Atmospheric Rivers in the West have dropped a lot of rain and snow throughout the state, but is the drought over in California?
With all the talk about atmospheric rivers and rain cyclones, we could deduce that the drought in California may be over. But we’d be wrong. California has struggled to store enough water to keep its citizens, farms, and environment happy. Balancing the needs of each has proven difficult because the needs of some come at the expense of others. And although we have received enough rain to end the EXTREME drought, we need to save and capture a lot more. Let’s dive into what’s happening with California’s water crisis.
The Colorado River is Diminishing
The state of Colorado has recently announced cuts to its allocations of water from the Colorado River. These cuts, which will affect both agricultural and urban water users, are a response to the ongoing drought in the region and the need to conserve water resources. The cuts will be implemented gradually over the next few years and ultimately reduce Colorado’s overall water usage by around 10%. While these cuts may be brutal for some water users to adjust, they are necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Colorado River and the communities that rely on it. It’s important to note that other Western states that depend on the Colorado River, such as Arizona and California, have also had similar reductions in their water allocations in recent years.
What can California do about it's drought woes?
The National Weather Service has said California received 11.47 inches of rain between December 26th – January 17th. Gavin Newsom, the California Governor, has laid out plans to solve California’s water problems, which include increasing the amount of wastewater recycled, building more desalination plants, capturing stormwater runoff, transforming California’s agriculture, and tearing out lawns. Officials have even proposed dragging large ice burgs from Alaska to California, which is outlandish considering how little water you can get from ice.
You can help!
Let’s face it, what you can accomplish as an individual is a drop in the bucket (pardon the pun) compared to what an almond farmer can. There are productive habits you can take today that can benefit you!
Start your day by capturing water wasted while you warm your shower water. Placing a High Sierra Handheld in a bucket while your shower water warms will save more water than you think. When the water is warm enough to shower in, hit the trickle valve to place the handheld back on its holder, and presto, you have a bucket of water you can use to water your plants!
Simply switching your shower head to a lower-flowing 1.25 GPM shower head may save up to 50% of the water you typically use in the shower. And that means MONEY! Save money by using less water and the energy that heats that water! If we all work together, we can weather the drought.