Monday, February 2, 2015

First Rain

No rain in SF in January for the first time in 165 years. The Sierra snowpack is at 25% of normal, and is rapidly shrinking because it's far too warm for this time of year, The Bay Area coastal hills are turning brown months too soon. And December's deluge destroyed coastal salmon spawning grounds. Washed them out to sea. And now the Sacramento River is too warm for salmon fry to survive in—a 95% mortality rate. Can't win for losing. And still, people are needlessly wasting water.

It's rampant selfishness. Seek dominion over the earth. Everybody wants to get theirs—especially if it's a finite source. When I tell a certain someone, that's all there is of a food or item, or the price has gone up, so I'm not buying more, he AUTOMATICALLY helps himself to more. Ditto with water. Perversity of human nature. 

And yet, people are still watering their sidewalks... WTF?

Bay Area map of where our water comes from: KQED Blog

Do you even know where your water comes from? In the East Bay, it;s the Mokolumne River drainage, Hetch-Hetchy Reservoir, and Sacramento-San Joaquim Delta—including Shasta Reservoir, and  the New Melones Reservoir—one of the driest reservoirs in the state. Check out the dam updates at KQED News.
"January is normally California’s wettest month, though for many cities across the state, this year marked the driest January on record. Snowpack in the Sierra Mountains is also still well below average, an alarming indicator that a fourth year of drought is afoot, too. According to California’s Department of Water Resources, the snowpack just a quarter of the amount that it should be right now, an alarming statistic given that snowpack is responsible for a third of all the state’s water. Warren Cornwall for National Geographic reports:
It’s not just the amount of water in the snowpack that makes it important. It’s the way snow locks water in place during the winter like a giant natural reservoir, then gradually releases it as snowmelt in the spring and summer. That release process helps keep man-made reservoirs filled during the hottest time of the year. Those reservoirs are already running well below their historic levels for this time of year." —
Look at how much greener California is
California may be greener after the December deluge, but read my lips: WE HAVE NO SNOWPACK! That means no summer/ fall water reserves. The real trickle down story that is California's water, is sonowpack. Do do you know a snow dance? That's what we really need right now.

The drought has been catastrophic for California's wild salmon: about 1 percent of the state’s historic population have survived. Last summer, streambed levels were at an all-time low, and the salmon eggs didn't survive in the the hot, shallow remnants of pools. It is estimated that over 95 percent of all fish roe in Northern California streams didn’t survive the season. We need a method to capture what little rain we do receive to recharge the groundwater. Beavers, nearly driven to extinction, were spotted making a comeback in California. Could it be Beavers to the Rescue?

PS: It's no longer January. I think we'll make our entire February rain quota by this afternoon. I guess the clouds don't have a calendar. One thing true about California, is that we do everything big. Forget Texas. When it rains, it pours. Snorkels, anyone?

From a Facebook post:
February 2, 2015 ·

rev. 2017

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