With Dry Season Approaching, Rainfall Levels Still Dangerously Low

March 20, 2014 · 13 comments

Today is the first day of spring, and the rainy season is quickly coming to a close and rainfall in the Bay Area has been far below normal for this time of year, potentially setting up a long-term drought for California, a National Weather Service hydrologist said.

So far rainfall records are the some of the lowest on record dating back to the 19th century, weather service hydrologist Mark Strudley said.

Water levels are low all over California, Strudley said, snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains is only at 20 to 30 percent of average and reservoirs all over the state are at dangerously low levels.

Despite some storms that have rolled through the state in February and March, the weather has remained unseasonably dry for much of the winter with the driest months quickly approaching.

“March and April can be wet but they’re typically not the heaviest rainfall months,” Strudley said.

He said that while it looks like there may be some rainfall toward the end of March, the “climatic outlooks are putting us in a continued dry spot.”

“Locally-fed places are not faring terribly well,” Strudley said.

“Water sources from the Delta and the Sierra are a bit more resilient because they have this statewide supply coming in.”

But while state reserves aren’t likely to run out this year, officials are already looking toward next year.

“I think the main concern that a lot of water managers are dealing with now is what’s going to happen next year,” Strudley said. “What’s really going to hurt the state in a huge, huge way is if we get another drought next year.”

While Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency in January and asked Californians to voluntarily reduce water consumption by 20 percent, Strudley said that more mandatory and voluntary water cutbacks can be expected.

Next year is really going to be the test,” he said. “That’s where we’re going to have nothing left to fall back on.”

1 I wonder what the March 20, 2014 at 11:25 AM

situation would be if the politicians had taken steps to insure the needed quantities of potable water for the people after the last drought?

They could have set up systems for the distribution of non-potable water to places that don’t need potable water. Reservoirs could have been built. Investment in desalinization plants could have been built. So many different things could have been set in place so people would have a plentiful supply of fresh water. But politicians did nothing.

Politicians will do nothing but punish the people rather than supply the fresh water that the people require. And they keep getting re elected.

2 bumper morgan March 20, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Drought…cut backs…forced rationing. Yet, while walking the dog at Heather Farms, the Citynof Walnut. creek was watering dirt: the infield of the baseball fields is all dirt, and they were being watered. Really? That is a nice example to set.

3 RunnerDope March 20, 2014 at 12:16 PM

@I wonder,

And where is the money supposed to come from to do everything you propose? Are you one of the hundreds of people on this blog that complain about politicians wasting our money and taxing us too much? You can’t have it both ways.

4 RunnerDope March 20, 2014 at 12:18 PM

@bumper morgan,

Were they using recycled water or drinking water?

5 Father. Flannigan March 20, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Mother Nature has never let us down and always provided what is good for the Planet we live on.
Have faith little people. Prayer never hurts!

6 @ RunnerDope March 20, 2014 at 12:33 PM

I complain about politicians not doing their job to the advantage of the people they represent. Politicians and government should never punish the people, its their job to support and supply the people with what they need. That is my comment and complaint.

You accuse me of saying things I have not said or even mentioned. Perhaps you are a politician?

7 Dorothy March 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM

I plan to extend the drive way on both sides. Less grass to mow and a bit less water used. Want to try and talk a neighbor into extending it all the way over to their drive way. Not likely but a thought…

8 Idiocracy March 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Less water for citizens means time to boot Monument anchor baby central, and the 10 million other parasites here. Liberals will be mad I said it. Here’s the thing they are humans and don’t deserve to be treated bad and I have compassion for their plights but its about time we take care of our own here and close the door cause the AC is running.

9 KJ March 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I was in Walnut Creek a few days ago watching them demolish part of Macy’s. I understand their desire to keep the dust down, but I could not help but wonder how much water they were using.

I also saw a guy washing his car.

10 Ancient Mariner March 20, 2014 at 3:02 PM

In Pleasant Hill we’ve had just over 50% of our average rain for the water year (July – June). Luckily we’ve switched to succulents for our fun plants.

11 Monkey March 20, 2014 at 3:34 PM

I love seeing the same nimrods obsessively washing their cars every weekend. Let it go already

12 Wavy Gravy March 21, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Maybe if we think real hard we can stop, I mean START this rain.

13 I'm The Urban Spaceman March 21, 2014 at 12:08 AM

hey bumper,

the folks who play softball at Heather Farms pay for the lights and the upkeep of the fields. As someone who is 55 feet away from 90mph+ missiles…those fields are hard as concrete by late May in a good rainfall year.

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