Friday, January 29, 2010

Drought still very much alive despite recent storms

It's generally agreed upon that the recent series of storms that came through our area, although nice, have made little more than a minor dent in the ongoing drought of California.

Rainfall and snowpack levels are running near average for this time of year, however critical reservoirs continue to be well below average, and many statewide groundwater basins have been pumped to dangerously low levels.  Add in environmental restrictions that severely limit the amount of water that can be pumped from Northern California to Central and Southern California and our water supply picture is looking anything but rosy.

Most of the future remains unclear.  Weather cycles will ebb and flow.  We may or may not receive enough rainfall and snow pack over the next few years to recharge our vital basins and reservoirs.  What is certain is that in Southern California, there have been permanent reductions to our imported water supply from both the Bay Delta and Colorado River sources due to a combination of cyclical climate changes and increasingly restrictive environmental regulations.  Right now there is little we can do to get around these obstacles. 

Conservation must continue to be at the heart of any strategy going forward.  Unfortunately, we just don't have a choice.