By Brigid McCormack, Executive Director of Audubon California
As umbrellas popped open around California in recent months, you could almost feel the tension ease. Californians were becoming so desperate about the drought that they could be forgiven for allowing themselves to think things were on the upswing ? that farmers would have enough water, communities could get drinking water, vital habitat would be provided for birds and other wildlife, and that as a bonus, maybe we?d save our ski season.
Those hopes were premature. Experts tell us our snowpack is still at less than 50 percent of normal and that our lakes, rivers and reservoirs are at the lowest levels in decades. The California Department of Water Resources Drought Operations Plan indicates this is going to be a painful summer.