The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is released weekly to indicate what areas throughout the United States are experiencing some level of the five-category drought.

The USDM levels range from the lower end of Abnormally Dry to the highest level of drought, Exceptional Drought.

During the recent five-year drought, which ended with the record-setting winter of 2016-17, Californians were faced with water shortages and much of the state ranked in the Extreme and Exceptional categories.

When we don’t get water from rain and snow, then we resort to other measures. Those other forms of water for the state include groundwater and imports from other states.

The groundwater pumping can cause permanent and long-lasting damage. This involves drawing water from deep below the surface in our aquifers.

Unfortunately, that is one area where drought remains. The state has had unregulated pumping which has drained this water savings account.

New rules and regulations are being set now so that we can turn to the valuable groundwater resource when the state inevitably returns to some drought category.

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