Why It’s Important to Prepare for Drought During a Deluge

Figure 1. Variation in Sacramento Valley water year type from 1906 to 2017 (data from CDEC) In the midst of the wet winter storms bringing rain and snow to California this year, you might not expect drought preparations to be among the state’s current priorities.  And yet, they need to be.  In this post, I’ll explore why to set the stage for a blog series that explores what the state can do to prepare for the more frequent and intense droughts we expect in California’s future.  The series draws on work my colleagues and I did for California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment. The water management challenges California faces during wet and dry times are interdependent.  A root cause is California’s unique precipitation regime, which is highly variable across both time and space.  First, the amount of precipitation California receives can vary significantly from year to year, bouncing between different gradations of wet and…

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