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Entire state of California in drought, first time in 15 years

"This is a really serious situation here in California and people need to be cognizant of that and start conserving water as much as they can," Jayme Laber, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.
By Brooks Hays   |   April 25, 2014 at 1:55 PM   |   Comments

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SACRAMENTO, April 25 (UPI) -- The entire state of California is suffering drought conditions, and in more than three-quarters of the state the drought is characterized as "extreme" or "exceptional" -- as designated by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

It's the first time in 15 years that every portion of the state simultaneously suffered some level of drought.

For the first time in 15 years, 100 percent of California is experiencing drought conditions. (Richard Heim/NCDC/NOAA)

"This is a really serious situation here in California and people need to be cognizant of that and start conserving water as much as they can," Jayme Laber, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, told the Los Angeles Times.

Laber is one of several weather and climate scientists who contribute to NDMC's Drought Monitor weekly update. NDMC was established by the the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995.

Conditions are likely to only get worse, as the spring rainy season is coming to a close without having offered much relief. Reports indicate California's snowpack is already half gone, the 50 percent that melted having done little to put a dent in drought conditions.

According to NDMC's latest drought update, Montague, a small city in north central California, "risks running out of drinking water by the end of summer and has requested that all outside watering be curtailed until further notice."

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