I had the occasion recently to drive from Sacramento up to Siskiyou County for the day and a couple of things were pretty evident from the trip. First, California is an incredibly diverse state. In the span of a few hours, you can go from the State Capitol, to tree crops, to cattle, to lumber. [...]
Throw a pebble into a pond and watch the ripples—well, if only we had a pond. The rain that’s fallen on California in the past several days is certainly a welcome change, but it is not enough to reverse the ripple effects of the drought. Average rainfall and reservoir levels are still well below 50 percent of normal up and down the state. The drought has been so severe it may have already caused damage that can’t be undone no matter how much rain we get now.
There is some rain due in Northern California this week, and while it will be a welcome end to a record-breaking streak of winter days with no precipitation, it will not mean an end to the drought. After two previous dry years, and the extremely dry winter we’ve had so far, rivers and reservoirs are [...]
Typically when you talk about water in California the only thing people agree on is that it’s wet. Other than that, well, it’s a topic full of opportunities for arguments. This year however, there’s something else most Californians agree on about water: We don’t have nearly enough of it.
Coming on the heels of several relatively dry years, the 2013-14 “wet season” is shaping up to be one of the driest on record. Lakes and reservoirs around the state are well below seasonal norms and the Sierra Snow Pack, California’s “savings account” when it comes to water, is holding only about 20 percent of the normal water content. If it continues, and most long term forecasts indicate it will, the lack of water in California could have severe impact in several different ways.