WORLD FOCUS

California's climate change conundrum: Drier dries and wetter wets

California's challenge is to strike better balance for its life blood - water - for agriculture, cities and environment

California has a conundrum - how to deal with the convergence of dated physical infrastructure, higher temperatures, more wildfires, more rain than snow, and the effects of all of that on its life blood: water.

The last couple of years have been a harbinger of what the state faces. Years of record-breaking drought that emptied reservoirs and prompted unprecedented urban water conservation, segued into heavy rain that dumped record inches on northern California in 2016-2017. In early 2017, the main spillway at Lake Oroville, the state's second largest reservoir, collapsed, causing 200,000 people to be evacuated, and the state only narrowly escaped an even greater disaster.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2019, with the headline 'Climate change conundrum'. Print Edition | Subscribe