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.
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.

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.
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...!
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
Lassen Park Jan 2014

Badger Pass Today
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.
TGT

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 26, 2014 - 08:20pm PT
I biked down to Long Beach from the SGV last week and while I wouldn't call the beach crowded, the restaurants and shops along the main drag were packed!

I was up at Idyllwild today and it looks and feels like early summer.


There was a spell like this in the 70's that ended with a winter where the San Gabriel River was within a foot of the levy tops at El Monte for almost a week. 7 years of drought to one year of flood, give or take, seems to be the normal cycle.

Then there's the long term perspective, and it's not encouraging. It looks like we've been living in an unusually wet period for the west, for the last couple of hundred years.

http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_24993601/california-drought-past-dry-periods-have-lasted-more

Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Jan 26, 2014 - 08:23pm PT
ekat.....the trickle UP theory?

Dean, was down in Mammoth on business and went in to your town on the way home for breakfast, absolutely deserted like a bomb went off. Let's hope this next weekend brings us the goods. I'm heading to MT on Wed., for some skiing.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jan 26, 2014 - 08:25pm PT
Wendell is right, everybody needs to chill out. This is Cali, it happens. People piss and moan when we have wet years, and they piss and moan in dry years.

Meh. I'm used to it. Use it to yer advantage.
Chaz

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Jan 26, 2014 - 08:32pm PT
They should think about making snow in Mammoth and June, like they do in SoCal. They're skiing in Big Bear today - on man-made snow.
the albatross

Gym climber
Flagstaff
Jan 26, 2014 - 08:32pm PT
From the US Drought monitor:

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA

Nope, nothing at all to worry about. I think I may water the lawn tomorrow, maybe go golfing. Carry on folks!
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
Jan 26, 2014 - 08:39pm PT
I don't know about y'all, but I'm hoarding ammo and rations. Dudes, martial law is right around the corner.

Nice knowing y'all...
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Jan 26, 2014 - 08:44pm PT
Charlie D. , we're not having a great snow year, BUT a few early seasons dump gave us some base, so the snowpack is decent--luckily for you, some more snow is on the way this week...
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