Photo: The Colorado River Basin has been in a continuous drought since 1999.
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If we are adequately to talk about the weather this century, we are going to need a new lexicon that better captures the current reality, writes Tom Philp of Metropolitan Water District.

Water policy is becoming a prisoner of its own limited vocabulary, particularly when it comes to the weather. Here is a case that “drought” and “normal” belong in the dustbin of history, for their overuse can lead to the wrong conversation. These words are not so sinister as to be banned from the dictionary. But they tend to miss the mark as to what seems to be happening with our weather this century. Take a look at the chart below: annual precipitation in California has been below average in 11 of the last 17 years.

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