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This means that certain plants are actually able to help prevent droughts, but can only do so if groundwater is maintained at a certain level.One of the reasons that the study was conducted was to ascertain whether the Owens Valley region of California could handle any practiced or proposed groundwater extraction.
Lehr has said that he fears coho salmon may go completely extinct south of the Golden Gate Bridge in the near future.
In early 2014 the main stems of the Eel, Mad, Smith, Van Duzen, and Mattole rivers were closed pending additional rainfall.
Stafford Lehr, Chief of Fisheries within the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said that 95% of winter run salmon didn’t survive in 2013.
According to the NOAA Drought Task Force report of 2014, the drought is not part of a long-term change in precipitation and was a symptom of the natural variability, although the record-high temperature that accompanied the recent drought may have been amplified due to human-induced global warming.
This was confirmed by a 2015 scientific study which estimated that global warming "accounted for 8–27% of the observed drought anomaly in 2012–2014...
Although natural variability dominates, anthropogenic warming has substantially increased the overall likelihood of extreme California droughts." By February 1, 2014, Felicia Marcus, the chairwoman of the State Water Resources Control Board, claimed the 2014 drought "is the most serious drought we've faced in modern times." Marcus argues that California needs to "conserve what little we have to use later in the year, or even in future years." A 16-year study of how precipitation affects groundwater-dependent vegetation was conducted and the results showed that the alkali meadow vegetation plant community is groundwater dependent and that this characteristic buffers the system from the effects of drought.Protesters say that banning fishing will disrupt the economy and threaten the livelihoods of individuals who rely on salmon fishing during the winters.Officials feel that it will help prevent species that are already in trouble from slipping to extinction.Large areas of the Russian and American rivers were closed indefinitely.Other actions have also been taken, such as releasing more water from the Kent Dam in hopes of raising the levels in the Lagunitas Creek watershed—one of the last spawning grounds that wild coho can still reach.An instance of this was performed on the Los Angeles reservoir in 2014.The shade balls were supposed to be the most cost-effective way to cover the body of water amongst all the available options.However, Brown's water restrictions have been criticized because they have not been applied to California's agricultural sector, which uses around 80% of California's developed water supply.The California Department of Fish and Wildlife closed dozens of streams and rivers to fishing in 2014.By January 24, 2017, not one portion of the state was in "Exceptional" drought, the highest category on the Drought Monitor.On February 21, no part of the state was in the next-lower category of "Extreme" drought, and over 60% of the state's area was no longer in any level of drought.