California is facing its new climate normal with increased temperatures, drought, severe wildfires and rising sea levels.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide drought emergency earlier this month, urging all Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15%. California cut its water usage by 5% in August, a slight improvement over July, which saw a statewide decrease of 1.8%.
In this week's "In Focus SoCal," host Tanya McRae sits down with Dr. Peter Gleick, founder and president emeritus of the Pacific Institute, to discuss the current drought that has caused major reservoirs in California to drop to extreme low levels.
"When we get the good rain that we'd like to get, California gets about 15-20% of our electricity from hydropower from the water that's stored behind our dams," said Gleick.
The federal government declared a first water shortage at the Colorado River, which serves 40 million people living in the West. Lake Mead, the country's largest reservoir that stores water from the Colorado River, is at its lowest since it was filled in the 1930s.
Experts are expecting another dry winter ahead, and emergency regulations may be set into place by the State Water Resources Board to prohibit wasting water.
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris joins the conversation to discuss the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach that sent 25,000 gallons of oil into the ocean. She was recently appointed to chair the Select Committee that is investigating the Oct. 2 incident, and is among a group of officials calling for an end to offshore drilling.
"My goal with the committee is to ensure that we learn the lessons from this spill, that we make the changes and regulations in our laws, in our protocols, in our technology and equipment to ensure that we can avert a disaster like this in the future," said Petrie-Norris.
Send us your thoughts to InFocusSoCal@charter.com and watch at 9 a.m. and noon Sundays.