El Nino brings relief to California’s long-running drought

folsomEl Niño is having a beneficial side effect on the long-running California drought, filling many reservoirs to capacity. Unfortunately, it’s only affecting Northern California, which has been rocked by a series of soakers over the past few months. All that rain, a byproduct of the naturally occurring El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean, has blanketed the state, filling once-dusty lakes like Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville. They have either reached capacity or surpassed historical levels. Some are even using their floodgates.

The LA Times notes that the “growing snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, are important because both are key sources of water for California. The snowpack now stands at 92% of normal statewide, with the northern area now at 102% of normal.” That’s great news for a state being hammered by a four-year-long naturally occurring drought.

Previously, Governor Jerry Brown has blamed global warming for California’s long-running drought despite numerous studies indicating that natural variability and mismanagement of water resources were to blame. Now California residents are complaining about having to pay a drought surcharge on water, while nearby reservoirs are full or at capacity and releasing water via their floodgates.

Currently, California’s water issues favor the agriculture industry, which eats up over 80 percent of all water used in the state. And after four years of drought and a strict water conservation mandate, many California residents are wondering why they still have to pay these surcharges and abide by onerous watering restrictions. San Diego has requested relaxing these conservation efforts and may get some relief.

There was so much water dumped on the northern half of the state in December and January that “engineers began releasing water from Folsom Lake near Williams’ Granite Bay home for flood control reasons.” Now March is ending up being another wet month as even larger reservoirs are filling “up to and above their normal levels.” There’s only one problem. The mandates and fines for using water are still in use even as overages in many reservoirs are being released.

Consumers who don’t meet the governor’s restrictive “water conservation requirements face fines of $500 per violation per day.” Regulators argue that they still aren’t out of the woods and have extended the mandates into the fall, even as they dump excess water from reservoirs that have reached capacity. All of which is infuriating residents.

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  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    With climate it is important to remember that history repeats itself. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t long term trends.

    In the 1970’s I lived in California during a drought. I went to the nearly empty Shasta Dam where 150 feet of the structure used to construct the dam was visible and this was never supposed to have been seen again. The news media was reporting it was going to take seven years of normal weather to recover. The next year it rained so much that we had a total recovery.

    Going beyond climate there something else that repeats. Once a government gets a source of money they don’t want to give it up. Therefore residents are still paying surcharges on their water bills.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    With climate it is important to remember that history repeats itself. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t long term trends.

    In the 1970’s I lived in California during a drought. I went to the nearly empty Shasta Dam where 150 feet of the structure used to construct the dam was visible and this was never supposed to have been seen again. The news media was reporting it was going to take seven years of normal weather to recover. The next year it rained so much that we had a total recovery.

    Going beyond climate there something else that repeats. Once a government gets a source of money they don’t want to give it up. Therefore residents are still paying surcharges on their water bills.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    The point is, global warming is good and of course an El Nino never hurts . Brown won’t like the scary climate change backfire but it doesn’t matter he is almost done putting his spin on things .

    Reply

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    Amber

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    The point is, global warming is good and of course an El Nino never hurts . Brown won’t like the scary climate change backfire but it doesn’t matter he is almost done putting his spin on things .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Ratheesh

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    All that rain, a repercussion of the normally happening El Ninon in the tropical Pacific Ocean, has covered the state, filling once-dusty lakes like Lake Shasta and Lake Orville. My name is Rathesh I’m a car driver Now I’m working [url=http://buddycab.in]taxi service in kochi[/url] My opinion isthe horticulture industry, which eats up more than 80 percent of all water utilized as a part of the state. What’s more, following four years of dry spell and a strict water preservation command, numerous California occupants are asking why despite everything they need to pay these additional charges and comply with cumbersome watering confinements. Stone Bay home for surge control reasons.” Now March is winding up being another wet month as considerably bigger repositories are filling “up to or more their typical levels.

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    Me

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    It’s all about water management, when they destroy things they need to connserve fresh water and irrigation then they rob the ground of what water is in it for the rainy day so to speak. They would rather let that go out in the oceans than make it worth what it is, and what we need. It’s The Game. And when this happen enough then they blame it on mans use of ground water and blame floods on the current climate, when what they have done was use mans use of ground water to cause subsidence, and when it rains then you have floods!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Me

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    So Bottom Line was they miss managed this too!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    ninetyninepct

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    Climate change caused all this water to be dumped by Mother Nature. To counteract, all this water must be released, immediately.

    Reply

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