HI Tapping the final reservoir California’s record drought brought very little snowpack this past winter, placing extra demands on the state’s aquifers. Change in levels of groundwaterSpring 2013 to Spring 2014 Mountain snowpack Missing snowpack As a winter snowpack melts, runoff fills rivers and reservoirs, which hold water for use by cities and agriculture. The water also recharges California’s aquifers, or groundwater. With little snow or rain, surface water levels have dropped precipitously. With remaining reservoir water reserved for cities, farmers irrigate their crops by drilling wells deeper into aquifers, the levels of which are falling at unprecedented rates. Because of a three-year dearth of rain and snowfall, California is suffering one of its worst droughts on record, which is stressing agriculture in the Central Valley, threatening municipal water supplies and putting the state’s fish and animals in peril. +50 feet –50 feet No change Mountain bedrock Sand, gravel, clay; ancient ocean deposits Reservoir Receding reservoir Aquifer recharged by rainfalland meltingsnow Farmers extendwells into aquiferfor irrigation Normal weather pattern Drought Exceptional drought Aug. 2011 Aug. 2012 Aug. 2013 Aug. 12, 2014 Abnormally dry Moderate drought Severe drought Extreme drought Exceptionaldrought Central Valley 100 MILES 0 Redding Los Angeles Sacramento Central Valley aquifer system SierraNevada San Francisco CALIFORNIA NEVADA

SOURCE: California Department of Water Resources Groundwater Information Center, National Drought Mitigation Center, Google Earth.