As California experiences the fourth year of one of the most severe droughts in its history, a senior Nasa scientist has warned that the state has about one year of water left.

In an LA Times editorial published last week, Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory senior water cycle scientist Jay Famiglietti called for a more “forward-looking process” to deal with the state’s dwindling water supply.

Famiglietti, who is also a professor at University of California at Irvine, said the state had about one year of water in reservoir storage and the backup supply, groundwater, was low.

“California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain,” Famiglietti wrote. “In short, we have no paddle to navigate this crisis.”

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