<<A drought in the middle of a desert. Go figure.>>
Deserts are arid regions, generally receiving less than ten inches of precipitation a year, or regions where the potential evaporation rate is twice as great as the precipitation. Contrary to popular belief much of California is not a desert, normally the State water is more dependant on the amount of snow pack in the Northern Sierras and rainfall in Northern California. The Sierra Nevada mountain range lies almost entirely within the eastern portion of California. The Sierras are not only a source of breath taking natural beauty like Yosemite Valley and Lake Tahoe, but its snow pack provides the majority of our state's water supply. Climate changes are significantly impacting the Sierras; the DWR (Department of Water Resources) report below shows how climatic changes may affect California�s water resources.
Prepared for the Governor and the State Legislature, the DWR paper describes the scenarios and the corresponding results. The report shows that climate change could significantly impact California�s water picture in many ways, including:
� Loss of Sierra snow pack and the seasonal water storage it provides � More rain and less snow, impacting both water supply reliability and hydropower generation � More variable precipitation and extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts � the latter resulting in more energy-intensive groundwater pumping � Rising sea levels that would increase pressure on Delta levees and compound saltwater intrusion into Delta water supplies and coastal aquifers � Higher water temperatures, possibly affecting fish species; � Changes in annual average State Water Project and Central Valley Project south-of-Delta deliveries.
The effects of global climate change on our water systems and the environment will certainly not be a regional problem impacting the crazy Californians out in the �Desert� but will have an impact on everyone in the world.