At times last year, 100 percent of California experienced moderate to exceptional drought conditions; even after massive storms in December, almost 80 percent of the state was still under extreme drought, the second-worst category. The drought has been ongoing for a few years now, and last year, state and local officials created new drought restrictions designed to mitigate the effects. But whether these restrictions will make a dent in California’s water shortage amid the ongoing and historic drought remains to be seen.
Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown mandated the tracking of monthly personal water usage for the first time. In addition, water districts around the state also took up varying degrees of drought restrictions, including such strategies as raising water prices and severely limiting outdoor irrigation. Read more about the tracking and restrictions, as well as how they have changed personal water usage, in the February issue of EARTH magazine.
The February issue, now available on the digital newsstand, features stories on new tracers that can identify fracking fluids in the environment, a stegosaurus’ deadly battle with an allosaurus, and a geological and historical exploration of the rocks, reefs and beaches of Bermuda, plus much, much more.