“The water is so short this year that it’s driven the price of water up,” says Frank Zonneveld, who grows nuts, hay, corn and tomatoes in Kings and Fresno counties
So since he can no longer rely on surface deliveries from watersheds or the federal Central Valley Project, he’s turning to underground wells instead.
“And I don’t know where all my wells are sitting at. As the water table’s drawn down more heavily, some of my pumps could be sitting shallower, and they could be out of reach of water. And then I’ll have to – if the well’s deep enough, I’ll have to lower the pumps. If not, I’ll have to dig new wells.”
But well drillers’ waiting lists are long – several months for Zonneveld, more than a year for another farmer.
And then, there are the farmers who grow crops in the Westlands area – the western part of Kern and Kings counties. They’re the ones who rely solely on the State Water Project – and on Friday, they learned they’ll get no water at all this year. They don’t have wells to turn to, meaning they’ll have to choose which parts of their land to leave empty.
It’s been almost a year since the King Fire scorched almost 100,000 acres of the Sierra Nevada forest. But this wildfire season could be worse - and it’s not just the drought and high temperatures that are fueling wildfires.
The on-going drought is making work harder for crews working to contain the Rocky Fire in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties.
Even though it's August, there are many streets in Sacramento that look like it's fall. Parched trees are losing their leaves early as a result of the drought. The city is sponsoring a campaign called "Mulch Madness" to save stressed trees.
Three workshops are scheduled in Truckee to give people a voice in developing a 'brand' for the town.
The weather forecast through the weekend includes thunderstorms and lightning for parts of northern California, which could spark new wildfires.