California’s Water Crisis Isn’t Just a California Issue

The latest U.S. winter outlook spells trouble for dry California and other states with severe drought, and for California in particular. That could mean even more trouble for the current governor, Jerry Brown, who was elected in 2010 to clean up California’s messes.

The new outlook projects an above-average winter and spring in the central and northern parts of the state, with below-average weather in the south. Those extremes are already forecast for the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

The forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is based on what it calls “winter months” — cold spells that typically last from late October or November through January, and hot spells that typically last from May or June through September.

The cold weather is a good thing in California because it means less demand on the state’s water system. The weather is just as good for water conservation and water-intensive industries.

But the situation is dire in the state’s Central Valley. It’s so water-scarce that if California were to hit its maximum water capacity, it would have to take drastic steps to fill the gaps, including increasing the volume of water it releases into the river system.

So California is going to have to make tough decisions about how to manage its water supplies. And that’s not just a California issue.

If you’re a city in one of the world’s driest and hottest places, with a strong local water supply and a desire to conserve, you don’t have a lot of choices beyond waiting for the state to tell you to cut down or cut back on what you do.

That’s when people start making things like a snow shovel, or an air conditioner that runs only on solar power.

But for those who are really serious about conserving water, there are ways to make it work, even in the most water-con

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