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California is experiencing the worst drought in its history, and the effects are being felt nationwide. Thus water issues have taken center stage in much of our reporting and the nation's.As the New York Times says, "Water has long been a precious resource in California, the subject of battles pitting farmer against city-dweller and northern communities against southern ones; books and movies have been made about its scarcity and plunder. Water is central to the state’s identity and economy, and a symbol of how wealth and ingenuity have tamed nature ..."As we continue through a fourth year of extreme drought conditions, you'll find all of our reporting on the related issues (and that of NPR and other member stations) in this centralized place.

DWR Raises Water Allocation Estimates

With reservoirs filling from a series of prodigious early season storms, state water officials had an announcement Wednesday that should be music to the ears of many California growers. Officials with the California Department of Water Resources more than doubled their water allocation estimates for the coming year, from 20 to 45 percent. The figure will almost certainly be adjusted again as the rainy season progresses and officials get a better idea of how much water they’ll have to distribute.

Currently, five of the dozen largest reservoirs in the state have the same or more water in them now, than they do in a typical year. Eight of them are more than half full, with the typically rainy months of January, February and March still ahead.