From USA Today
California had one of its driest years in 2015. In fact, last year marked the driest four-year period in the state’s history.
But Donald Trump isn’t sold. Six months later, the presumptive GOP nominee told supporters in Fresno, Calif., that no such dry spell exists.
In fact, Trump said state officials were simply denying water to Central Valley farmers to prioritize the Delta smelt, a native California fish nearing extinction —or as Trump called it, “a certain kind of three-inch fish.”
“We’re going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane. It is so ridiculous where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea,” Trump told thousands of supporters at the campaign event.
Yes, there is a drought
A series of graphics from the Los Angeles Times shows the progression of the drought from 2011 through the present, using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. The drought worsened in 2014 and 2015, eventually subsiding marginally this year.
The Drought Monitor’s website says that over the past week parts of northeastern California and northern Nevada saw improvements and that “overall conditions have continued to steadily improve during the past year.”
Dry spell sparks tensions
Trump spoke in Fresno and San Diego ahead of California’s June 7 primary. California is the country’s top agriculture producer, and the drought has raised tensions among farmers, government officials and environmentalists.
State officials imposed a water ban June 1, 2015, after record low rain and snowfall. The scarcity was evident from the Sierra Nevada’s shrunken snowpack to the dry wells of the Central Valley.
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