State of California in 2014 experienced the strongest in recent years drought.She forced the local authorities to introduce a state of emergency.
climatic conditions of the State of California
Climate refers to the Mediterranean type subtropical zone.It is characterized by hot and dry summer.Summer temperatures above +30 ° C - a common phenomenon, rainfall at this time no.In the offseason, the amount of moisture that fell slightly increases.But the most important time to replenish moisture - winter, when the mountains falls a lot of snow.Spring snow melt water flows into rivers, lakes and reservoirs.That they are the main source of water for the summer for the population and economy of the state.Snow and replenishes soil moisture in fields and pastures.
due to lack of water
Summer 2013 also provides very dry.As a result, much became shallow reservoirs, water reserves declined.The hope of replenishing their resources did not materialize, as winter turned out to be little snow.In general, the level of snow cover California was not higher than 13% of normal.Stoke Rivers plummeted.
reason for the lack of snow was the area of high atmospheric pressure that stretches around the Pacific coast of the United States.This anticyclone is usually not "survive" until the winter, but this year he stayed and became an obstacle for the humid air masses coming from Alaska.Moist air was forced to bypass this obstacle, which led to heavy snowfalls in other parts of the United States.That this was the reason that the severe drought began in California.Photo shows that in winter 2014 (left) of snow fell several times less than in 2013 (picture on the right).
Drought in California dealt a severe blow to farmers
most from water shortages affected farms.The State of California provides almost half of the country's crop of vegetables, while three-quarters of the water used to irrigate fields, plantations of grapes, almonds, olives.Many fields were left unsown in the spring due to a lack of moisture in the soil.Plantation owners sent only water available to maintain the growth of trees that are not killed by the drought and the high yields and do not have to think.
During the spring and summer killed almond plantations and vineyards on tens of thousands of hectares.
Livestock States also suffered heavy losses.Due to the lack of water, the farmers had to reduce the number of livestock by selling it on the cheap.The grass on the slopes, not fed by precipitation, burned.To maintain the life of cattle is brought in hay from other states, and such expenses are not expected to farmers.
Farmers cry for help to the state government and the United States, but it was not enough.Many ranchers have lost everything they had.And dozens of farm families were forced to move to other states.
Severe drought - the cause of the problems in the industry
Industry State also suffered damage as a result of drought.The lack of snow has led to a strong shallowing of rivers and lakes, which in turn caused the malfunction of hydroelectric power stations of the state.Supply of electricity at peak hours became irregular.As a result, industrial enterprises were forced to cut production.
Forest fires - satellites drought
drought in the US was a record on the force.Its effects were amplified and severe fire situation.Throughout the spring and summer of 2014 residents of the state have spent on a powder keg.Forest fires in the local dry climate - a common phenomenon, but a terrible drought has increased the risk of fires in several times.Dried due to lack of water tree branches flashed instantly from any fire, whether it is thrown by a cigarette or a lightning strike during a case, the place of short thunderstorms.
Fires often approached the farms and towns, burning homes.Firefighters had to use special helicopters to extinguish.The problem was compounded by the fact that the waters of the state have less than one-third the volume of water from conventional stocks.
As a result, firefighters often had to choose, he put out the forest fire or to prevent its spread in the direction of the settlements.
Ash from wildfires covers the bottom of a dried-up rivers.When the rains come, the water surface would be heavily polluted.
Violation of ecological systems
drought in California, which has become the strongest in the last half century, has violated the ecological balance.Under threat of extinction have some plant and animal species that live in the waters of the state, including the sturgeon population.Reduce the number of birds, who settled in the vicinity of rivers and lakes.The cases of access to settlements wild bears who can not find food in the sun-scorched land.Among the plants most alarming relict trees pre-glacial era - the giant sequoias, preserved only in the United States.
Because of the drought already sparse vegetation on the steep slopes of the Sierra Nevada dry.The land is no longer held together by the roots, it dissipates the hot wind.If you start precipitation, which are often torrential character, it will simply be washed away by flood waters.Many acres of vineyards may be left without fertile soil.
famous Colorado River no longer brings its waters to the Pacific Ocean.Remains of water after collection for irrigation, after the arrest of the Hoover Dam to replenish the reservoir, disappear in the swamps, which turn it into a lower course.
In short, California was on the verge of ecological disaster.How will be able to recreate natural ecosystems after the end of the dry season and how much it will cost, experts do not undertake to predict.Especially that the drought in California in 2014 has caused such damage to property throughout the state that will restore the level of production for more than one year.
Saving water - the main way to combat drought
state of emergency imposed in California, has identified and measures for economical use of available water supplies.Some of them are advisory in nature, and for failing to put certain large fines.For example, California residents were advised not to waste water for watering lawns around the house.And for those who do not like withered grass in his private property, it is recommended to use artificial turf surface.
Prohibitions touched washing machines, and in fact in a state of very large private car park.It is forbidden to fill a swimming pool with water deficiency.For violations provided a large fine.Many residents are not the hot California summer without swimming in the pool, so they prefer to pay a fine, but to make their own way.Considering the fact that the Pacific Coast resort towns inhabited by no means poor people can imagine the impact of such bans.
struggle for water
bulk of the population, as opposed to the money-bags, well imagine the need to save water and is sympathetic to the prohibitions.Moreover, they are helping authorities in their fight against the perpetrators.It has become popular to take on the phone, others spend water and spread the records on the Internet, where offenders stigmatized.Many just go to the police to take action against "criminals of water."
activists to support state governments use various incentives.For example, the money - $ 100, but with the condition that the money be spent only on the purchase of assets in order to reduce water consumption (more fuel-efficient showers, toilets, etc.).
State of California is going through very difficult times.Eliminating the effects of drought takes decades.It is not known whether the return to farmers abandoned ranches and plantations.Without a strong state aid can not do here.