California's Drought Is Only Going To Get Worse
California's Sierra Nevada mountain range, where the current snowpack is at the lowest it has been for 500 years, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
The shrinking snow levels, linked to the state's devastating drought, will likely take a toll on the water supplies of farms and cities, reduce the amount of hydroelectric power available, and make wildfires more likely, according to the study's researchers.
California is in the midst of a record drought that started in 2012, causing authorities to restrict water use across the state for the first time. The drought's severity is especially clear in the Sierra Nevada where the snowpack April 1 was just 5% of its historical average.
California gets 80% of its precipitation during winter, and the Sierra Nevada snowpack plays a vital role, providing 30% of the state's water supply.
The results of the new study show that this year's snowpack is "unprecedented in the context of the past 500 years."