Water Management During California's Drought

by James U. McDaniel, California Dept of Water Resources, Sacramento, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Supplying Water and Saving the Environment for Six Billion People


California is suffering from a fourth consecutive year of drought, and 1990 is shaping up to be the most severe of the four. Water planning in California is usually based upon the experience of the seven-year period spanning 1928 through 1934. The year 1928 was above average, and California's reservoirs were filled. The next six years were critically dry of below normal. There is a similarity between the years of 1929 through 1934 and 1987 through 1990 to date. The second series of dry years was short - 1976 and 1977 - but severe. The driest year of this century, 1977, followed the fourth driest, 1976. Californian's are having to cut back in water use. The State's two largest water suppliers, the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project, have reduced agricultural water deliveries by 50 percent. Contingency plans for a dry 1991 are being made. DWR's Drought Center began working on statewide contingency planning for 1991 in spring of 1990.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Droughts | Water shortage | Resource management | Project management | Water supply systems | Reservoirs | Water use | California | United States

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