New drought maps point the way to real trouble - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

New drought maps point the way to real trouble

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - California continues to run dry, and things don't figure to be getting better any time soon. A new map is showing just how bad the state's drought has gotten in recent years.

This hypnotically colorful map, created by the L.A. Times, says it all in the span of a matter of seconds, demonstrating how increasingly dry California has become just since 2011.

"You're looking over a four-year period. You never see the state totally away from drought, and it's a very serious situation," SDSU geology professor Dr. Pat Abbott said.

Abbot points out that the Golden State is no stranger to these direly dry conditions.

"But they have become more significant to us now because there are more people, more agriculture. These shortfalls are felt all the more acutely," he said.

Especially in San Diego, which in the winter receives only the tail end of rainfall from the north, and in the summer, the tail end of hurricane weather from the south.

"And we're sort of in no-man's land, so to speak. We get the tail ends of both systems, which adds up to not much," Abbott said.

In the Great Valley, where agriculture is king, ancient reserves of water drilled from below ground are being depleted.

"The water in the state of California is limited. The only place that is not limited is offshore," Abbott said.

There's the option of desalinating ocean water -- which several countries such as Israel have already adopted -- and which California may eventually be forced to adopt.

"Because where else is there water? It is there, but you're going to have to pay more money to bring it out and develop the system to get that water," Abbott said.

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