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Delta Watch

Recent polls (Field Poll and PPIC) have found that Proposition 1, the water bond on the November ballot, is supported by a nearly two-to-one margin among likely voters. Both polls also found that as voters learn more about the bond, they are more likely to support it.

In 2013, Endangered Species Act (ESA) restrictions directly resulted in the loss of more than 800,000 acre-feet of water that could have been delivered to San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area and Southern California businesses and residents. This would have been enough water to supply 1.6 million homes with water for a year or to irrigate 400,000 acres of farmland.

In 2013, San Francisco, which garners its water supplies from the same Delta watershed, received its entire water supply, with no restrictions.

Just how much worse can the drought get? According to the US Drought Monitor Index, 58 percent of California was in an “exceptional” drought, as of July 29, compared to just 36 percent the previous week (as shown by the growing dark red section of the graphic below.) Although the word “exceptional” usually carries a positive connotation, in this case, it is the worst drought classification available. The rest of the state continues to suffer from “severe” and “extreme” drought conditions, according to the Index’s rating system – meaning the entire state in a serious drought.