California drought has reservoirs at critically low levels

ABC News’ Zohreen Shah reports on climate change fueling dire drought conditions in California, drying up reservoirs critical to California residents.
5:42 | 06/11/21

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Transcript for California drought has reservoirs at critically low levels
Now to the bone dry conditions up and down the West Coast tonight and the fears that an already bad drought could get even worse once the summer he truly takes hold. The drought impact clear in places like Folsom lake California. Critical to the State's water supply officials tonight sounding the alarm about the effects of climate change and the new normal that might come with it. Hours during shot reports from the critically low reservoir. Crucial to providing water to the State's forty plus million residents but it's dramatically shrunken this year docking dozens of boats on dry land. We recognize that we're in a race against time. I'm to protect our communities and our natural places from the impacts of climate change. People can only launch boats off this ramp especially during this time of year but as you can see from our drone those levels are so low. It takes at least a quarter of a mile to get to that water war. Relentless heat and dry conditions evaporating the already below average snowpack in the near nice here in and that announced that supplies the reservoir. This just in normal times and this lake was full. How far better I would we be right now it's our right now we be about seventy feet underwater and armed Richard Preston LeMay has. Overseeing Folsom lake for over a fifteen year it's my. Is this water right here you sport so the water that we're on right now is used for a variety of things from high drinking water for some of the local municipalities. Com it's also used in downstream on the American river. We're the fisheries habitat. And and then for a there was water consumers downstream for farming agricultural purposes. The superintendent of Folsom lake park says the already parched drought conditions are in major concern ahead of what's likely to be in bone dry summer. Unless something changes isn't even the most dire Summers and you've ever seen here it's. Per share. 100% in the state of California severing a worsening drought posing a threat of farmers this state hydroelectric power plants. Which could mean rolling blackouts throughout the state. And wildfire danger that could displays numerous communities. Climate change it worsens extremes that lead to drought including by making average temperatures hotter and heat waves lasts longer. Climate change impacts have become a matter of protecting communities in California. Worsening wildfire risk. Worsening drought extreme heat. We used to think about preparing for climate change impacts as sort of a future planning exercise. For coming decades. Now we're actually responding to it as a public safety imperative. California's natural resource secretary seeing the effects of climate change year after year publicly confronting former president Donald Trump. In the midst of the State's historic twenty tweet fire season. If we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it's all about vegetation management we're not going to succeed together protecting Californians from. It'll start getting cooler. I wish you just watch I was science agree W. You have I think Santa knows actually. Now he's focused on solutions. We do have to take action. We cannot stick our head in the sand we have to be driven by science and facts and actually make the investments and make the decisions that we need till. Both to reduce carbon pollution and combat climate change and protect our communities in the mean time. Wade drove but says the state is currently in its second drought season and drastic measures could be a had a debate continues. At least fifteen or remember. You know guidance from the state to dole who pressed to take certain action at home yeah. To limit waters from the hot flushes up scattered showers are we had an in that direction right now. We don't know Tom how long this trial will last and if this child for example last in new a third dry winter. I'm of those types of restrictions would certainly be possible it's not expected. Just this week one of the State's who largest counties Santa Clara. Announced it will restrict water use. Even opening the door to find people they waste water and California's wine industry is suffering from the continued water shortage is divorcing wineries to adapt. We're planning and coping with the climate change and the reduction of rain we don't seek. And that it is it will necessarily be improving and we've got to be prepared and acquiesced wineries all female farm's owner Susan to dean says her harvest. 25%. Hit last season it's a worrying I wonder if my granddaughter will be able to walk through this vineyard Monday and make points Hammond who still concerned she says she recently donated part of her eighteen acres to UC Davis to study which Greeks farmers should be planting to that's the ride in these changing conditions. Water as a finite. And to preserve the art of making wine she and many local farmers facing a tax on themselves. Partly for monthly meetings with climate scientists. And less like emotionally this is something you forge your heart in jail and he started this this Larry. I think that you know. It's disturbing picture. Worries some for sure but I think you have to plant a spin on it to think long term and what you can do. Holding on to hope as the world continues getting warmer than despite everything that happens. And you're hopeful. Most certainly yes you have to be. Doreen shock news ABC news fulsome late.

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