Unless you’ve been living under a rock – (which, apparently, some of my neighbors are – they are still watering their lawns. EVERY. DAY. WTAF?!) – you’re aware that California is experiencing a drought. After a seriously below average rainfall season, the entire state is at the second level of the US Drought Monitor’s 5-tier scale. As of the end of July, 95.1% is at the third level, D2, Severe Drought. 88.6% is at D3, Extreme Drought, and edging toward half of the state – 46.5% – is at the top level D4 Exceptional Drought. (D4 up from 33.4% last week. Updates every Thursday.)
If the numbers don’t bring it home, this article has some really sobering pictures of California’s largest reservoirs – Lake Shasta (move the vertical slider to see then and now), Lake Oroville, and then the disturbingly disappeared Sierra snowpack …
And, from my local water supplier, “In Santa Rosa, only 12.77 inches of rainfall has fallen this water year, just 3.30 inches more than the driest year of record (1976/1977) when Santa Rosa measured 9.47” through April 15. On average, Santa Rosa receives 32.20” inches a year.” and “Lake Sonoma is 50 percent of water supply capacity and has approximately 123,000 acre-feet of water which is the lowest storage for this date since the reservoir began operations.” among other cheery (not) tidbits.
It’s bad. And all signs point to getting worse. I’m not sure if the lawn waterers are clueless, or just don’t care. I’m not sure which is worse.