We have had a look at the intense drought that much of California has been experiencing over the last few years. Recently a series of storms has hit the Golden State, first in the north and now the southern area.
For the first time in 36 months the US Drought Monitor reports that no area of California is subject to “exceptional drought”. At it’s worst the exceptional drought status covered 2/3 of the state, and as recently as Christmas 2016 , 20% of California was still in the worst of the drought. The improved situation is seen in not just the drought stricken area, but all over as 38% of California is completely clear of dryness.
The record El Nino of 2015/2016, was looked to provide much needed moisture but failed to live up to expectations. This winter a series of moisture rich storms riding atmospheric rivers has done the job.
In a past blog, we looked at the key being getting a good snow pack up in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. An abundance of snow has hit the region with 246″ falling in Central California. The importance of the snow is to replace the water in the lakes and rivers that drain out to the ocean, until next years snow hits.
As good as this news is there is still drought to be found. It takes time for the recent moisture to recharge the ground water or aquifers. People who are reliant on some wells will have to be patient for the water to arrive and activate their supply.
Californians have got used to living in drought conditions and would be wise to continue to be careful in using up the state’s water supply. History tends to repeat itself and so does the weather. Water conservation has become a way of life.