OT Just how bad is the drought? Just curious OT

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Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 26, 2014 - 05:44pm PT
California has always been, natural history wise, a land of droughts and floods. Yes, primarily in the 1960s, the Army Corps of Engineers, among others, did a lot of work (remember Eel River in 1964, for example) addressing floods.

But it seems that this year is particularly bad. I just saw a photo on the BBC website of Almaden Reservoir (near San Jose) dried up (with a wrecked old car on the parch-dried surface). I swam in that reservoir a couple of times. Now it looks like I could walk, not swim, it.

Now, it has been pissing all night and much of today here in Ireland. No lack of water (just infrastructure).

So since I am not in my homeland of Cali, and yes, I have been reading and seeing pics, but I ask my fellow Supertopians in California, just how bad is it?
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Jan 26, 2014 - 05:56pm PT
A 20" base at Squaw Valley in late January, if that's any indication...
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2014 - 06:05pm PT
Seems so Mojede.
Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Jan 26, 2014 - 06:15pm PT
It seems to be epic.

there have been other droughts in the past, but you are combining the lowest rainfall in history with the highest population in history and the largest amount of land farmed.

It's a collision course.

Fortunately, from the perspective of cities and people, there are many many ways to reduce use dramatically.

Although LA has the smallest per-capita use of any large city in the country at 127 gall/day average, when you compare it with the 40 gal/day average in australia, you appreciate how much more is possible.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Jan 26, 2014 - 06:21pm PT
The Government's not worried about it, so it's no big deal. I won't be doing anything different.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jan 26, 2014 - 06:21pm PT
Not a lot of rainfall this year, yet. It'll come...

I'm right down the street from Almaden Res., even closer to Stevens Creek Res.

And just because resevoirs dry up, doesn't mean too much really. They're the back-up holding facilities.

Let's talk in a month or so.
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jan 26, 2014 - 06:21pm PT
Well. . .

If THIS is what Mammoth Mountain looked like a couple days ago:

photo not found
Missing photo ID#342191

And THIS is what it should look like this time of year:

photo not found
Missing photo ID#342192

Then I'd say the drought is pretty frikken bad!
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jan 26, 2014 - 06:23pm PT

Not a lot of rainfall this year, yet. It'll come...

It would have to start raining and snowing right now and not stop til March to get the State of California out of the world of hurt that it's in!
Chuckcar

climber
CityByTheBay
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:15pm PT
http://www.sustainablecommunitiesindex.org/city_indicators/view/3

San Francisco daily per capita gross usage is around 90 gallons/day.

Here's some county gallons/day numbers from the Sierra Club.

San Francisco------108.4 (the lowest, by far)
San Mateo---------133.4
Marin-------------154.8
Contra Costa-------172.0
Alameda-----------173.9
Napa--------------184.5
Los Angeles--------185.0
Sacramento--------260.9
Mono-------------471.6 (highest)

http://www.sanfranciscobay.sierraclub.org/yodeler/html/2010/05/article5.htm
Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:21pm PT
What often is overlooked in per capita/per day water usage is the numbers of gallons of bottled water also consumed - especially in trendy urban zones.

My neighbor works for the water district in Santa Barbara County and passed that little tidbit along to me. Says their rough guesstimate would increase usage rates by 10 - 15% were the studies to include purchased water products. Most usage studies rely on averaged meter readings.

Just because it's in a bottle doesn't mean it didn't also originate from local rainfall.

Chuckcar

climber
CityByTheBay
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:25pm PT
These per capita gross numbers are the total water(probably piped in) going into a city, divided by residents. The actual residential use is way below the gross number (about half). Don't people use bottled water just for drinking and cooking? Showers, clothes, dishwasher, lawn, sanitation, etc are going to be by far the biggest uses.
kenny morrell

Trad climber
danville,ca
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:26pm PT
Hi Patti- I think it is worst than 1977. At least in 1977 that's when z-boys stared skating empty swimming pools. Maybe something cool like that will come out of this.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:28pm PT
It is cataclysmic....and not just on the environment.

It's killing the economy of ski towns...including my own.
BBA

climber
OF
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:35pm PT
It is so dry that the new grass which came up after the two pathetic rains we've had in Santa Rosa is browning out at only a few inches in height. Usually it is green here in December, but at the end of January it looks all brown. If it doesn't start raining a bit it is going to be a hard year for everyone, but dairy and beef will be destroyed.
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:39pm PT
one year is not bad,

but if the same thing happens for the next two years, then you have trouble.

whitewater people don't like it, especially rafting companies,

this happened back in 74, 75 76? can't remember the exact years but i do remember camping above calaveras big trees on new years day and it was warm without a speck of snow, about 5,000 feet,

fish flows and water contracts lower water levels, then you have to use well water which is not everywhere, this type of drought puts pressure on politicians to build more dams and canals which is a bummer, have they blown up Iron Gate yet?

it is good for gold mining,
rottingjohnny

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:41pm PT
Both Whiskey Creeks closed and i got cotton mouth..That's bad...!
moosedrool

climber
Stair climber, lost, far away from Poland
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:50pm PT
My neighbor works for the water district in Santa Barbara County and passed that little tidbit along to me. Says their rough guesstimate would increase usage rates by 10 - 15% were the studies to include purchased water products. Most usage studies rely on averaged meter readings.

Hmm

10% of 100 gallons is 10 gallons. That's a lot to dink in a day!

;)
nita

Social climber
chica de chico, I don't claim to be a daisy.
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:56pm PT
My city/county, major water use is probably agriculture..Rice, Walnuts, almonds, fruit trees,corn, seed crops,strawberries, flowers, bovine etc..

Lassen Park, Jan 2013
Credit: nita
Lassen Park Jan 2014
Credit: nita

Badger Pass Today
Credit: nita
eKat

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Jan 26, 2014 - 07:58pm PT
I have a friend who is out snow surveying the Kern Drainage, for the state of California, as we speak. He and his partner are calling it "Hut to Hut HIKING!"

They carried their skis just in case it snows while they're out there.

It's REALLY DRY.

And. . . scary thing. . . it's warm.

?

It's killin' Mammoth.

Like RJ said, Whiskey Creek closed. . . and get this. . . the BofA is closing as soon as their lease is up - early spring, I hear.

SCARY!
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Jan 26, 2014 - 08:00pm PT
The beaches are doing great business for winter. That'll help make up for the lack of business in the ski towns.
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