More than half of the continental U.S. is in a drought, according to the latest report from NOAA. Conditions are most severe in western states, like California
News Update

NOAA: Drought continues despite wet April

By

More than half of the continental U.S. is in a drought, according to the latest report from NOAA. Conditions are most severe in western states, like California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) pledged to spend $100 million on an advertising campaign asking residents to conserve water.

After receiving just one inch of precipitation in March, residents in California opened the tap on their lawns earlier than usual.

Californians averaged 77 gallons of water per person per day in March. That’s an increase of almost 20% from a year ago. Last year, Newsom asked residents to cut water use by 15% compared to 2020. The latest figures show water usage is down just 3.7%.

While April was slightly cooler and wetter than average, according to NOAA, it wasn’t enough to offset drought conditions from worsening in the West.

On Tuesday, Newsom said he would spend $100 million on an advertising campaign to convince people to cut back on water. The campaign includes TV and radio ads but will also include hiring social media influencers to spread the conservation message.

“Conservation actions are most impactful when they account for the diversity of conditions and supply needs around the state,” Newsom’s office said in a statement. “We are hopeful these actions will significantly contribute to the state’s overall water reduction goals as outdoor watering is one of the biggest single users of water.”

Residents in Los Angeles will now only be allowed to use water for outdoor landscaping two days a week, down from three. Urban water use, however, doesn’t account for much of total water use in California when compared to agricultural use. Still, state and federal authorities are limiting water allocations for farmers to zero in some areas.

Officials in California said 20% of the wells they monitor are reporting all-time low water levels, while nearly half of them have less than 10% of their historic averages. State officials are already hauling water to some small communities that don’t have access to water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More than half of the continental U.S. is in a drought, according to the latest report from NOAA. Conditions are most severe in western states, like California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) pledged to spend $100 million on an advertising campaign asking residents to conserve water.

After receiving just one inch of precipitation in March, residents in California opened the tap on their lawns earlier than usual.

Californians averaged 77 gallons of water per person per day in March. That’s an increase of almost 20% from a year ago. Last year, Newsom asked residents to cut water use by 15% compared to 2020. The latest figures show water usage is down just 3.7%.

While April was slightly cooler and wetter than average, according to NOAA, it wasn’t enough to offset drought conditions from worsening in the West.

On Tuesday, Newsom said he would spend $100 million on an advertising campaign to convince people to cut back on water. The campaign includes TV and radio ads but will also include hiring social media influencers to spread the conservation message.

“Conservation actions are most impactful when they account for the diversity of conditions and supply needs around the state,” Newsom’s office said in a statement. “We are hopeful these actions will significantly contribute to the state’s overall water reduction goals as outdoor watering is one of the biggest single users of water.”

Residents in Los Angeles will now only be allowed to use water for outdoor landscaping two days a week, down from three. Urban water use, however, doesn’t account for much of total water use in California when compared to agricultural use. Still, state and federal authorities are limiting water allocations for farmers to zero in some areas.

Officials in California said 20% of the wells they monitor are reporting all-time low water levels, while nearly half of them have less than 10% of their historic averages. State officials are already hauling water to some small communities that don’t have access to water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Get ready to rate in…

Community Rating

Community ratings are revealed after you rate the story.

lock

Watch the report to unlock rating

Rate the bias

Keep us honest! Let us know if you thought this video was neutral or biased.

Comments are still pending approval. Rate this story to add your own thoughts below.