As Disasters Worsen, California Looks at Curbing Construction in Risky Areas

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Friday, June 4, 2021

The West is no stranger to drought, but climate change is making it worse. Severe dryness covered California and Nevada just five years ago, from 2012 to 2016, and the Southwest has been in drought for much of the past two decades, punctuated by rare wet years. Experts say this year is unusual because extreme drought conditions are so widespread and have intensified quickly. They are likely to grow even worse this summer. Jeanine Jones, the interstate resources manager for the California Department of Water Resources, said the current crisis exposes the need for drought forecasting and planning to consider the effects of climate change.“We’ve now had two dry years,” she said, but “this is all occurring in the context of a longer period, a couple of decades, of generally dry and much warmer conditions.”

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