Timeline: The California Drought - NBC Southern California

Coverage of one of California's most severe dry spells on record and its dramatic turnaround

Timeline: The California Drought

A look at the key events of the California drought of 2014.



    Dec. 27, 2013, LA Nears Its Record for Driest Year: With no significant moisture in the forecast and just days until New Year's Eve, it appears this year will go down in the books as the driest ever on record in Los Angeles. Full Story

    Jan. 2, 2014, State Water Crisis Prompts Task Force: A special task force charged with dealing with the water crisis facing California met in Sacramento on Friday. The recent shortage threatens to affect everything from food prices to restrictions on water usage. Full Story

    Jan. 3, CA Snowpack at Record Low: The first Sierra snow survey of the winter on Friday confirmed the fears of state water managers, who are warning of drought conditions in the coming year unless the state receives significantly more rain. Full Story

    Jan. 7, Growers, Water Districts Call on Governor to Declare Drought Emergency: As California moves deeper into its third year of drought, growers and representatives of local water districts called on Gov. Jerry Brown to proclaim a drought emergency. Full Story

    Delta Tunnel Proposal at Center of Water Battle Between California's North and South

    [LA] Congressman Opposes Delta Tunnel Proposal for Delivering Water to Southland
    Experts agree the weak link in the system that delivers water from wetter Northern California to the drier Southern half is the fragile Bay Delta. Governor Brown's proposal to divert Sacramento River water south through new tunnels to go beneath the Delta is backed by Southern California water agencies, but faces renewed opposition from veteran elected official John Garamendi, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior, now a Congressman representing the Delta region. Patrick Healy reports from downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Friday March 7, 2014.
    (Published Saturday, March 8, 2014)

    Jan. 17, Gov. Brown Declares CA Drought Emergency: Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency Friday for California after weeks of intensifying pressure from lawmakers to take action as the state's water reservoir levels remain strained with no rain in the forecast. Full Story

    Jan. 29, Napa Valley Winemakers Prepare for Drought: With California in the grips of severe drought, Napa Valley wine grape growers on Tuesday said some vines are ripening early and that farmers are planning fewer crops to save water. Full Story

    Jan. 30, Sierra Snowpack is 12 Percent of Historic Average: After long bouts of mostly powderless days, it's finally snowing in Tahoe. White powder blanketed the area early Thursday, leaving trees and benches covered in snow. Full Story

    El Nino Could Return: Forecasters

    [LA] El Nino Could Return: Forecasters
    Global weather experts announced Thursday that warming water patterns in the Pacific Ocean indicate a 50-50 chance that El Niño could make a comeback and provide much-needed moisture to drought-stricken California. Patrick Healy spoke with JPL climate scientists in Pasadena for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, 2014.
    (Published Thursday, March 6, 2014)

    Feb. 14, President Announces CA Drought Response: President Barack Obama visited California Friday to discuss the federal response to California's drought problem. Full Story

    Feb. 22, Drought Raises Food Prices: The California drought has raised food prices at the grocery stores and they may get even higher if it continues. Full Story

    Feb. 27, Long Beach OKs Toughest Water Restrictions in SoCal: Some of the toughest water restrictions in Southern California were approved Thursday, after a splash of rain from a quick-moving storm and a heavier system in the forecast inspired muted celebration in the drought-stricken region. Full Story

    Debate Heats Up Over Desalination Plant Plan

    [LA] Debate Heats Up Over OC Desalination Plant Proposal
    A proposal to build a water desalination plant in Huntington Beach amid the severe drought is encountering resistance from critics who cite the project s financial and environmental costs. Patrick Healy reports from Huntington Beach for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
    (Published Wednesday, March 5, 2014)

    Feb. 27, CA Lawmakers Pass $687M Drought-Relief Plan: A $687 million drought-relief plan is headed to the governor's desk after winning overwhelming approval in both houses of the Legislature. Full Story

    March 1, Storm Not Expected to Help Long-Term Drought Problems: A storm system that has provided Southern California with much needed rain over the last few days will help state drought conditions in the short term, but weather officials aren’t convinced it will have lasting effects. Full Story

    March 20, CA Drought: Storms' Benefits "Rapidly Diminished": Nearly a month of warm and dry weather "rapidly diminished" the benefits of late-winter storms that swept through California as extreme drought returned to areas that saw slight improvement after a few days of precipitation, according to the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor. Full Story

    April 1, Cal Fire at Peak Staffing: Cal Fire officials have moved to peak staffing as extreme drought conditions continue to cripple California and wildfire activity remains high. Full Story

    April 26, Calif. Gov. Issues Second Executive Order to Fight Drought: Gov. Jerry Brown issued a second executive order on Friday to deal with California's drought, taking additional steps to help fight wildfires and assist cities and farmers. Full Story

    May 14, Dam Water Will Be Tapped for First Time in Decades Amid California Drought: Water stored behind a dam north of Fresno will be tapped for the first time in decades as California and federal water officials looks for ways to alleviate the effects of a third-consecutive dry year with no relief in sight. Full Story

    May 22, All of CA Remains in "Severe" Drought or Worse: The entire state of California faces "severe" drought conditions or worse as the West enters its dry season, according to the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Full Story

    May 28, CA Drought Forces Communities to Tap Ground Water: California's severe drought is forcing some water districts to pump ground water in order to serve its communities.  Full Story

    June 27, Extreme Wildfires Threaten Rolling Blackouts Across State: Tinderbox conditions exacerbated by a historic California drought could put power lines across the state at risk of failing this summer, officials said. Full Story

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