Southern California’s drought emergency is over, but its overall drought may not be.
It depends what you mean by “drought.”
Rain caused flooding across the state and began refilling important water reservoirs last week.
Big snows in the Rocky and Sierra mountains also seem to ensure Southern California’s two largest sources of drinking water – the Colorado River and the rivers of Northern California – will be flush with snowmelt during the year to come.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which gathers water for 19 million people in the region, expects it can now begin storing water for future years. In recent years, it had been using up its water reserves.
The San Diego County Water Authority, which relies on Metropolitan for much of its water, also believes the region is out of the woods for now.
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God forbid anyone say the drought is over ...then we'd have to roll back regulations, rationing, price gouging etc. no,no,no ...let's keep all those in place and not call the drought over because "we can't predict the future". Convenient. Of course when it comes to adding more regulation, the climate jihadis can say with great certainty that global warming will ruin the planet in a few hundred years. What a scam.
Thanks for your report looking at how Californians are managing less water, and then responding when the rains return.
While it is mostly the economics of water that is the biggest concern to consumers and water agencies, please don't ignore the conservation and capture of water in the natural landscape, in response to historic drought patterns.
The reality of long-term drought with human development added is a gradual loss of native plants, in forests and other habitats. Most native species have evolved to manage drought- but not when water diversion is added, due to development.
Due to flood control measures, over time, the impacts of drought are not just higher consumer rates for water, but gradual and incremental diversions of water away from groundwater basins all over the state. Many will never be able to recover, as ground water is diverted from traditional drainages and into channelized diversions to protect roads, structures etc. and redirect water into urban areas.
Until these development patterns change- no amount of rain and snowpack will provide enough water to "end" the drought cycle for a thirsty state.
The article concentrated on the use/need for preipitation for use as potable water. However, it did not touch on precipitation helping us to avoid fire danger. In San Diego we evacuated 500,000 people from their homes in 2007 because of raging fires. In 2003 we lost some 2,000 homes to fires. Therefore, while we may get the majority of our drinking water from the northern Sierras, our own rainfall has an important function.
Yes, the term drought is, to be kind, a word of several definitions. That renders objective discussion near meaningless. Instead, I use the term "shortage". San Diego county has had no shortage of water supply even though the state government has mandated less water sales by the retail agencies to end users. There was never a supply versus demand situation that was objectively measured that required the retail agencies to sell less water than customers desired to buy. Once a person conflates objective measurements with subjective goals to change how people freely choose to live, then a clear discussion about the facts is impossible. As an example of political goals interfering with objective standards, it is interesting to read the May, 2015 Olivenhain Municipal Water District board meeting minutes, usually about items 10 or 11(.https://www.olivenhain.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/051315.pdf). Here the staff of OMWD cites state law regarding declaring a water supply emergency versus the amount of water OMWD had available for sale given demand. The arithmetic says "no supply shortage". Hence, no emergency. Not that facts matter to some in government, of course.