At the end of the 2014-2015 rain year (1 October to 30 September), 12
major California reservoirs held a collective content of 25% of
capacity. Despite some rain in September, the reservoirs now only
contain 44% of the historical average amount of water for 30 September.
Nevertheless, there are some residential properties constantly using
over 1,000 gallons of water PER HOUR. In northern California, these
water hogs are named. In Los Angeles, however, the Department of Water
and Power (LADWP) refuses to disclose the identities of water wasters.
The LADWP proposes to raise its water rates to recover revenues lost
because most customers are conserving water. Instead, the LADWP should
raise its rates only for those who use the most water.
I was digging in my garden yesterday to plant some perennials. Although
I have cut back on irrigation per a mandate from my water service, I
noted that the soil was still moist. No, it was not wet; but it was
moist enough to sustain my garden.
El Niño is expected to drop record-breaking rain on California this
winter. I have several concerns about this prediction:
* During past El Niño events, expected rainfall did not always occur.
* In other El Niño events, southern California received a disastrous
soaking (people died) while northern California -- where the main
reservoirs are located -- received only minimal rain.
* And finally, El Niño results from very warm temperatures in the
Pacific. Instead of snow in the mountains, northern California might
get only rain. The reservoirs cannot hold enough water to meet our
needs. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is actually our main
reservoir, often holding an order of magnitude more water than all the
man-made reservoirs combined. The snow melts slowly, tricking into the
man-made reservoirs as water already there is consumed. With rain
instead of snow, our drought cannot end.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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