What Drought?

With hazardous weather conditions due to rain spreading across California, how are they still in a drought? Over the past two months California has experienced heavy rain and snowfalls across the coast. The Los Angeles Almanac reported 2-3 times the monthly average of rainfall for December and January. Along with that, Palo Alto (my home town) has heavy rain predicted as far as the forecast spans.

Doesn’t sound like drought-like conditions to me.

And it’s not just rain either. This includes the all important snow pack that contributes to the water supply of the state.

Northern California has seen record amounts of snow since the New Year. Ski resorts in the area have readily awaited this season as their struggle of below-average snowfall over the past several years seems to be at an end.

Squaw Valley, one of NorCal’s largest ski resorts, has reported a cumulative snowfall of 285” since the first snow in October. The season isn’t even halfway over and this already exceeds the numbers from the past 5 years.

With all that snow and rain in the Sierra Nevada’s, one of the biggest lakes in NorCal has also been revived. In just two days Lake Tahoe gained 8.7 billion gallons of water. That’s a stat right there that I like to call an “eye-opener”.

tahoe

This change in weather has granted much needed relief to the ski resorts as well as local homeowners.

As a Californian I’ve grown used to the regulations that that governor put in place back in 2015. At the time, he wanted to cut urban water use by 25 percent within the year. He also implemented fines for those who don’t cut back their water usage. The LADWP issued two $200 and one $100 fine to homeowners who committed water violations after a warning.

Going along with regulations pertaining to homeowners, the governor has targeted lawns. He has provided cash incentives for people to voluntarily give up their lawns.

Wait. The government wants to buy my lawn?

Yup, districts are offering anywhere from $2-$4 per square foot of lawn. And that’s not even the worst of it.

In LA, there are three assigned days for outdoor watering as well as regulations preventing water running off into streets and the washing of cars without automatic shutoff nozzles.

But we can stop with all these regulations now right? I mean with all this new rain there shouldn’t be any need to prohibit homeowner water usage which only makes up 10% of California’s water usage in 2015 according to the Northern California Water Association.

CA-water-use.March2015

Well I sure do hope so.

With rainfall increasing and staying that way, the days of California’s drought seem to be in the past. Hopefully the reservoirs will return to their normal levels and this coupled with regular rainfall will stop the need for excessive groundwater pumping.

California has become defined by its drought problem over the past 5 years. Everyone knows about the regulations and recommendations about water consumption within the state. Yet even with all of this rain and snow they’re still in effect.

I can’t remember the last time I washed my car in my driveway because it is against the law to do this. Regulations like these have been defining the state for too long. Why must this continue?

The State Water Resources Control Board still says that the average resident should require no more than 55 gallons of water per day for “indoor use”. This includes needs such as bathing, washing and cooking. Why do I need to limit my water usage when it’s raining so much it’s dangerous to drive? Hell, I could just set up buckets outside while it’s raining and get all the free water I need.

The government shouldn’t still be restricting water usage with the weather conditions being as they are. As a resident of California I have my fingers crossed for more rain and snow to finally relieve push the state far enough out of the drought to allow regulations to be lifted.

Either that or to just be able to wash my car at home to avoid being charged an arm and a leg at the car wash.

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