headline left the impression that California has only one year of water left. As the article indicates, the state has one year of water stored in its reservoirs.”

To further follow, an article on March 20 ran as a follow-up to ensure that the reservoirs are low with water supply but emergency legislation will replenish the reservoirs is addition to community conservation.

According to the LA Times, Famiglietti said he never claimed that California has only a year of total water supply left. He explained that the state's reservoirs have only about a one-year supply of water remaining. Reservoirs provide only a portion of the water used in California and are designed to store only a few years' supply. However, great interest was generated by the public due to the blunt headline, despite it creating a false impression, which was corrected.

“We have been in multiyear droughts and extended dry periods a number of times in the past, and we will be in the future," said Ted Thomas, a spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources. "In periods like this there will be shortages, of course, but the state as a while is not going to run dry in a year or two years.”

The state plans with state legislation to shorten water lawns, replenish reservoirs with snowfall and additional rain, and like the city of Santa Monica to build self-sufficient reservoirs. California is familiar with droughts and shortage of water supplies yet with the combination of state and public action, California’s water reservoirs and supply will continue to be supported.