Farmers on both west and east sides of the San Joaquin Valley are dealing with an unprecedented low allocation of water.
Terra Bella Irrigation District on the east side also lacks groundwater.
General Manager Sean Gievet says if they don’t get enough rain by summer, thousands of acres of citrus crops are at risk.
Terra Bella is part of the larger Friant Water Authority which irrigates one million acres and serves 15,000 farmers.
“We can make sure people have water," says Gievet. "Beyond that though, there’s no more water. So all of my irrigation demand, all the citrus and nuts and the guys growing the crops I don’t have any water for them right now.”
Last year, California saw everything from intense drought to torrential rain. Researchers and water agencies say that the future of the state’s drought depends on adapting to these shifts.
As the drought dries up California’s wetlands, traveling birds such as ducks, geese and eagles are struggling to survive and breed. “This drought is bad. The odds are against us,” a state expert said.
Drought resilience depends on location but also extraordinary engineering — determining which California places are running out of water this year and which remain in good shape.
About 4,300 users were issued notices to halt diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Experts say the current drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, meaning water is evaporating faster.
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