"Historic California Drought Called a Red Flag for Future Of US"

"The California drought, the worst in its history, could have far-reaching impacts for the state and for a nation that is only now starting to cope with climate change, experts say."

"Los Angeles -- As California faces the worst drought in its 163-year history with no hint of relief in sight, some scientists are calling the event a red flag for the future of the nation.

Gov. Jerry Brown raised the issue in his State of the State address Wednesday, saying “we do not know how much our current problem derives from the build-up of heat-trapping gasses, but we can take this drought as a stark warning of things to come.”

Water shortages have widespread impacts. Agriculture and energy generation account for 80 percent of the nation’s clean water use, says David Dzombak,  head of Carnegie Mellon University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. And even when cities meet their water demands during a drought, the costs can leave them “exposed to significant risk of financial failures,” says Patrick Reed, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University, in an e-mail."

Gloria Goodale reports for the Christian Science Monitor January 22, 2014.

SEE ALSO:

"Calif. Air Quality Affected By Lack Of Rain" (NPR)

"Brown: Calif. Comes Back But Challenged By Drought" (Associated Press)

"Calif. Drought Spurs Some Cities -- Not All -- to Conserve" (Climate Central)

"California Drought Brings 'Unprecedented' Fire Danger" (Los Angeles Times)

"California Drought Loosens Some Environmental Rules" (KQED Science)
 

Source: Christian Science Monitor, 01/24/2014