As fears of a third consecutive dry year become reality, state officials in California reportedly announced that 27 million people and 750,000 acres of farmland relying on supplies from state reservoirs will receive only 5% (rather than 15%) of what they have requested this year from state supplies beyond what is needed for critical activities.

California is experiencing its second acute drought in less than a decade, and scientists say the U.S. West is broadly experiencing the worst megadrought in 1,200 years, made more intense by climate change. Melted snow traditionally provides about a third of the state's water supply, but current predictions estimate the state will have about 57% of its historical median runoff this April through July.

A very wet December put water content in the snow at 160% of normal levels, but warmer temperatures are causing some of that water to evaporate rather than flow into rivers and streams as it melts.

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