(CBS SF) – A NASA scientist is saying California only has about one year of water left in its reservoirs, after years of record drought.
In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Caltech senior water scientist Jay Famiglietti cited data from NASA satellites, which show water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014.
“We’re not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we’re losing the creek too,” the scientist wrote.
Famiglietti also said groundwater pumping by the state’s farmers is “excessive and unsustainable.” Farmers are pumping groundwater in response to not receiving water from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for two years running.
Among his recommendations, Famiglietti urged the state to implement mandatory water rationing immediately and asked all Californians to conserve.
The scientist’s piece comes as the California Water Resources Control Board is set to consider additional water restrictions. If approved, outdoor watering would be restricted to no more than two days per week. Also, the state’s restaurants and bars would only serve water upon request.