California’s Water Whiplash Is Only Going to Get Worse

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JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

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In December 1861, as a California drought was wearing into its fifth year, farmers on the West Coast were all asking for one thing for Christmas: rain. And boy did they get it. For 43 days rain and snow fell across the state, causing rivers to surge their banks, turning the 300-mile long, 20-mile-wide Central Valley into an ice-cold inland sea. LA got 66…

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