[BAY FEATURE]Bay Area Drought Watch

BAY FEATURE

Coverage of California's looming water problem

California Drought 2014: NBC Bay Area News Special

The NBC Bay Area weather team presents "California Drought 2014"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Friday, Apr 4, 2014)

    They are the things we take for granted: lights going on with a flip, gas coming out of the pump, water flowing from the faucet.

    But when the natural resources which supply these every day necessities begin to run dry, our way of life, our comfort, our health, are threatened.

    It is in this moment we are reminded that, for all of the technology at our fingertips, we are powerless to control the rain and snow needed to replenish our reservoirs and snow packed mountain peaks.

    In a special report, airing April 5 at 6:30 p.m., we will attempt to explain California’s drought of 2014 in an historical context, explain how we got here, give you a "reality check" behind the numbers, talk about the drought’s impact on your home, and we’ll discuss the relative importance of rain versus snow on the future of our water supply.

    Plus, our microclimate forecast team discusses the opportunities for us to pull out of the drought, as well as the chances that the situation will get worse before it gets better. You can watch their roundtable discussion in the below embedded video.

    While 2013 was one of the driest years on record for the Bay Area, that alone wasn't enough to create a drought as extreme as the one California is seeing now.

    This is how we got here:

    California’s drought conditions are forcing residents of the Golden State to adopt new lifestyle habits.

    But, before you can efficiently cut back on water usage, it’s important to first examine where you’re using it most:

    You might be surprised to learn that snowpack is absolutely critical to the Bay Area and the entire state of California’s water supply.

    When it comes to getting us out of drought, snowpack is more important than rainfall:

    It was only recently that some experts described California’s drought as the “worst on record."

    We've been fortunate to receive rainfall since then. So how "historic" is the drought now? And, more importantly, how will it impact us?

    Sam Brock digs up the facts and scrapes away the hype about the drought in this Reality Check report:

    The state-wide drought puts a lot of pressure on politicians to decide who gets how much water and money for relief.

    So what exactly can our leaders, from city hall to Capitol Hill, really do to solve the issues in our homes?

    Political analyst and San Jose State professor Dr. Larry Gerston sat down with NBC Bay Area Chief Meteorologist Jeff Ranieri to discuss those very issues: