California drought

Old Feb 8, 14, 2:38 am
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California drought

More venting than information.

We are in the midst of the worst drought in recent history and ag in particular is really suffering. Lakes and reservoirs are pathetically empty and the snowpack in the Sierra is almost nothing. The governor has declared a drought emergency.

Now, the president has announced plans to come out next week to view the damage himself. So, of course, it is right now pouring rain outside. Woke me up.

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Old Feb 8, 14, 10:26 am
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In Northern California we've had light rain over the past several days. I'm glad it's something, and I'm glad it's coming down gently so it doesn't cause runoff or flooding. We've got to get more water back into our lakes and reservoirs so Southern California has enough to steal this coming summer.
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Old Feb 11, 14, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
We've got to get more water back into our lakes and reservoirs so Southern California has enough to steal this coming summer.
Yeah, I'm really hoping that northern reservoirs start filling up so that northern Californians might -- just might -- gripe a little less about selling us their water.


It's funny; for as much as I don't miss winter even one little bit, I find it interesting, if understandable, that I'm starting to get jealous when I hear about places "suffering" from winter storms.
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Old Feb 13, 14, 7:43 pm
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Last edited by abmj-jr; Feb 13, 14 at 9:05 pm
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Old Feb 20, 14, 12:10 pm
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Most California water is not used in urban areas, whether in the north or south. About 80% of California water is used in agriculture.

I'm doing my part to save water by buying only agricultural goods grown in other areas.
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Old Feb 20, 14, 2:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Reindeerflame View Post
Most California water is not used in urban areas, whether in the north or south. About 80% of California water is used in agriculture.

I'm doing my part to save water by buying only agricultural goods grown in other areas.
I never understood the rationale behind growing rice and cotton in the central valley.....
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Old Feb 25, 14, 1:37 am
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Originally Posted by Reindeerflame View Post
I'm doing my part to save water by buying only agricultural goods grown in other areas.
And thus driving up the cost of fuel... great idea.
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Old Feb 25, 14, 2:06 am
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
I never understood the rationale behind growing rice and cotton in the central valley.....
Rice is not grown in the Central Valley. It is grown in the northern part of the Sacramento Valley, where there is usually much more water. This year may see a lot less rice planted up there because even the northern areas are pretty hard hit by the current 3-year and counting drought.

Short answer to why cotton has been grown here is money - a lot of it. Cotton has historically been a major cash crop in the Central Valley but acreage has been reduced significantly in the last few decades. For almost a century they had all the river run-off that historically formed the largest inland lake in the state before it was drained and partitioned off. As water resources have been diverted and shrunk, so has cotton acreage. Cotton used to be king here but is no longer. Much of the remaining cotton still grown here is in the Tulare Lake bed where the major farming conglomerates have a lot of private storage and drainage recapture. Even there, a lot of acreage has been fallowed or switched to other crops that require less water. Most smaller cotton farmers not located in the Lake have switched long ago.
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Old Feb 25, 14, 4:07 am
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
...so Southern California has enough to steal this coming summer.
Of the water shipped South from North of the Sacramento River, 80% never gets to Tejon Pass, let alone to Los Angeles or points South.... Most of it is irrigating cropland on the Western side of the Southern Central Valley, growing almonds, stone fruit, tomatoes, and cotton in what otherwise would be arid grasslands. Southern California gets most of their water from the Colorado River and the Eastern Sierra, not Northern California.

And anyone from the San Francisco peninsula jawing about Southern California "stealing" water should look in a mirror and ask why they are so special as to deserve to rape Yosemite National Park for *their* water supply from Hetch Hetchy...
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Old Feb 25, 14, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Reindeerflame View Post
I'm doing my part to save water by buying only agricultural goods grown in other areas.
Speaking of which, I wonder if it now makes economic sense to buy bottled water... provided it's bottled in another state!
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Old Feb 25, 14, 4:45 pm
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In other news, the Weather Channel is reporting a significant likelihood of a rain event here in southern California beginning Thursday evening. The question is: how likely is the event to be significant?

Given the way things have been going, I'm inclined to think that any rain event will be significant ... which also explains why I'm paying any attention to a rain forecast this far out!
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Old Feb 25, 14, 4:54 pm
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For those with the time or inclination, I would highly recommend reading The King of California.
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Old Feb 27, 14, 12:25 am
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Yay! It's raining drizzling!
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Old Mar 6, 14, 11:56 am
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El Nino is Coming

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/loc...ews-us-weather

When you have lived in California as long as I have, or at least read the long term statistics, you realize than California's weather, especially rainfall amounts, are highly variable. Unlike many other places, where a simple bell-shaped curve results when you plot rainfall amounts per year, in California, the peak is much lower and the extremes are much higher. That is, the standard deviation in rainfall amounts is very high - there are many more dry years and many more very wet years than other places in the country.

Yet every time we get into a 1-2 year dry spell, which is statistically expected based on based results, we begin to hear that the sky is falling. Next year people will be complaining about being sick and tired of all the rain.
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Old Mar 8, 14, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by JerryFF View Post
Yet every time we get into a 1-2 year dry spell, which is statistically expected based on based results, we begin to hear that the sky is falling. Next year people will be complaining about being sick and tired of all the rain.
I think they HAVE to put it all over the news because the farmers are the ones who suffered from the drought. To the average people, it doesn't really matter. Water will keep coming in. If it is get really serious, you may get a few days without water in a week, but nothing major. They will tell you not to wash your car on your driveway or not watering your lawn during the sunlight hours. But that's it. In the end it doesn't really matter anyway because the water used by residential is so much less than farming it is almost insignificant. But I guess it would help justify any law passed to get more funding or water supply... because it affects ALL of US not just farming.
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