El Niño and California’s Drought

Written by Hannah Arios, ESLLC 2015-2016


For the last four to five years, California has suffered from a severe drought. It’s not unusual for California to experience drought. After all, that’s a large part of the climate there. But these past four years have been different. The drought this time is much worse than that of past years. So when climatologists predicted El Niño to bring large amounts of rain to California, there was less worrying about the drought. But now El Niño’s here and it’s not helping California as much as expected. California produces many crops, like almonds and other products that require large quantities of water. When the drought got worse, farmers took to pulling water from aquifers. Then fracking started, a process where a drill digs into the ground and shoots pressurized water down the hole, breaking up the dirt and uncovering oil. This process takes millions of gallons of water for each well. Because of all the water usage by the state and not enough replenishment, reservoirs are still under 50% capacity, even after storms made their appearance, according to the LA Times. Even if these frequent El Niño storms replenish California’s water supply, conservation still needs to be a part of how California treats their water. Californians have done a good job of conserving, but just because there’ll be more water available, doesn’t mean we should go back to our old ways of using water without a thought to conservation.



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