The Stream, June 20: Snowmelt Won’t Relieve California Drought

The Global Rundown

State agencies forecast snowmelt from California’s Sierra Nevada mountains will amount to just three-quarters of normal levels this year, prolonging the state’s drought. Low water levels in India’s Rajasthan state are delaying crop planting, wile high water levels in Germany have closed a section of the Rhine River to shipping. Scientists warn of the immediacy of climate change as temperatures, floods, and droughts break records around the world. The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency outlined concerns about the long-term viability of the water treatment system in Flint, Michigan.

“The drinking-water-treatment system must have the people, equipment, management, training and expert support it needs to function reliably and well.” –Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in a letter to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. McCarthy highlighted concerns about the long-term viability of the water system in Flint, where drinking water supplies were contaminated with lead. (The Detroit News)

By The Numbers

1,100 cubic feet per second Amount of water farm representatives in Rajasthan say is being released to the state from Punjab, causing shortages that are preventing planting. The Tribune

50 kilometers Length of the Rhine River closed to shipping in Germany over the weekend due to high water levels. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Record droughts, floods, and temperatures around the world are a clear sign that climate change is occurring now, according to scientists. With 2016 on track to be the warmest year ever, 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have occurred this century. Guardian

On The Radar

California’s drought is set to continue through a fifth year due to disappointing snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada mountains. Between April and July, snow runoff from the mountains –a key water source for the state–will likely be three-quarters of the average amount, according to the state Department of Water Resources. San Francisco Chronicle