OT Just how bad is the drought? Just curious OT


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Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Jan 26, 2014 - 08:52pm PT
In Los Angeles, we had a couple of campers start a wild fire near Glendora, burned about 1800 acres, destroyed a few houses. Even in a light winter, you normally don't need to worry about fires in January, so the warmth and dryness is pretty unprecedented.

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 26, 2014 - 09:00pm PT
They were bums, vagrants, not campers!

Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Jan 26, 2014 - 09:07pm PT
mojede, we'll be heading into Bozeman which may be getting the most snow of anywhere in the lower 48? Anyway have family in town and can't wait to get on my new powder boards, we'll see what shapes up, here's to cold smoke.....cheers!

Charlie D.

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Jan 26, 2014 - 09:11pm PT
I heard from a friend that the skiing on Mammoth Mt. is decent inspite of the lack of precip...?

Big Wall climber
Jan 26, 2014 - 09:12pm PT
We Californian's have nothing to worry about because we will just buy water from out ta state.

Jan 26, 2014 - 09:29pm PT
They say it's the worse in 100 years. It's damned severe and nothing to make light of or ignore. The dryness is stretching up the entire west coast. Sad to say but many folks in many industries are going to get hurt real real bad by it, and the cali economy will feel this hit. Not just the ski resorts, although they get to be first. The list of those affected will sadly be much too long.

Side note, cattle and other livestock will hit some fairly low prices before later hitting significant highs. Although it may be mitigated by the weather in the midwest which is markedly different. So, buy beef now if you are planning on it and you can afford to stuff yer freezer. If you are a praying person, might not hurt to say a prayer for some of the wet stuff.
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Jan 26, 2014 - 09:43pm PT
The Fresno Bee had a story about the drought today, calling it catastrophic. Some Berkeley scientists who look at fossil records estimate this year to be the worst drought in the last 500 years, far worse than 1976-77 and 1923-24, which were the driest years on record.

Surprisingly my local cities, Clovis and Fresno have not called for any limits to water use or outside watering.

I think that most irrigation districts than rely on Sierra water will be able to supply only a few days at the most of surface water for their farmers. Many irrigation districts will not be able to supply any water at all, since they have less senior rights.

To grow crops or even just to keep trees alive, everyone will be pumping groundwater. The water table will drop quickly and many pumps will run dry. Wealthier farmers who could afford to drill deeper wells in the recent past, will be able to continue pumping while their neighbors go dry. This sort of thing is already occurring in areas such as Paso Robles.

The cause is a very large and very stable high pressure zone in the Pacific. Supposedly it has been stable for about 13 months and shows no sign of changing. No one seems to have any idea why this high pressure zone has been so stable or how long it might last. It could suddenly change, send us a little rain or a deluge, or it could last for years and years.

We may get through it, or a lot of people will be leaving California.

Big Mike

Trad climber
Jan 26, 2014 - 09:44pm PT
It's killing the economy of ski towns...including my own.

It's not helping us up here any either Dean. Although we are doing better than you guys!

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 26, 2014 - 09:48pm PT

Druggies too.

Trad climber
San Diego
Jan 26, 2014 - 11:15pm PT
TGT - what were you on today? I was doing Whodunnit with an LA partner.
It was crazy - climbing in just a long sleeve shirt!

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Jan 27, 2014 - 03:54am PT
those guys are pot heads, not druggies,

who did you expect to see, the Marlboro Man?

Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 27, 2014 - 05:30am PT
It's damned severe and nothing to make light of or ignore.

Couchmaster is right, it is nothing to make light of or ignore. Bluey, Chaz, TGT and others, you make light of the situation, perhaps because it may not being affecting you as much as others.

Yes we have seen these cycles, as I noted in my opening post/thread

California has always been, natural history wise, a land of droughts and floods.

But as the state relies so much on water, with one of the largest agriculture “industries” in the world (this includes forestry as well), as well as recreational use, and the population pushing past 38 million, home to one out of eight Americans roughly, it is a precious ‘commodity’.

… or a lot of people will be leaving California.
Paul, that may not be such a bad thing

Jim Henson's Basement
Jan 27, 2014 - 07:57am PT
Well, I can speak for a local observation here in the Santa Monica's. It's the driest I've ever seen it in 40 years. I spent most of the weekend hiking/climbing in several locations and didn't see any new green plants...anywhere. Although 80 degree temps in Jan is nice for climbing, it seemed totally weird and blasted. Generally, even in the driest winters with very little rain there's at least a small underlayment of short green grass or weeds coming up on N-Facing slopes. Nada. Even the hard-core invasive stuff is beat down by the heat and lack of moisture.

This is So Cal though.. extremes run in cycles. Next year we'll probably be bitching about El Nino washing houses off the hillsides. FYI: the last time we had enough rain to flood my house was 2004.
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Jan 27, 2014 - 09:16am PT
Forty Years? Just kidding, JustLikeThe Maid. Have you got flood insurance?Speaking of floods, I was gonna try to sand bag you, Padraig, with this shot from the local dells.

I'f like to report that we're all good here, now.

Maaaaaa! That's sheep dip.

It's just as bad as you can imagine, and will get lots worse, regardless if it rains now. Unless it rains for forty days and forty nights.

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 27, 2014 - 09:36am PT
TGT - what were you on today? I was doing Whodunnit with an LA partner.
It was crazy - climbing in just a long sleeve shirt!

No climbing.

ICA meeting with FS

Not making light of the situation at all. It's likely that at some point agriculture will disappear from California. That will be a deacdes long process.

I'm not going to panic either. I've lived long enough, and being a second generation Californio, heard enough first hand agricultural history, and seen enough media hyperbole to know it's not time to panic yet.

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 27, 2014 - 09:51am PT
I'm in the water business.

I've got a good handle on what's being done and what's been in process for decades.

Your bills are going up, but the taps aren't going to run dry if you are in a metropolitan area. (or even someplace like Jtree)


Social climber
So Cal
Jan 27, 2014 - 10:05am PT
Besides transport projects, just about every waste treatment plant in California either now has or will have at least tertiary treatment and full reclaimed water use.

Some of the plants go even farther with RO treatment to drinking water standards.


OCSD's will be built out to 130mgd San Jose has one too.

Then there are the large desal projects.

Posiedon in Carlsbad has broken ground (50MGD) and there's another large one that will be owned by Cal Water in the preconstruction process in Monterey.
patrick compton

Trad climber
Jan 27, 2014 - 10:34am PT
recreational watering for lawns and golf courses needs to be shut down immediately. SoCal is a frikkin desert.

Trad climber
greater Boss Angeles area
Jan 27, 2014 - 10:42am PT
Does it matter where the water came from? Or where it would go if it weren't used to irrigate lawns or golf courses?

Social climber
So Cal
Jan 27, 2014 - 10:50am PT
In the short term, is JB right to request a 20% decrease in water use?

The 20% decrease was mandated by a program that started several years ago and most agencies are well on their way to compliance.

Most golf course, park and street median irrigation is now done with reclaimed water, other than some areas like Palm Springs.

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