Coping With California's Drought

Apr 4, 2015

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California and the Southwest are entering the fourth year of drought conditions. This is what scientists call a normal drought that occurs naturally and only lasts a few years.

But a new study published in the journal Science Advances says the U.S. will experience a “megadrought” that will go on for decades in the latter part of the 21st century (2050–2099).

Remember the drought?

Imagine flushing the toilet and watching sand come up. That's what happened to Pam Vieira, who lives south of Modesto, Calif. Her water well has slowed to a trickle, and you can see the sand in the tank of her toilet.

"Sometimes we have brown water," Vieira says. "Sometimes we have no water."

Vieira is one of as many as 2 million rural California residents who rely on private domestic wells for drinking water.

Some of those people are among the hardest hit by the state's severe drought, as wells across the state's Central Valley farm belt start to go dry.

The National Drought Mitigation Center

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