Californian water shortages?

Nearly 75 percent of California’s precipitation falls in the winter. Relatively speaking, the spring and summer are very dry. During these seasons, California relies on snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains for water. Snowpack acts as a natural reservoir, holding winter precipitation and releasing it slowly throughout the year as the snow melts. As global and regional temperatures rise, winter snow will gradually be replaced by rain, and the snow that does fall will melt earlier. Thus, spring and summer snowpack will decline. If we fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Sierra snowpack could decrease 90%. As Hayhoe et al. concluded "Snowpack declines of 73–90%, with cascading impacts on runoff and streamflow that, combined with projected modest declines in winter precipitation, could fundamentally disrupt California's water rights system.” How would these severe water shortages impact California, and how would the state adapt? If greenhouse gas emissions are significantly curbed, the losses in snowpack are expected to be half as great (30%-70%). How would these less severe water shortages impact California? Furthermore, how would California adapt?

Asked By: ~QT~™ - 8/17/2010
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
You cite an paper with predictions, dated 2004. In 2008, researchers from Scripps Institute in San Diego (some of the same researchers) published a report in Science that they had already measured declining snowpack over the past 50 years... More
Answered By: Baccheus - 8/17/2010
Additional Answers (13)
Or the increased water vapor that comes from increased temperature will increase the snow pack. I spend some time in the Sierras and it is still very cold, particularly in the winter, and it will remain so into the distant future. I get the feeling that a lot of people think the only water from mountains comes from... More
Answered By: jim z - 8/17/2010
California will adapt by building more reservoirs, experiencing more shortages and rationing water. The agricultural industry will probably be hit very hard... More
Answered By: pegminer - 8/17/2010
Contrary to jim's "gut feeling" (which seems to be the source of every single one of his answers), the Sierra snowpack provides about 60% of California's water supply. Additionally, about a quarter of the state's power comes from hydroelectric plants that count on heavy mountain runoff... More
Answered By: Dana1981 - 8/17/2010
Just to correct Dana, Ca. has around 400 hydro plants which contribute less than 15% of electricity needs of the state.
Answered By: Matthew - 8/17/2010
"If greenhouse gas emissions are significantly curbed, the losses in snowpack are expected to be half as great (30%-70... More
Answered By: Bad Moon Rising - 8/17/2010
Sux maybe i should stop taking 40 min showers
Answered By: Freedom Isnt Free - 8/17/2010
The Colorado river supplies a significant amount of water to California. Lake Mead now has a "bathtub ring" due to prolonged drought. It is dropping 10 feet a year and is within 10 feet of triggering water restrictions... More
Answered By: Barley - 8/17/2010
I remember a few years ago when the province I live in was planning to build a pipeline for fresh water from our province to California. I don't believe it was built. Now the province is talking about building excess clean energy electricity production plants, such as Dams, wind farms, tidal generators, wave farms, etc... More
Answered By: Jeff M - 8/17/2010
The scarcity of fresh water resources and the need for additional water supplies is already critical in many arid regions of the world and will be increasingly important in the future. It is very likely that the water issue will be considered, like fossil energy resources, to be one of the determining factors of world... More
Answered By: Ashland Local - 8/17/2010
Well if global warming ever starts maybe that will be a concern but as the records show there is no decrease in average snowfall. So you are just repeating false fear mongering from the AGW camp.
Answered By: Peter - 8/18/2010
Perhaps it is time to rethink the amount of storm water we divert as "waste" to the ocean. Money used to create storm sewers needs to instead be used to collect and treat storm water for our use.
Answered By: Amanda - 8/18/2010
It probably will since higher temperatures equal higher evapotranspiration rates.
Answered By: Will - 8/18/2010
You are wasted as as an environmentalist, With your psychic abilities of prediction you would be suited to a career in astrology.
Answered By: Pindar - 8/18/2010
Sponsored results
Over 483 Local Jobs Now Hiring In Your Area. $18-$87/Hr - Apply Today!
Work At Home Jobs Make $87/HR, Jobs Seen On TV. Jobs Hiring Now
Drive Your Car - Make up to $600 Per Weekend. Work When You Want.
Up to $47/hr Part-Time Job Openings. Free Schedule, No Scam. Start Now

Other Career Questions

What is your current job? Why did you choose this job? What do you enjoy about your job? What do you dislike about your job? What would be your perfect job? Would you rather have this j...
3 answers - Asked By: drop pants not bombs!.♥ - 3/2/2010
Where are the jobs? Is productivity and globalization creating a permanent “recession” of jobs? My main issue is I am doing a paper for school and have no idea where to begin. I was hoping suggestions...
4 answers - Asked By: bayebd24【ツ】 - 11/21/2007
Hi ok im 19 and about to start college to do an acess course into a university. Ive been browsing through all the courses and im tottaly stuck! I thought politics but im scared ill end up with some r...
1 answers - Asked By: roseparkerly - 1/26/2009

Content is not owned or controlled by Monster. Any content concerns should be addressed with Yahoo!
Yahoo! Does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any Yahoo! Answers content. Yahoo! Disclaimer.

Popular Articles

Best-Paying Work-from-Home Jobs Article Rating
It’s easier than ever to work from home. Of course, not every job is a mobile job, and some companies aren’t interested in having their employees work from home.
2013 Marketing Jobs Outlook Article Rating
The US may be facing another year of anemic hiring overall, but that won't be the case in the high-orbit world of multichannel, digital media marketing.
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.1.40.24-211