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California to meet 100% of water requests for first time since 2006

Winter snow and rainstorms have flooded the state with much-needed water to combat years of drought

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Water flows through the spillway at Lake Oroville on March 25, 2023, in Butte County, Calif. The state has enjoyed a record snowpack.

Water flows through the Oroville Spillway at Lake Oroville on March 25, 2023, in Butte County, Calif. Regulators say California will provide 100% of the water requested by cities and farms for the first time in years thanks to winter storms that filled reservoirs and runoff from a record snowpack.

Noah Berger, Associated Press

The state of California will be able to provide 100% of the needed water supply to farms and cities for the first time since 2006.

According to CBS News, “The State Water Project will provide full allocations to 29 water agencies supplying about 27 million customers and 750,000 acres of farmland, the Department of Water Resources said.”

Thanks to winter storms and heavy rainfall in the state, dried rivers and reservoirs are getting filled. This week, officials announced that 65% of California no longer has drought conditions.

“The water picture changed dramatically starting in December, when the first of a dozen ‘atmospheric rivers’ hit, causing widespread flooding and damaging homes and infrastructure, and dumping as many as 700 inches (17.8 meters) of snow in the Sierra Nevada,” said KCRA 3 News.

Following the good news, state officials still warned residents to be cautious of water use due to the fact that climate change activity could still cause future drier winters.

The Department of Water Resources said, “Some northern areas of the state still have water supply issues. In addition, some areas, including the agricultural Central Valley, are still recovering after years of pumping that has depleted underground water,” per ABC News.

In the past three years, California has experienced heavy drought and in some cases saw extreme and exceptional levels of dryness. This has required much of California to resort to pumping water from underground, depleting much of the resource.

The state water agency said that millions of Californians will still depend on underground water resourcing for their main source of water, according to KCRA 3 News.

“The Colorado River Basin, which is a critical water supply source for Southern California, is still in the midst of a 23-year drought,” the department added. “Californians should continue to use water wisely to help the state adapt to a hotter, drier future.”