California’s worst drought in years continues to worsen, with the end of their rainy season in sight. According to the April 15, 2014 U.S. Drought Monitor 69 percent of California is locked in a state of “extreme drought,” a slight improvement from earlier this month. Nearly 24 percent is experiencing “exceptional” drought.

The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which supplies the state with water in the warmer months, stands at about 12 percent of normal. This has triggered mandatory restrictions from the governor that will affect residents and farmers alike.

For the first time in the state’s history, officials announced that they would not send any water from the state’s expansive reservoir system to local agencies, a move that will affect drinking water supplies for 25 million people and irrigation for one million acres of farmland.

California is the nation’s top agricultural state, with farming generating approximately $37.5 billion a year, growing roughly half of the nation’s fruits, nuts and vegetables.

Last year, California farmers purchased more than 25,000 crop insurance policies, costing them more than $95 million out of their back pockets and protecting more than $6 billion in liabilities.

Source: National Crop Insurance Services news release