With the Bay Area experiencing a relatively wet and lush winter, it’s easy to forget that nearly half of California is still suffering from extreme and exceptional drought levels. That’s why the State Water Resources Control Board is moving forward on a revolutionary new plan to develop and adopt measures to convert recycled water into drinking water. People, realize that “recycled water” is just a more pleasant-sounding euphemism for wastewater, or sewage.
Archive for date: January 3rd, 2017
You are now in California and the U.S. category.
Droughts are already getting longer and more severe because of human-caused climate change in the American Southwest and around the world. But the drought-climate connection goes both ways: California’s prolonged dry spell has also made climate change a little bit worse.
Got outdoor plans this weekend? Might want to cancel them. Stockton could see its wettest day in more than two years on Sunday, and Saturday won’t be much better, as another atmospheric river drenches California from the Pacific Ocean.Somewhere north of 2 inches of rain is expected over the weekend, and that doesn’t even include the earlier storm that moved in Tuesday night and early this morning, bringing wind gusts expected to top 45 mph.
The several feet of snow expected in the Sierra this week is expected to considerably change the look of California’s drought map. At this time last year, 45 percent of the state was in an exceptional drought, which is the worst possible rating. Officials said only 18 percent of California currently remains dry.
Weather over the past year was extreme. It ranged from a historic blizzard to record-breaking heat. At times, it was deadly. This map explains nearly all of it: rain and drought — the yin and yang of U.S. weather in 2016. Even with a very strong El Niño, the vast majority of the West ended the year with below-average precipitation. In the Deep South, flash flooding threatened lives and property over and over. In the Southeast, an epic drought fueled deadly wildfires.
Surveyors will plunge poles into the Sierra Nevada snowpack near Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, taking the season’s first measurement by hand of the snow’s water content as California flirts with a sixth year of drought. What they find in the snowpack between now and April 1 will guide state water managers in the nation’s most populous state that also leads in production of farming. Electronic monitors in late December showed the snowpack’s water content at just 72 percent of normal despite heavy rain. That figure dipped even lower during the holiday weekend.
Welcome to Drought Denier Corner, a home for crackpots like me who think the “drought,” at least as defined by the powers that be, is a bunch of baloney. Here. Put on this tin foil hat and hear me out. The dictionary defines drought as, “a period of dry weather, especially a long one that is injurious to crops.” By the common definition, then, a drought ends when the rains come. Big rains, at least. Well, they came.
The first snow survey of the season will take place in the Lake Tahoe area Tuesday morning. It’s viewed as a critical test of California’s water supply, after five years of drought. Surveyors will plunge poles into the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides roughly one third of California’s water. Tuesday’s snow survey comes amid hopes that the state’s water crisis may finally be coming to an end. There has been plenty of rain all across the state during the past three months. However, water experts say it is still way to early to declare an end to California’s long drought.
On a picturesque summer afternoon, West Basin Municipal Water District officials chose to woo regulators with a stroll by the beach in El Segundo, stopping to admire an unadulterated strip of California coastline. “It is beautiful,” said Diane Gatza, West Basin’s water resources engineer. A few hours later, environmental advocates held a town hall two miles away in Manhattan Beach.
The first snowpack survey of 2017 found below average numbers on Tuesday. The Phillips station in El Dorado County reported just 53 percent of the average for this time of the year, according to the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). Here’s what Tuesday’s measurement means.The state is measuring the water content in the snowpack, which is essentially how much water exists if the snow were to melt instantaneously. The average for early-January is 11.3 inches. Tuesday’s measurement reported just 6 inches of water content.