California Stretched by Worsening Drought by Jim Carlton, The Wall Street Journal, January 2, 2014

January 2, 2014

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Record-low precipitation in 2013 has worsened California's drought, draining reservoirs, forcing farmers to keep fallow thousands of acres of fields and leaving some ski resorts high and dry during the busy holiday season.Urban and agricultural customers, including Southern California's huge Metropolitan Water District, have been told by the state to expect to receive this year, on average, just 5% of the water they historically request, after a year in which rainfall totals hit record lows in many parts of the state. Last year, customers received 35% of requested supply, on average.

It is also mobilizing emergency drought plans to convey water from places that have more abundant supplies to those in need.A drought emergency could be called by Gov. Jerry Brown early in the new year, officials said, following an unusually dry start to the state's rainy season—which usually begins in late October—in addition to two years of drought.