NASA scientist: California has one year of water left

Folsom Lake reservoir has dropped to 18% capacity as an unseasonably dry winter in California stokes fears of a severe drought.
Folsom Lake reservoir has dropped to 18% capacity as an unseasonably dry winter in California stokes fears of a severe drought.

California Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing a $1 billion emergency relief plan to deal with California's water shortage caused by four years of drought conditions.

This comes just as new predictions about the state's water supply are painting a dire picture. In an op-ed published in the LA Times last week, Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at NASA, predicted the state is nearing the bottom of its water storage.

“We have a year of surface water. After that, we’ll rely more heavily on underground water,” Famiglietti told José Díaz-Balart on msnbc Thursday.

Famiglietti explained that, currently, about 80% of the water used by the state comes from the ground, meaning that once the surface water disappears, California will rely entirely on ground water to supply its 320 million residents--a problem because ground water is not easily replaceable.

Last November, voters in California approved the state legislature's $7.5 million water bond measure for water and flood projects to try to tackle the state's drought.