I live in California and we’ve just had our third winter of very low snow and rainfall, meaning we are facing a serious drought. At this point we have only one year’s worth of water in our reservoirs. A pretty scary prospect.
California has a Mediterranean climate, so we get most of our precipitation in the winter. Storms dump rain on our coastal mountains and the runoff is collected in numerous reservoirs all over the state. The Sierras, which are inland on the eastern border, get both rain and snow and the snow melt provides a large part of our water. In normal years we get enough to fill our reservoirs and even send a huge amount south.
A few areas in the north have had adequate rain, but most of northern and central Cal, where San Francisco and Silicon Valley are located, has had only about one-third of normal – and this is after two consecutive winters with just as low numbers. This year the water levels are so low that most reservoirs will be closed to recreational use. No boating, fishing or swimming and lots of very unhappy holiday businesses. The ski resorts have already been hurt badly.
Southern California, i.e. Los Angeles and San Diego, get most of their water from the Colorado River in Arizona and from water transported by canal from the Sierras in the north. It has very little rainfall and is basically a desert. Not that you would know that by the lush landscaping and green lawns. Even the real deserts sport vast golf courses and massive greenery. All supported by imported water.
In addition to the large cities, the vast central valleys of California are among the most fertile and productive agricultural areas in the world, with an immense need for irrigation. Most of their water is also imported from the Sierras.
We’ve had periodic droughts before, but none as bad as this one. Last year, when it was obvious we were in a second year of drought, cities asked people to conserve water, and oddly in some places water usage actually went up. This winter most cities, and now the state, have instituted mandatory water restrictions and there has been some saving, but not nearly enough. People aren’t that willing to do what’s necessary — take shorter showers, water their lawns less, etc. That may change this summer as more restrictions are put in place.
Hopefully there will be some rethinking of water use in general. Replacing thirsty plants with drought-resistant ones, switching to drip irrigation rather than spraying, sweeping large areas rather than hosing with water (a Los Angeles area peculiarity) are some things that could help. Farmers might change from raising rice to less water hog crops.
At the moment in my city, we’re only allowed to water once a week for 15 minutes. It’s enough to keep the lawns alive during the winter. But it’s already getting unseasonably warm and once summer hits, I doubt the grass will survive. I’m starting to look at landscape books for alternatives. I’ll miss having a nice green lawn to look at, but I guess I’ll get used to native, drought-resistant plants.
Healing is her life. Will it be her death?
Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
Is she next?
Images – A Love Story
She’s learned to hide from life.
Should she hide from him?
.Stream bed: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50838842@N06/8427237114″>Mussel stranding, Marais de Cygnes Refuge</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> Palm Springs: photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/93561352@N00/4404138817″>podróż w czasie</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>