The state is experiencing its driest year on record--and it could get worse
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The surest place to find water in sunbaked California is usually a swimming pool. The state gets only about 22 in. of rainfall a year, near the bottom of the U.S. average. And that’s in a normal year. What’s happening now in the Golden State is anything but normal.
An average of just 7.38 in. of rain fell in 2013, making it the driest year since California became a state in 1850. The result has been a megadrought so severe that 17 communities across the state could run out of water altogether in two to four months. Though several months of winter remain, the Sierra Nevada snowpack, a crucial water source, is at just 20% of its average.