But the drought will have repercussions outside the state's borders, as well. California produces a good chunk of the nation's food: half of all our fruits and vegetables, along with a significant amount of dairy and wine.
So how will this historically dry period affect Californians—and the rest of us? Here are a few important facts to keep in mind:
How bad is it? According to the United States Drought Monitor, most of the state is experiencing "extreme drought," the second highest of six rankings. About 10 percent of the state is experiencing "exceptional drought," the highest possible level. As of this week, 17 communities are in danger of running out of water, forcing some to buy it or run pipes from other districts.
What do scientists say about the drought? Scientists can't predict how wet or dry a specific season is going to be, but they can forecast drought trends over time, and they've been warning us for decades that the droughts will become...