Dry conditions are linked to more frequent and severe dust storms and wildfires.
Dr. Linda Rudolph from the non-profit Public Health Institute says the associated particulate matter is bad news for people with lung problems and heart disease.
"There might be an increased risk of pneumonia for people who are exposed to a lot of dust. In fact in the dust bowl in the 30’s, there were hundreds to thousands of deaths from what people called ‘dust pneumonia.'"
~Dr. Linda Rudolph, Public Health Institute
Rudolph says drought can dry up well water and increase water contamination in areas already struggling to get access to clean water.
She also says drought affects agricultural production, which rolls into problems with food prices and unemployment.
And those circumstances add more obstacles to staying healthy.
As the forecast for a wet December improves, a new study says only so much water can be stored by future dam or reservoir projects in California.
The National Weather Service is offering a more positive forecast for the likelihood of a wet December in California.
(AP) - Officials say residents of a California community where hundreds of home wells have run dry can now take hot showers in portable facilities set up in a church parking lot.
The U.S. Drought Monitor measures the impact of the drought across the nation and California cattle ranchers have millions of dollars at stake based on that information. But some are questioning the accuracy of the data.
The drought has caused contamination and the closure of some groundwater wells at South Lake Tahoe.