Massive floods hit Houston and devastating hurricanes struck Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. Yet one of the more remarkable stories in the past year is the catastrophe that did not happen: massive flooding in California. California experienced its wettest water year on record in 2016-17. In previous decades, that huge volume of water would have caused lethal floods, particularly in the Central Valley. In part, we were lucky. Reservoirs were empty from drought so they had abundant capacity, and there was sufficient time between big storms so the rainfall didn’t stack up.
Archive for date: November 21st, 2017
You are now in California and the U.S. category.
With the first phase of repairs to the Oroville Dam spillway completed, residents downstream can breathe a little easier. Hundreds of engineers and laborers worked around the clock to fortify the nation’s tallest dam before winter rains, and the Department of Water Resources should be congratulated for expediting this enormous task. But there is a key part of this repair that is still to be done to ensure that California’s water system is ready to withstand the challenges of extreme weather events predicted for the future.
The State Water Resources Control Board is considering a number of regulations that could impact how and when you use water. The Board may move to permanently prohibit practices that waste potable water, such as: Hosing off sidewalks, driveways and other hardscapes; Washing automobiles with hoses not equipped with a shut-off nozzle; Using non-recirculated water in a fountain or other decorative water feature; Watering lawns in a manner that causes runoff, or within 48 hours after measurable precipitation, and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.