Archive for month: March, 2016
You are now in San Diego County category.
It’s the last day of March, which means it’s the end of the six-month period during which Southern California receives most of its rain. So, during this El Niño winter, how much rain did the region get?
Not much at all. A number close to 100 would mean it had been a typical year for precipitation—and this year the L.A. area is still about 40 percentage points below that. With just a few hours left in March, it will be impossible to make that up.
Some water providers in northern California say that with near-normal northern Sierra snowpack, state water managers should “relax” conservation mandates for the region.
The comments come a day after the season’s last Sierra Nevada snowpack measurement and as the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows drought has eased slightly in northwest California. Extreme drought still covers 55 percent of the state and exceptional drought nearly 35 percent of California.
Ballot measure establishes in the California Constitution — above the reach of politicians, bureaucrats, special interests or judges — that the priorities of water use are: domestic use first, and irrigation use second.
A proposed California ballot measure funds water storage projects to address the state’s immediate water supply needs. The proposed Reallocation of Bond Authority to Water Storage Initiative also prioritizes water uses in California by putting people and growing food first in the California Constitution. For 25 years, politicians, bureaucrats, special interests and the courts have made other uses of water more important than domestic and irrigation uses.
As climate change has heightened concerns about the global decline of mangroves, a study released this week found that such ecosystems along the desert coast of Baja California may be more important than previously thought for keeping heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Researchers at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography discovered that despite their short and stunted appearance, mangroves in these desert locations had surprisingly high rates of sequestering carbon underground. In some cases, the ability was several times greater than that of lush mangroves in tropical locations.
The results of the annual California snow survey are in. Despite the huge increase from one year ago, snowpack is still below average for this time of year. This is a disappointing outcome after what seemed to be the best possible scenario for the state — a very strong El Niño festering in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
Every month from January to May, a survey team from the California Department of Water Resources hikes to Phillips Station, high in the Sierra Mountains east of Sacramento.
While the northern part of California has seen encouraging levels of water in many of their reservoirs, Southern California is still mired in drought, so desperate for rain that we’ve even seeded the clouds with iodide in an attempt to coerce more precipitation out of them when El Niño alone wasn’t getting the job done. Now, as we approach the first day of April, the typical rainy season draws to a close and it looks like Southern California has had a solidly below average year, says KPCC.
A nearly average spring snowpack in the Sierra Nevada will likely prolong tough water conservation measures in drought-stricken California – although the restrictions could be loosened in some areas after an El Nino storm system drenched the northern half of the state this winter, officials said.
“The message is still very strong: Conservation measures are still going to be important,” Frank Gehrke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Survey Program, said Wednesday after he trudged through the snow to manually measure the snowpack at nearly 95 percent of normal.
Thursday morning Valley Center Municipal Water District Gen. Manager Gary Arant issued a statement about the “hype” surrounding current speculations that the state may drop or cut back its drought requirements due to the higher than normal rainfall this year.
“As is typically the case, there is a lot of premature hype and information about the SWRCB (State Water Resources Control Board) further and relaxing or even dropping the Emergency Drought Regulations which may generate questions from the media or public.
An atypical El Niño storm system brought Northern California’s snowpack close to normal, disappointing news for state water surveyors but an improvement some officials say may justify an easing of conservation requirements.
On Wednesday, the state Department of Water Resources measured the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, east of Sacramento, and found it was 97 percent of historical averages. Statewide, the snowpack is 87 percent of average.