Drought, schmrought, water experts already fret the next dry year and still preach conservation

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You might think every water manager in the Golden State is sleeping soundly these days.

L.A. rainfall is 158 percent of average. Ten of the 12 state reservoirs are filled to more than 100 percent of their historical average for mid-March — before the all-important snowpack which stands at 152 percent of normal has melted.

Water is up in the Canyon Basin Spreading grounds in a former gravel pit in Azusa on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

San Gabriel River water from the San Gabriel Canyon Reservoirs spills over a rubber dam at the 210 Freeway as it heads to the spreading grounds in Irwindale on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

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Trucks head east on the 210 Freeway over a San Gabriel River rubber dam where water from the San Gabriel Canyon Reservoirs head to the spreading grounds in Irwindale on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

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Gone drought-free

For the first time in 376 consecutive weeks, not 1 acre of California is in drought, according to new data released Thursday by The National Drought Mitigation Center, a joint project of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Nebraska.

Yet, even with all this wet news, local water manager still preach conservation and worry the drought will return next year and the year after. Also, they face the very real threat of climate change reducing snowpack forever, which may force them to stop relying on the open spigot from Northern California to keep water flowing through customers’ pipes and into SoCal homes and businesses.

“If you were to ask me when are you going to sleep soundly? Maybe after three-to-four years not only of above average rain, but rain we are able to capture,” said Tony Zampiello, executive officer of the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster.

Zampiello and others are like bankers of water, socking away all they can in times of plenty for the nonrainy days to come.

“Yes, maybe we are out of the woods,” he said. “But if we have another drought, that gallon of water you save today, you’ll be drinking in five years.”

It’s all about groundwater

What he and other managers are concerned about is groundwater — parked throughout the region in various underground caverns — that supplies more than 60 percent …read more

Source:: Dailynews – News

      

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