California drought

PhotographerLucy Nicholson
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

In 2015 California’s snowpack, provider of about a third of the state’s water, reached its lowest recorded level, triggering the first mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region’s catastrophic drought entered its fourth year. California leads the USA in annual value of agricultural products, most of which originate in the Central Valley, the vast, fertile region stretching 450 miles from Redding to Bakersfield. Despite accounting for only 20 percent of state water consumption the new water conservation rules hit urban users hardest. The agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related water, was exempted.