Wednesday, September 23, 2009

El Nino - All that it's cracked up to be?

*El Nino*

 The mere mention of this name conjures up images of heavy rains, flooding, and in many southern California areas, mudslides.  But is there any truth to the assertions that if El Nino pays our region a visit this winter and spring, statewide precipitation levels are sure to be substantially higher?  For many California interests, such as agriculture, certain water suppliers, and environmentalists, the hope is that the answer to this question is a resounding "Yes!"

Opinions vary widely on what the effectiveness of El Nino will be this coming year, if at all.  Some people believe that  any El Nino conditions in effect this year will be mild at best, resulting instead in what some have termed an "El Fizzle" or "El Wimpo".  Others have pinned their hopes on high levels of rain this year, and see El Nino as the way in which reservoirs will be replenished and the three-year drought will be eliminated. 

So what does the data indicate?  During the last six "El Nino" cycles, three cycles  have produced below-average precipitation levels, while the other three cycles produced above-average precipitation levels.  This would seem to indicate that there is little correlation between El Nino weather conditions and the amount of precipitation that falls in California.  That doesn't mean there isn't any correlation, just that it is hard to make any substantial connections between the two variables, without knowing more information, such as the strengths of the specific El Nino events. 

So will this year's El Nino be a monster or will it turn into another El Wimpo?  Regardless of what different people say, we're just gonna have to stick around and find out. 

Oh, and in the meantime, conservation continues to be vital.  We cannot bank our hopes on a unpredictable weather event that may or may not improve our water supply situaiton.  Conservation is currently the ONLY tool we have that we KNOW is effective. 

Keep up the great work Long Beach.

Friday, September 18, 2009

No water deal this year - Conservation remains key

The 2009 California Legislative session has now come and gone and unfortunately, there isn't too much to take away from the year, especially as it relates to solving the state's ongoing water issues.  The state budget crisis really sucked up a lot of the legislature's time and energy this year and unless some kind of miraculous economic turnaround takes place in the next couple of months, California will likely be facing another budget crisis sometime this late fall or winter. 

A five bill comprehensive water package was considered at the end of the session, but time ran out on it and it stalled on the Assembly Floor.  A special session could be called to address the water crisis, but that decision rests solely with the Governor, and it is unknown if he will decide to go forward on any further water issues this year. 

In the meantime, the only option Californians have to mitigate the effects of the water crisis is to follow the lead of Long Beach citizens by challenging themselves to reduce their water consumption, both inside and outside their homes and businesses.  No other statewide short or long-term solutions exist, so Californians must continue to be diligent in their efforts to eliminate all inefficient and wasteful uses of water. 

A big thank you and congratulations to all Long Beach citizens who continue to meet the challenge of conserving water.  Thank you for being important partners of the Long Beach Water Department!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Long Beach Water Department Beach Clean-Up

The Long Beach Water Department will be hosting its Quarterly Beach Clean-Up effort this coming Saturday, September 19th at 9 AM!

Come out and join us to make this year's event the most successful one yet.  We will provide all the supplies you need to get out there and make our beaches look great again. 

In addition, there will be plenty of free music, food and lots of fun!

Bring your family and friends of all ages to Bluff Park Beach on Saturday, September 19th, from 9:00 am - Noon, at the intersection of E. Ocean Blvd. and Coronado Ave.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday!