California is in the midst of a serious drought problem and farmers and small businesses are likely to take the heaviest blow. Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency and urged millions of Californians to cut down on water consumption. To make matters worse, the State Water Project said that it would not be able to provide any water to state utilities, forcing them to look for other sources, such as groundwater and the Colorado River, the Washington Post reported.
The situation is not looking good. According to Brian Fuchs, a climatologist from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, 10% of California is in a predicament that only occurs once every 50 years, known as "exceptional" drought. About two-thirds of the state is in "extreme" drought conditions, he added. President Obama has scheduled a visit to Fresno to promote federal efforts to help farmers, the newspaper said.
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But farmers need water quickly and some of them have already been forced to choose one type of crops over another, so that they can use their water supply for meeting urgent needs only. Restrictions also apply in cities. In Sacramento people risk a $1,000 fine if they water their lawn more than once a week. Last month the number of people who reported water abuse anonymously reached 1,000, up from 50 in January 2013.