Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Consequences => Topic started by: wili on January 18, 2014, 06:04:24 AM

Title: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: wili on January 18, 2014, 06:04:24 AM
I'm starting a new thread for this rather than just putting it in thread weird weather. If CA were a country, it would be the 9th largest economy in the world.

And it's running out of water.

One town, Willits, has 60 days before it's completely out of water.

San Juan, with over a quarter million people, is in a "Stage 5" water emergency--residents are asked to cut back their in door water consumption by 50%.

Right now, there is no end in sight.

I'm thinking mass migrations are about to happen. But all the surrounding states are in various levels of drought as well.

Here's a link to one story in the MSM: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/01/17/california-drought-emergency/4581761/ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/01/17/california-drought-emergency/4581761/)

But I'm more interested in hearing from any folks in that area--how are things looking? How nervous are people about the situation? Are you thinking of leaving?...
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 18, 2014, 07:49:16 AM
Wili, The cattle ranchers are feeding hay right through winter months because there hasn't been enough rain to get any grass up. The deer are feeding along the roads where the little rain we did get concentrated. The beaver will have to deal with a dry riverbed this summer, the steelhead run is listed endangered and the one creek that still has fish is maintained with water supplies pumped from a nearby reservoir that's not looking good. We now have 1,250,000 people living in an area that had 7,700 people when my relatives arrived in 1870. Most of them won't notice what happens to the beaver, steelhead or deer.
 Drought is more common during the cold phase of the PDO cycle and we have been fairly lucky for the last 14 years IMO. Although we may get an El Nino next rain season we may also have ten or fifteen years left before the PDO turns back warm phase. The last couple rain seasons  haven't been
 that dry and rain has been good enough to get a good cover crop in. This year it's up but irrigating it seems kinda wasteful. I have given up on pasture. To tell you the truth I am wondering what the big El Nino's will do when they come back around.  Drought, fire, floods, earthquakes, but then yesterday it was 90 degrees . I am putting tomatoes in the greenhouse. We have been setting records this week.
So no , not leaving.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Neven on January 18, 2014, 11:47:27 AM
Quote
But I'm more interested in hearing from any folks in that area--how are things looking? How nervous are people about the situation?

Doesn't Anthony Watts live in California? I wonder how bad it will have to get for him to get uncomfy.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Buddy on January 18, 2014, 12:55:50 PM
I would imagine it would have to get pretty hot.  Since he is working for Satan Oil and Gas, he's likely used to hot weather.....:)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on January 18, 2014, 01:01:52 PM
Thanks for the insights, Bruce. At some point will they stop you from watering those tomatoes?

It's looking as though drought is due to persist or intensify throughout the West, including all of CA:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fblogs%2Fgovbeat%2Ffiles%2F2014%2F01%2Fsdohomeweb.png&hash=1fb7dbc89eb9a4245a110fcfab6a3489)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/01/17/brown-to-declare-california-drought-emergency-as-western-water-woes-intensify/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/01/17/brown-to-declare-california-drought-emergency-as-western-water-woes-intensify/)

And CA is off the charts on soil moisture anomaly:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov%2Fsoilmst%2Fimg%2Fcurr.w.mrf1.daily.gif&hash=d0d8ba4ee64ae901dd8395eff7b20260)

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/soilmst/img/curr.w.mrf1.daily.gif (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/soilmst/img/curr.w.mrf1.daily.gif)

Just as with the Australian heat waves of the last year, it looks like they have to invent some new colors to put on that map. One would have to assume that those isobars don't stop at -160 mm in real life--presumably much of CA is well below that.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on January 18, 2014, 02:00:16 PM
Some more news
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/us/as-californias-drought-deepens-a-sense-of-dread-grows.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/us/as-californias-drought-deepens-a-sense-of-dread-grows.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on January 18, 2014, 05:51:33 PM
Wili,

I can give you some local color on that.

My son lives near Folsom/Placerville near Sacramento.  He is on a well but the local water systems are going on rationing.  We were there a few weeks ago and it is really dry and the lakes are mostly nearing empty.  He is cutting brush as fast as he can as you can see his area is just ripe for a huge fire.  He even cut down the 6 trees closest to his house.

The current CA drought is supposedly due to a huge blocking high pressure system off the coast of CA that settled in about a year ago and has not moved since.  This high pressure system is normal from spring to fall and usually happens every year, thus the reason why CA normally has no rain all summer.  On rare occasions it settles in and does not leave.  The high Sierra will not get any meaningful moisture until it moves or dissipates.  Forecasts are that it will not do this for several months.  And if that happens we  are into the time of year when it is supposed to be there and that means no moisture for CA until fall.  Disaster.  All of the effects of this high extrapolate to central and southern Arizona where I live as this time of year we are supposed to get our moisture from the Pacific just like CA.

Here in central AZ we have had no moisture for about 30 days (this is supposed to be the wet time of year after the monsoons) and all of AZ is starting to approach record territory for winter dryness.

Just like in Bruce's post the pasture/grazing areas got little to no growth last spring and some did not get enough moisture during the monsoon (Jul/Aug is the rainiest time of year here) to grow either.  Grazing areas are just dirt right now.  Cattle ranching has to be  losing money big time.

Prescott where I live just finished its 15th consecutive year with below normal rainfall.  The last year with above normal was 1998 with the big El Nino.

I am reading a book about what the paleo record says about water in the southwest right now and it talks about periods of drought and flood over the past 1000 years which makes right now look like minor stuff.  There have been droughts so severe in the past that trees grew to several feet in diameter (160 years old the book said) in locations which are now underneath lake Tahoe and other lakes throughout the region.  One of the big take aways from the book is that since the gold rush days we have been living in one of the overall wet periods for this region and especially so for the last 600 years.  Before that was a 1000 year period where it was much drier.  It was longterm drought that wipeout the big native American civilizations in this region.  Many of the severe droughts in the west lasted decades.  Even in the regions around San Francisco Bay the native Americans had to leave as there was no fresh water available.

Interspersed into these drought periods there were also periods of extreme flooding.  We were talking in another post about the atmospheric rivers and the giant flood which occurred across the west in 1861 which flooded the entire Central Valley.  Paleo records indicate that a flood of this magnitude (i.e. the Central Valley turned into a lake some 300 miles by up to 50 or more miles and the dry lakes in the Great Basin filled with water) have occurred on average every 100 years over the last 1000 years (note it has been 150 years since the last one of these floods).  Worse than that about every 200 years, or every other megaflood, the flood has dwarfed the 1861 flood.  Naturally that is the one due next statistically.  These megafloods have normally followed the breaking of an extreme drought.  To give a scale to the giant floods a comparison was that the biggest flood in southern CA in the 20th century (1958) was 1/20th the size of the 1605 flood.  A flood the size of the one in 1861 would wash away all of the levees and dikes on the Sacramento/San Joaquin Rivers and flood the entire Central Valley in places to a depth of 100 ft.  Displacing how many millions of people?

Under normal conditions we would be due for a big drought, and our water practices in CA of  draining wet lands, diverting rivers, damming rivers, etc would make this worse, but current climate research indicates AGW should promote more frequent and deeper droughts in our future.  On top of that recent papers indicate a strengthening of and increasing frequency of the atmospheric river phenomenon.  A true recipe for big problems.

The really severe droughts are associated with negative PDO's and La Nina conditions.  Which is what we have had now for a few years.  An interesting question is, since historically the switches between La Nina/El Nino conditions were much slower than the last few decades is whether this increasing frequency lessens the chances of decade long megadroughts.  If we flip to El Nino conditions later this year that should bring increased moisture conditions for a time.  Or maybe the negative PDO dominates and we stay in drought until is switches.  Which could be decades?

We'll know how bad the summer is going to be by the end of February I guess.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JackTaylor on January 18, 2014, 06:07:34 PM
Quote
JimD:  Reply #6;
"Here in central AZ we have had no moisture for about 30 days"
How about reports on the Southern Imperial Valley of California as tied to the Yuma, Arizona "irrigated agriculture region(s)" -
how much selling of irrigation water for human drinking water is being noted - publicized?

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 18, 2014, 06:58:16 PM
Wili, I got this letter this morning. My wells are shallow and considered "riparian". I am downstream from a reservoir that hasn't spilled in three years. The advantage of riparian flow is wells will be producing when rains return but over tapping groundwater basins means deeper wells , more energy to pull water, and eventually dry wells that never recover.

 http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/notice_of_curtailment.pdf (http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/notice_of_curtailment.pdf)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 18, 2014, 07:05:52 PM
The only positive information I could get from all of the links was that agriculture uses 3/4 of the water in California.

Let's face it, drinking water for people will trump agricultural interests. I doubt voters would look kindly on politicians who cause voters to die of thirst so that the vegetable crops can be brought to market. Given this fact, the ratio of 3/4 ag to 1/4 other uses would suggest  that diverting water to serve urban communities would not completely wipe out water available for  agriculture.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 18, 2014, 07:31:08 PM
S.H.   Pumping out of deep aquifers will maintain some crops. Locally Pinot Noir is watered with wells drilled to 800 ft.  When you can get $3,500 a ton or about $ 10,000+ an acre for a crop you can afford the energy costs but most crops don't return anywhere near $10,000 an acre per year. So water or wine? Planting, pruning, trellising , and watering for three years before you get a crop means your water supply can't be shut off or you really suffer a big economic hit. Truck crops can be planted when there is water available but they don't pay very well . So enjoy that $50 bottle and understand that water flows to money and if the city wants it's water it can buy it. Who needs vegetables anyhow? Please excuse the snark
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on January 18, 2014, 08:48:49 PM
Thanks, all. For now, I'd just like to point to this passage from the "Notice of Curtailment" that Bruce received:

Quote
f you are in a water short area, you should be looking into alternative water supplies for your
water needs. Alternative supplies include groundwater wells, purchased water supplies under contractual arrangements, and recycled wastewater. Water right holders are cautioned that groundwater resources are significantly depleted in some areas. Water right holders in these areas should make planting and other decisions accordingly

Does that last sentence sound a bit ominous to anyone else?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on January 18, 2014, 08:54:02 PM
SH

It is true that people have to have drinking water.  But after that they have to have food and it takes water to grow that food. 

The vast majority of city/residential water used has nothing to do with needing a drink.  A lot of that water is for industrial use, washing cars, watering lawns, filling swimming pools,  golf course, taking two showers a day (2 a week should be plenty), and so on ad infinitum.  A lot of non-essential water use there.

While agriculture certainly could get much more efficient with water so can the cities.  And here is betting that CA will work real hard on that this year.

To give some examples:

Phoenix has dropped per capita water use by 60 gal/day from the peak but it is still 195 gal/day

Los Angeles per capita water us is only 123 gal/day

Los Vegas is at 211 per/day (down from 314 in 2002) and its goal is to only get to 199 pre/day by 2035

So LA is less than 2/3 of the others.

Looks like we could free up some water very quickly if we really wanted to.  Just legislate that no municipality can have more water per capita than Los Angles uses and we can get through this summer just fine.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JackTaylor on January 18, 2014, 09:20:31 PM
Bruce Steele: Reply # 10;  Personal if you have the time.

Out of curiosity, which reservoir are you downstream of?
Your well(s) distance below the dam?

How far downstream is it before a well is not considered riparian?
Does it apply down to the next reservoir or all the way to the ocean?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ccgwebmaster on January 18, 2014, 09:29:54 PM
So enjoy that $50 bottle and understand that water flows to money and if the city wants it's water it can buy it. Who needs vegetables anyhow? Please excuse the snark

It's the same lesson being given to people in poor nations unable to afford to compete with biofuels for food, just the chickens come home to roost a little more locally.

From http://thebiggestlieevertold.wordpress.com/tag/cop16/ (http://thebiggestlieevertold.wordpress.com/tag/cop16/)

Quote
    “A rich man’s cat may drink the milk that a poor boy needs to remain healthy. Does this happen because the market is failing? Not at all, for the market mechanism is doing its job – putting goods in the hands of those that have the dollar votes.”

The author of the ice cold quote above is none other than our neoclassical economist and Yale University Professor Bill Nordhaus (Nordhaus and Samuelson, 2005), originator of the now infamous 2ºC threshold target that has come to dominate climate discussions and to dismiss all sensibilities as our Earth spins toward a terrifying, irreversible apocalypse.

So those who use to have the dollar votes will no longer have enough dollar votes, and will finally experience what it is to be poor and unable to comfortably live. They will complain and hate it and want something different, but why would the system change for them when they did not change for others affected before?

So indeed - who does need vegetables? Got the dollars? No? Then you don't need them.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 18, 2014, 10:20:36 PM
We have  to crash the system.

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,723.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,723.0.html)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 18, 2014, 10:38:49 PM
Jack, The Santa Ynez watershed is downstream three reservoirs. Bradley Dam and lake Cachuma is the largest and supplies Santa Barbara via a tunnel through the mountains ,father upstream is Juncal reservoir that supplies Montecito.
 My two wells are into riparian flow which extends across  the entire hundred year floodplain. The state requires agriculture wells into riparian flow to have meters on them and we are registered with the state as well as monitored for water quality standards.
 I read the notice of curtailment letter but I think this will be a test of those willing to lawyer up and the rest of us. Riparian water rights extend along the entire length of the river to the sea and several municipalities both source water from large wells  within the floodplain as well as dumping their wastewater treatment overflows into the same. Yes that's my drinking water also :)
 Most of the watershed above Bradbury dam is Nation Forrest although there is a large ranchero and a golf course. So the big issues will be downstream Cachuma. To make things even messier a water

agreement for downstream users that Santa Barbara litigated against only allows that the reservoir
release water for three years after the last year the reservoir spills. We have past the third year  so
this year TSHTF.
 JimD, I think I will work on some brush thinning also , this is going to be a whopper of a fire season.   
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: DrTskoul on January 18, 2014, 10:39:55 PM
SH:

Beware of unintended consequences!! Similar to geoengineering
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Neven on January 18, 2014, 11:18:52 PM
Well, Watts has just posted something on the drought outside his window (I'm not linking to the best science blog in the world), and what do you know:

Quote
Plus, California population has increased dramatically while water storage has not. That’s a testament to poor planning and the hands of environmentalists and their campaigns to stop new water storage systems.

Those darn environmentalist should be put in camps of some sort. Everything is their fault.

Quote
And the cause of this? Certainly not “global warming” though I’m sure the activist idiots will use every trick in the book to try to create a linkage. The cause is a the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and a weak to neutral and persistent La Niña pattern that some are calling “La Nada”.

A flip side to the "hiatus"? California's drought problems will probably be solved when the next El Niño comes along, but it will probably also lead to the global average warmest year on record. It seems poor Watts can't have it both ways.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 19, 2014, 02:17:49 PM
Question:  when municipalities (or whoever) require, say, a "20% reduction" in water use, how is that calculated?  Do they take 20% off an average volume as everyone's new target? Or is it individualized to each user's prior water use -- which would hurt the already-frugal user more than someone who is usually wasteful.

Thanks.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on January 19, 2014, 04:06:58 PM
Sigmetnow

I have seen several different approaches so I think it varies by city and water district.

Here is Santa Cruz's approach

http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=396 (http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/index.aspx?page=396)

San Diego

http://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/drought/prohibitions.shtml (http://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/drought/prohibitions.shtml)

Sacramento

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/14/6071929/sacramento-council-to-weigh-water.html (http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/14/6071929/sacramento-council-to-weigh-water.html)

A lot of it is expected cooperation, meter readings, and inspectors looking for violations and giving fines, and neighbors getting mad and turning others in.  Fines can be pretty substantial.

One of the big issues which is very hard to figure out a way to deal with are the properties who get their water from private wells.  It is in their interests to be very frugal with water as they have to pay for redrilling if the well  goes dry so usually they are pretty carefully all the time.  But there is always a lot of redrilling going on.  But farmers must have the water and they tend to over pump the most in times of drought.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JackTaylor on January 19, 2014, 04:32:58 PM
Sigmetnow,

It may sound amusing, but the City of Sacramento,  California   http://www.cityofsacramento.org/utilities/water/water-meters.cfm (http://www.cityofsacramento.org/utilities/water/water-meters.cfm)
has a goal of 2025 to have all customers on "metered water."

http://www.cityofsacramento.org/utilities/water/water_meter_plans_and_progress.cfm (http://www.cityofsacramento.org/utilities/water/water_meter_plans_and_progress.cfm)
"More than 53,000 (or 42% percent) of 110,000 water meters have been installed. Nearly 100 percent of commercial properties have water meters, as well as homes built after 1992."

More about arrogance, http://articles.latimes.com/2003/may/06/local/me-meters6 (http://articles.latimes.com/2003/may/06/local/me-meters6)
 "In 1920, the city of Sacramento amended its charter to declare that "no water meters shall ever be attached to residential water service pipes," and ever since, water meters have been fighting words here in River City."

The LA Times link above make for interesting reading.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 19, 2014, 05:26:57 PM
JimD, JackTaylor, thank you for the info and links.

Seems like we are fixated on small bits of visible, external bleeding, when the most damage is happening internally.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 20, 2014, 07:22:16 PM
The no rain thing has become quite the topic of conversation. I am in the far north Bay Area and we average 40 inches of rain, generally between mid-October to early April. Since July 1, we've had 2.1 inches of rain. Average for today's date is 20. December got us slightly more than half an inch. It's hardly rained (0.08 inch) in January with nothing to speak of in the forecast. So if we magically went back to average rainfall today through the rest of the season, we'd still only get half of what we consider average. People are getting nervous.

There are towns/cities that are completely reliant on reservoir storage for water. As noted, Wilits is down to about a 60 day supply. If it doesn't rain, they are in trouble. Sacramento is reliant on storage for about 60% of its water supply coming from the Sacramento and American rivers. Reservoirs on those two rivers are very low. If it doesn't snow, Sacramento is in trouble. It's worth it to note that these two rivers, although half a state away, also contribute heavily to LA's water supply.

For what it's worth, our last water bill put us at 50 gallons/day/person. Not bad, but we can do better. Showers will soon be with buckets so we can capture that "warm-up" period water to use on the garden this summer. We've already got low flow fixtures but will be installing valves on the shower heads to cut flow during lathering. Too bad--I really enjoy a nice warm shower.

The gape (wine) growers will be squawking soon about riparian rights to use river water for frost protection. This dry air has resulted in freezing conditions at night that will damage soon to be budding vines. That same water goes to the water purveyors' wells that supply Sonoma and Marin counties. There simply won't be enough to go around.

One item not much talked about in the press is the loss of electricity production this will have during California's peak summer demand periods. If there's no water in the reservoirs, the turbines won't be spinning and we'll be relying on less "green" power to make up the deficit. Wonder if we'll experience rolling blackouts again. I'm afraid this summer is going to suck in more ways than one.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on January 21, 2014, 05:20:52 AM
Climate Change and Water in Southwestern North America Special Feature

Water, climate change, and sustainability in the southwest PNAS 2010 107 (50) 21256-21262; published ahead of print December 13, 2010,  doi:10.1073/pnas.0909651107

Note this was from 2010. Interesting.

Quote
Abstract

The current Southwest drought is exceptional for its high temperatures and arguably the most severe in history. Coincidentally, there has been an increase in forest and woodland mortality due to fires and pathogenic outbreaks. Although the high temperatures and aridity are consistent with projected impacts of greenhouse warming, it is unclear whether the drought can be attributed to increased greenhouse gasses or is a product of natural climatic variability. Climate models indicate that the 21st century will be increasingly arid and droughts more severe and prolonged. Forest and woodland mortality due to fires and pathogens will increase. Demography and food security dictate that water demand in the Southwest will remain appreciable. If projected population growth is twinned with suburb-centered development, domestic demands will intensify. Meeting domestic demands through transference from agriculture presents concerns for rural sustainability and food security. Environmental concerns will limit additional transference from rivers. It is unlikely that traditional supply-side solutions such as more dams will securely meet demands at current per-capita levels. Significant savings in domestic usage can be realized through decreased applications of potable water to landscaping, but this is a small fraction of total regional water use, which is dominated by agriculture. Technical innovations, policy measures, and market-based solutions that increase supply and decrease water demand are all needed. Meeting 21st-century sustainability challenges in the Southwest will also require planning, cooperation, and integration that surpass 20th-century efforts in terms of geographic scope, jurisdictional breadth, multisectoral engagement, and the length of planning timelines.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 21, 2014, 06:23:56 PM
ritter.......  a truly frightening array of very real impacts of the ongoing drought in northern California. Thank you.......I guess.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 21, 2014, 08:16:39 PM
ritter.......  a truly frightening array of very real impacts of the ongoing drought in northern California. Thank you.......I guess.

Misery loves company!  ;)

It's fascinating at the same time it's horrifying.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: silkman on January 22, 2014, 10:12:20 AM
To get an impression of the impact of the blocking high just take a look at January's weather history in the high Sierras.

No relief in sight it seems.

http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KMMH/2014/1/22/MonthlyHistory.html#calendar (http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KMMH/2014/1/22/MonthlyHistory.html#calendar)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 22, 2014, 05:42:55 PM
No relief in sight it seems.

Nope. Looks like we'll have to settle the month at 0.08 inches of rain in my area as there is nothing in the forecast for the rest of the month but beautiful, abnormally sunny weather. Average is around 6 inches for January.  :o
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: CraigsIsland on January 22, 2014, 09:19:39 PM
I live in Sacramento and the coverage and effects are being felt across the region. Mandatory and voluntary water reductions have been put into place by numerous local governments. Dust and air quality have started to drop and I have personally felt those effects. I'm pretty sensitive to dry or dirty air and am not happy about it. People definitely talk about the lack of rain and also the lack of snowpack. It does have the publics attention but we are just hoping for a change in the season and not talking that much about future scenarios with or without a strong El Niño period. Some conservation measures like hiring water waste inspectors to inform citizens and fine really abusive users have been taking to the streets. Is there talk of migration? No but I have been talking to the significant other about water rationing and buying bottled for emergencies. I'm watching the El Niño forecast and lake levels to ensure the region will have enough water with some water conservation factored in. At a certain point, yes, there could be talk of a temporary move where there is water (with temp work) as we know that the water always comes back. It is a bit chilling though to think we could be dangerously playing with water supplies for as many impacts as it could have on a lot of people.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ccgwebmaster on January 22, 2014, 11:18:57 PM
At a certain point, yes, there could be talk of a temporary move where there is water (with temp work) as we know that the water always comes back.

While I wouldn't make any claims about permanence to the drought in question, I imagine the Mayans also told themselves that the usual levels of rainfall always came back...

Sometimes past experience is no guide to future events - if the US southwest reverts to a drier state (a predicted outcome of climate change at some point) - that could become true in this instance (for at least a long time - far longer than any of us would see).
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 23, 2014, 02:52:58 PM
From CNN, another casualty of the California drought: domestic horses.  The views of parched landscape are heartbreaking as well.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XBBDs9YQnOI (http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XBBDs9YQnOI)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on January 23, 2014, 05:07:04 PM
Here in AZ our winter weather is largely determined by what happens to California (we are generally downwind or down weather system from them).  On the news last night they said we had no chance of moisture for the next week and if that happened we would set an all time record for number of winter days without receiving moisture.  Records go back to around 1880.  The current record is from 1911 if I remember correctly. 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: johnm33 on January 23, 2014, 07:28:21 PM
Someone, or a link upthread asserted that California feeds the US this gives some, for me surprising, numbers, http://www.blacklistednews.com/U.S._Cattle_Herd_Is_At_A_61_Year_Low_And_Organic_Food_Shortages_Are_Being_Reported_All_Over_America/32262/0/0/0/Y/M.html (http://www.blacklistednews.com/U.S._Cattle_Herd_Is_At_A_61_Year_Low_And_Organic_Food_Shortages_Are_Being_Reported_All_Over_America/32262/0/0/0/Y/M.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 29, 2014, 06:59:15 PM
Quote
California drought: 17 communities could run out of water within 60 to 120 days, state says

The water systems, all in rural areas, serve from 39 to 11,000 residents. They range from the tiny Lompico County Water District in Santa Cruz County to districts that serve the cities of Healdsburg and Cloverdale in Sonoma County.

And it could get a lot worse.
http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_25013389/california-drought-17-communities-could-run-out-water (http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_25013389/california-drought-17-communities-could-run-out-water)

Hey, my town made the news!  :o

We've been taking navy showers and the kid has been instructed to keep the bath water in the tub so we can bucket it out to plants in the yard. Looks like I'll be plumbing in a gray water system in the near future. This lack of rain is beginning to affect my psyche.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on January 31, 2014, 09:12:07 PM
Now this from Joe Fromm:
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/31/3223791/climate-change-california-drought/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/31/3223791/climate-change-california-drought/)

Leading Scientists Explain How Climate Change Is Worsening California’s Epic Drought

Quote
    ...Remarkably, climate scientists specifically predicted a decade ago that Arctic ice loss would bring on worse droughts in the West, especially California. As it turns out, Arctic ice loss has been much faster than the researchers — and indeed all climate modelers — expected.

    And, of course, California is now in the death-grip of a brutal, record-breaking drought, driven by the very change in the jet stream that scientists had anticipated....

    ...As climatologist and water expert Peter Gleick noted to me, quite separate from the impact of climate change on precipitation, “look at the temperature patterns here, which are leading to a greater ratio of rain-to-snow, faster melting of snow, and greater evaporation. Those changes alone make any drought more intense.”

    But what of the possibility that climate change is actually contributing to the reduction in rainfall? After all, as Daniel Swain has noted, “calendar year 2013 was the driest on record in California’s 119 year formal record, and likely the driest since at least the Gold Rush era.”

    Trenberth explained that, according to climate models, “some areas are more likely to get drier including the SW: In part this relates a bit to the “wet get wetter and dry get drier” syndrome, so the subtropics are more apt to become drier. It also relates to the expansion and poleward shift of the tropics.”

    Back in 2005, I first heard climatologist Jonathan Overpeck discuss evidence that temperature and annual precipitation had started to head in opposite directions in the U.S. Southwest, which raises the question of whether we are at the “dawn of the super-interglacial drought.” Overpeck, a leading drought expert at the University of Arizona, warned “climate change seldom occurs gradually.”...

...Back in 2004, Lisa Sloan, professor of Earth sciences at UC Santa Cruz, and her graduate student Jacob Sewall published an article in Geophysical Research Letters, “Disappearing Arctic sea ice reduces available water in the American west” (subs. req’d).

As the news release at the time explained, they “used powerful computers running a global climate model developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to simulate the effects of reduced Arctic sea ice.” And “their most striking finding was a significant reduction in rain and snowfall in the American West.”

“Where the sea ice is reduced, heat transfer from the ocean warms the atmosphere, resulting in a rising column of relatively warm air,” Sewall said. “The shift in storm tracks over North America was linked to the formation of these columns of warmer air over areas of reduced sea ice in the Greenland Sea and a few other locations.”

Last year, I contacted Sloan to ask her if she thought there was a connection between the staggering loss of Arctic sea ice and the brutal drought gripping the West, as her research predicted. She wrote, “Yes, sadly, I think we were correct in our findings, and it will only be worse with Arctic sea ice diminishing quickly.”

This week, Sewall wrote me that “both the pattern and even the magnitude of the anomaly looks very similar to what the models predicted in the 2005 study...

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fthinkprogress.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F01%2FSewall-2005.jpg&hash=9b2cfeff117de870a28162b82fc2917b)

So the above is what the model in 2005 predicted, and below is what we actually had over the last year:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fthinkprogress.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F01%2F2013-anomaly.jpg&hash=4ba8ca423f206edb0c481750b0680e0e)

Sloan concludes:
Quote
...the similarity of these patterns certainly suggests that we shouldn’t discount warming climate and declining Arctic sea ice as culprits in the CA drought.

Quote
Drought researcher Aiguo Dai was quoted in a 2012 NCAR news release for a 2012 study warning, “The U.S. may never again return to the relatively wet conditions experienced from 1977 to 1999.”
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 01, 2014, 04:05:08 PM
I cannot shake the feeling that we will be seeing a massive migration from the southwest by the middle of the century as entire regions run out of water.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Buddy on February 01, 2014, 04:33:41 PM
<<I cannot shake the feeling that we will be seeing a massive migration from the southwest by the middle of the century as entire regions run out of water.>>

Possible.  We always "think" the drought will end.  But what if the drought is 25 years or 50 years.

We humans have a SHORT CONCEPT of "time".  We are dropped onto the earth and so we probably have a time frame from the time we are age 15 until we die.  We have no concept of time frames LONGER than that.

Las Vegas must look like a pretty silly idea to any "intelligent life" on another planet that happen to be looking in on us.  I wouldn't be a LONG TERM BUYER of property in the southwest US that is for sure.  Of course....I wouldn't be a long term buyer of property in New Orleans or Miami either.


Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 01, 2014, 04:36:43 PM
SH

I would suggest ceding the territory back to Mexico, say we're sorry we stole it from you and we are giving it back.  Then build a BIG fence and don't let any of the folks in the SW try and immigrate back to the US (you won't be able to handle the excess population anyway).  Does that seem fair  ;D
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 02, 2014, 03:31:57 PM
California Department of Water Resources press release:
Quote
DWR Drops State Water Project Allocation to Zero, Seeks to Preserve Remaining Supplies
Severe Drought Leads to Worst-Ever Water Supply Outlook
...
Except for a small amount of carryover water from 2013, customers of the State Water Project (SWP) will get no deliveries in 2014 if current dry conditions persist and deliveries to agricultural districts with long-standing water rights in the Sacramento Valley may be cut 50 percent – the maximum permitted by contract – depending upon future snow survey results. It is important to note that almost all areas served by the SWP have other sources of water, such as groundwater, local reservoirs, and other supplies.
...
“It is our duty to give State Water Project customers a realistic understanding of how much water they will receive from the Project,” said Director Cowin. “Simply put, there’s not enough water in the system right now for customers to expect any water this season from the project.”
www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2014/013114prerss_conference.pdf (http://www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2014/013114prerss_conference.pdf)

More analysis here from the LA Times:
http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-79120724/ (http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-79120724/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on February 03, 2014, 05:39:01 PM
We got 0.68 inch of rain Sunday. It was nice to hear, see and smell it. Now we just need another 19 inches to get us to half of average.  :o
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 04, 2014, 09:02:50 PM
Climate-change-denying Republicans say: forget the fish, just give us the water!

Quote
House Republicans from the region have taken to blaming ecosystem protection for limited irrigation flows. They are specifically targeting restoration efforts along the San Joaquin River, California’s second largest river, painting the drought as a divisive issue that can win them political points. In mid-January, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) visited the Central Valley to announce emergency drought legislation for the region that would increase water available for agriculture by reducing river flows.

“How you can favor fish over people is something people in my part of the world would never understand,” Boehner said, flanked by three Republican colleagues from the Central Valley — Rep. Devin Nunes of Tulare, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield and Rep. David Valadao of Hanford. Valadao said that while Congress cannot make it rain, they can provide relief from burdensome environmental regulations.

Nunes, who vehemently denies global warming, was also quick to call the drought a “man-made crisis.”
...
Famiglietti thinks the political challenges and battles ensue both because people don’t really understand all the complicated water needs of the state and, at some level, for political gain. “I think there’s some intentional political manipulation,” Famiglietti said. “And sometimes for the right reasons. A Congressperson might be interested in making sure that farmers in his or her region have water. At the same time, I hear many in Congress say that if water flows underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, that’s a waste, which just isn’t true.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/04/3223571/california-drought-politics/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/04/3223571/california-drought-politics/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 06, 2014, 04:12:40 AM
My son who lives about an hour from Sacramento says he has had well over an inch of rain and that the forecast is for as much as 4 inches more in the next few days.  Flood and mudslide watches set.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: deep octopus on February 07, 2014, 06:32:39 PM
Jim, yes, it looks as though the "pineapple express" is sending some rain California's way. Two inches of rain in northern CA through Sunday, some areas to receive up to 6 inches. Some pullback in the actual amount soaked up will be expected as water runs off the cracked, hard soil, but it will make an impact. A persistent pattern of rain and snow for the remainder of winter would be very good news. Obviously the best thing would be a shift in ENSO and PDO. As we've been following so far, things are shaping up positively for an El Niño in fall 2014/winter 2015. But for the immediate crisis at hand, we have some good developments taking place to blunt the worst of things.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2627 (http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2627)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on February 10, 2014, 06:17:40 PM
We got about 6 inches of rain here in the northern Bay Area from Thursday to Sunday. Welcome news. It's not going to correct the drought, but it will certainly green up the hills some, clean up the air and replenish a desiccating spirit!
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 10, 2014, 06:48:51 PM
Two articles on the drought and ag issues in CA.

Quote
...Twenty years ago, the water table under the Willeys’ farm measured 120 feet. But a well test in late January revealed that it is now 60 feet lower. Half of that decline, Tom estimates, has occurred in the last two years.

The Willeys have done what they can to cope. They’ve cut back on less profitable crops, and they are already dedicated practitioners of sustainable agriculture. But many farmers aren’t, and the future is worrisome. Pumping from aquifers is so intense that the ground in parts of the valley is sinking about a foot a year. Once aquifers compress, they can never fill with water again. It’s no surprise Tom Willey wakes every morning with a lump in his throat. When we ask which farmers will survive the summer, he responds quite simply: those who dig the deepest and pump the hardest.

OMG!  Down 15ft a year!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/opinion/the-dust-bowl-returns.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/10/opinion/the-dust-bowl-returns.html?_r=0)

Quote
Without help from the heavens, Joe Del Bosque figures that 2014 will be the last year before many family farmers in California’s vast San Joaquin Valley begin to go bankrupt.

And 2014 is going to be bad. Really bad. Del Bosque has 2,000 acres scattered across several farms west of Fresno, near Firebaugh. He will leave 500 to 700 acres unplanted because there is no water for his crops.

That’s about 650,000 boxes of cantaloupe, regular and organic, he won’t be harvesting come July — about $3 million worth of produce, he estimated. It’s a few hundred workers, most of them migrants, he won’t be hiring. It’s money that won’t be spent in grocery and hardware stores in small towns across the region that produces half of the country’s homegrown fruits and vegetables. It’s a lot of schools with empty seats as farm workers looking for jobs move on with their families...
...By some estimates, half a million acres of San Joaquin Valley farmland will lie fallow during the upcoming growing season...
...The average family of four in a single-family home in Sacramento uses 417 gallons of water a day, 65 percent of it outdoors. Half the homes don’t even have water meters.

Quote
On the Monterey Peninsula, where only 105,000 people live, in places such as Carmel and Monterey, water comes from the Carmel River and groundwater, not the giant state water system. The average person consumes 60 gallons a day, which Dave Stoldt, general manager of the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District, said is the lowest in the state.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/california-drought-hits-farmers-hardest/2014/02/09/beec5e10-9043-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/california-drought-hits-farmers-hardest/2014/02/09/beec5e10-9043-11e3-b46a-5a3d0d2130da_story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 10, 2014, 10:49:02 PM
My son who lives near Placerville east of Sacrament got 6.5 inches of rain and he said one of the ski resorts got the equivalent of 13 inches of rain (in the form of snow).  He said Folsom lake came up 15ft and they are at 40% of normal now.  About 3-4 more storms like that one and they are in good shape (best of luck on that).
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2014, 02:20:27 PM
Here's a discussion of why we have seen (next to) no mandatory water rationing in California.  Yet.

"...there's no one-size-fits-all answer to explain why rationing hasn't taken hold. While three utilities provide 80 percent of Californians' electricity, there are roughly 3,000 water providers statewide, all with different rules, political realities and needs. Some are cities. Some are corporations. Some are farm districts pumping from wells. Some have significant amounts of water stored up and some don't. But all of their bottom lines depend on selling water, not conserving. And as difficult as the economics of rationing are, the politics may be even more complex."

http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25153774/california-drought-why-is-there-no-mandatory-water (http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25153774/california-drought-why-is-there-no-mandatory-water)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 16, 2014, 04:18:35 PM
Local water agencies quibble about what's fair for their water users. A local rich verses less rich conundrum. 

http://www.independent.com/news/2014/jan/30/let-sleeping-dogs-snore/?print (http://www.independent.com/news/2014/jan/30/let-sleeping-dogs-snore/?print)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: CraigsIsland on February 16, 2014, 04:37:01 PM
My son who lives near Placerville east of Sacrament got 6.5 inches of rain and he said one of the ski resorts got the equivalent of 13 inches of rain (in the form of snow).  He said Folsom lake came up 15ft and they are at 40% of normal now.  About 3-4 more storms like that one and they are in good shape (best of luck on that).

Small world; I grew up in the area and live in Sacramento. We need a lot more rain to avoid really dire consequences. I'm just glad that stubborn high over the pacific broke down
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JackTaylor on February 17, 2014, 04:18:30 PM
Local water agencies quibble about what's fair for their water users. A local rich verses less rich conundrum. 

http://www.independent.com/news/2014/jan/30/let-sleeping-dogs-snore/?print (http://www.independent.com/news/2014/jan/30/let-sleeping-dogs-snore/?print)

Bruce,
You don't own a stable of polo ponies?

Will I hear about  armed militia on the banks of the Santa Inez River such as
http://www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix/AZ100/1950/whiskey_drinking_water_fighting.html (http://www.usbr.gov/lc/phoenix/AZ100/1950/whiskey_drinking_water_fighting.html)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 17, 2014, 08:32:01 PM
It is widely known today that the allocations of water from the Colorado River that were agreed to in the Colorado River Compact in 1922 were based upon data from very wet years.  Not average.  And now, of course, average is ... changing?

If the droughts in CA, AZ and the rest of the southwest persist for another two years or so we are going to have to readdress that 1922 compact as we will have no choice because there will not be enough water to fill allocations and cities will run out of water.  That will be an interesting fight to watch.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 18, 2014, 01:57:57 AM
Jack Taylor, I don't know much about the Colorado but the Santa Ynez is similar to the Salinas River.
A lot of the same issues ,steelhead, endangered songbirds, off road vehicles , agriculture runoff and pesticides, etc. If you look at this link for the Salinas you will see a picture with heavy off road vehicle damaged river bottom. I am the guy who goes down and tries to preserve part of the river from experiencing similar problems. It is about the most dangerous it gets around here. The ORV folks carry, I don't.

 http://conservationconsulting.net/UpsideDownRiver.html (http://conservationconsulting.net/UpsideDownRiver.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: OldLeatherneck on February 18, 2014, 01:58:14 AM
It is widely known today that the allocations of water from the Colorado River that were agreed to in the Colorado River Compact in 1922 were based upon data from very wet years.  Not average.  And now, of course, average is ... changing?

If the droughts in CA, AZ and the rest of the southwest persist for another two years or so we are going to have to readdress that 1922 compact as we will have no choice because there will not be enough water to fill allocations and cities will run out of water.  That will be an interesting fight to watch.

I did some checking of the respective population growth of Arizona and California since the 1920s at http://www.demographia.com/db-state1900.htm (http://www.demographia.com/db-state1900.htm).  At this site the last year posted was 2003, however for my purposes it is enough to show the dramatic growth of both states:

           POPULATION      
YEAR      ARIZONA   CALIFORNIA
1920        334,162      3,426,861
2003     5,580,811    35,484,453

In addition to the growth of the population, we have to consider the many ways per capita water consumption has increased in the past 90+ years.

1.  How many of the individual homes in 1920 did not have indoor plumbing?
2.  How many of the individual homes in 1920 did not have lawns that required irrigation?
3.  How many of the individual homes in 1920 did not have swimming pools?
4.  How many of the individual families in 1920 did not have automobiles that required water for cooling and washing?
5.  How many acres of agricultural land in 1920 were irrigated?
6.  How many golf courses were there in 1920?
7.  How many buildings (homes/offices/stores/public buildings) used water for cooling?
8.  How many water intensive heavy industries were there in 1920?

This list could go on ad infinitum, and others may add to it.  Oh Yeah, I just remembered that we are using fresh water for fracking!!

Things aren't much different here in Texas, where the population has increased from 4,663,228 in 1920 to  22,118,509 in 2003.  And Texas is heavily dependent on water for both agricultural purposes as well as the oil/gas industry.  Last month my wife had the opportunity to listen to Alyssa Burgin, Director of the Texas Drought Project, speak at her garden club regarding the desertification of Texas.  This particular garden club consists primarily of wealthy right-wing conservatives, who deny AGW/CC and were somewhat put off when Alyssa was introduced and the words "Climate Change " were used.  However, my wife told me that they paid rapt attention to the speaker when given absolute facts.  The Texas desert is moving Eastward at the rate of 10 miles/year.  It will soon be crossing the I-35 corridor between Dallas and San Antonio.  Fortunately, San Antonio has one of the more progressive plans to address water issues of any city in the US that is vulnerable to water shortages.  Unfortunately, San Marcos, just south of Austin is the fastest growing city in the US and has no current plans to address future water issues.  In comparing the water crisis in Texas to that of California, Alyssa stated the Texas is in "Dire Straights" while it is probably "Too Late" for California.

For those interested in more facts about drought conditions in Texas, here is the link to  the Texas Drought Project:

  http://texasdroughtproject.org/aboutus.html (http://texasdroughtproject.org/aboutus.html) 

I've heard Alyssa speak several times in political venues and I highly respect her, however, their website has been a work-in-progress.  It's now mature enough for me to share it with a broader community.

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: OldLeatherneck on February 18, 2014, 02:55:43 AM

The New Dust Bowl

 In the 1930s, Okies saw California's Central Valley as a Garden of Eden. Now it's dying of thirst.



2009 article from Mother Jones:  http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/11/new-dust-bowl (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/11/new-dust-bowl)

Quote
When I meet Javier Vaca on a dusty strip of blacktop, he's been walking for three days. The skinny 18-year-old is being carried along in a procession of 7,000 farmworkers and farmers as it crosses California's Central Valley, his baggy jeans and hoodie standing out amid the work boots and button-downs. He's been told only one thing that matters: Marching 50 miles might earn him a job..........................
................He passes an ATV draped in an American flag, where Sharon Wakefield, an almond farmer, is resting her feet. She says she believes that the Mexicans and Central Americans who have joined the California March for Water are basically no different from her mother, who fled Oklahoma during the Great Depression to earn a pittance harvesting hay and cotton in the valley. Except this time, the state has even less to offer them: "We've got no water, no food, no future," she says.

What is happening in California is not NEW news to those who  have been impacted by the impacts of AGW/CC in California's agricultural areas.

BTW, I found the link to  this article on the Texas Drought Project website, which I referenced in my previous post on this topic. http://texasdroughtproject.org/newsonclimate.html (http://texasdroughtproject.org/newsonclimate.html)

The suffering has been going on for years......and it will only get worse!!
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 18, 2014, 05:01:44 PM
OLN

To show how much things are growing population wise out here.  Here are the figures for 2013

Arizona 6.626 million  up 18.7% in 10 years.

California 38.041 million up 7.2% in 10 years.

And they are building houses in our area at a good clip.  As it has been for a long time the economy is based upon all the retired people who have and are moving here to live.  Nice weather.  But down in the Valley (Phoenix) it has been pushing 90 F for a few days.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on February 18, 2014, 06:13:28 PM
Possible chance (80%) of rain in the later part of the 10-day forecast here. I was ready to buy a couple ~500 gallon tanks to capture rain off my shed for use on the vegies later in the year. But I'm not sure the investment is worth it since it's looking like we may not get any more rain this year.  :-\
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ccgwebmaster on February 18, 2014, 06:53:27 PM
Possible chance (80%) of rain in the later part of the 10-day forecast here. I was ready to buy a couple ~500 gallon tanks to capture rain off my shed for use on the vegies later in the year. But I'm not sure the investment is worth it since it's looking like we may not get any more rain this year.  :-\

The only thing you can be sure of is that whatever you decide will be wrong?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: sidd on February 18, 2014, 09:01:35 PM
Re: rainwater tanks

get some used totes, 250 gall a pop (from ag or feed or food companies)
clean em out,
i can find them on the east coast for as low as 25$ a pop.
100$ gets you a thousand gallons

sidd
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 18, 2014, 09:10:01 PM
Re: rainwater tanks

get some used totes, 250 gall a pop (from ag or feed or food companies)
clean em out,
i can find them on the east coast for as low as 25$ a pop.
100$ gets you a thousand gallons

sidd

I used to try and give the 1 ton fertilizer totes away and could not find anyone who wanted them.  I am not sure that they are water tight but one could line them with plastic perhaps. 

Is that the same thing you are talking about?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on February 18, 2014, 10:35:57 PM
Re: rainwater tanks

get some used totes, 250 gall a pop (from ag or feed or food companies)
clean em out,
i can find them on the east coast for as low as 25$ a pop.
100$ gets you a thousand gallons

sidd

I can't find them for less than ~$150. And I don't have a truck.  >:(

Jim,
sidd is talking about these:
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F3.bp.blogspot.com%2F-CTK0mm5AQDM%2FUOD4qhqsB3I%2FAAAAAAAANmo%2FNJBDVwdAE28%2Fs400%2Frainwater_catchment1.jpg&hash=29c01cccb7efcacd5b2fe9590303122f)

The only thing you can be sure of is that whatever you decide will be wrong?

 :D It's a definite trend in my life!
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JackTaylor on February 19, 2014, 11:57:01 AM
Jack Taylor, I don't know much about the Colorado but the Santa Ynez is similar to the Salinas River.
A lot of the same issues ,steelhead, endangered songbirds, off road vehicles , agriculture runoff and pesticides, etc. If you look at this link for the Salinas you will see a picture with heavy off road vehicle damaged river bottom. I am the guy who goes down and tries to preserve part of the river from experiencing similar problems. It is about the most dangerous it gets around here. The ORV folks carry, I don't.

 http://conservationconsulting.net/UpsideDownRiver.html (http://conservationconsulting.net/UpsideDownRiver.html)
Bruce Steele,
That picture of the Salinas River bottom is pathetic.  I hope your river never gets to that condition.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JackTaylor on February 19, 2014, 12:27:04 PM

What is happening in California is not NEW news to those who  have been impacted by the impacts of AGW/CC in California's agricultural areas.

BTW, I found the link to  this article on the Texas Drought Project website, which I referenced in my previous post on this topic. http://texasdroughtproject.org/newsonclimate.html (http://texasdroughtproject.org/newsonclimate.html)

The suffering has been going on for years......and it will only get worse!!

OldLeatherneck,

Are you still near the banks of the Guadalupe?
Thinking I read sometime back you were contemplating relocating to a different "political clime."

Since the town of Robert Lee, near Lake E.V. Spence on the upper Colorado (Texas Colorado), received so much attention several years ago for loss of water, west Texas water has become a topic of discussion in my extended family.

While east Texas seems O.K. - via reference of Data App: Track Texas Reservoir Levels
http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/texas-reservoir-levels/ (http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/texas-reservoir-levels/)
also
Water Data for Texas Data App: Texas Reservoir Levels
http://www.waterdatafortexas.org/reservoirs/statewide (http://www.waterdatafortexas.org/reservoirs/statewide)

It's amazing to hear of so many people praying for Hurricanes to hit their part of their state !!!

Perhaps a separate thread/topic on the Texas Drought should be started as Texas with its gas and oil production is a USA and "world item" IMO.
   
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: OldLeatherneck on February 19, 2014, 04:09:58 PM
OldLeatherneck,

Are you still near the banks of the Guadalupe?
Thinking I read sometime back you were contemplating relocating to a different "political clime."..........................

............It's amazing to hear of so many people praying for Hurricanes to hit their part of their state !!!

Perhaps a separate thread/topic on the Texas Drought should be started as Texas with its gas and oil production is a USA and "world item" IMO.
   

Jack,

Yes, I do live less than a mile from the Guadalupe river and it is running at a very low level right now.  We are planning to leave here as soon as our house sells.  While the primary reason is to be closer to family, the political "clime" in this part of Texas makes it just that easier to leave.

I've taken your suggestion and started a new topic to discuss Texas drought conditions and water issues!!


http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,753.0.html (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,753.0.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ccgwebmaster on February 19, 2014, 04:43:19 PM
It's interesting - and rather telling - to consider the notion that places in America could now start to experience the sharper edge of a globalised market place.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26124989 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-26124989)

That's similar in concept to farmers in Argentina exporting food when people in the country cannot afford to eat.

Question is - at what point does the US - proponent of free trade that it is - start to consider export tariffs or quotas or embargoes?

Whether you ship the product or not, there is an effect somewhere. You can't avoid the shortfall landing somewhere. The resource limit and consequences can be passed around like a hot potato but not eliminated, at least not in the context of modern civilisation running under currently dominant ideologies.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 19, 2014, 04:48:53 PM
rittrer

Got it, thanks.  In my area there was an outfit making bio-diesel and they seemed to have all of those at their place sitting full of used oil from restaurants all over the area.  Never saw a used one for sale.  At my place I had a 1550 gallon tank which caught the water from the roof just like your picture.  In Australia many people had special tanks at their places which were 5000 to 10000 liters if I remember correctly.  But you could not pump ground water there (too salty) so it was catch water from the roof or else.

On the SW drought stuff I note that Phoenix just finished a 5 day in a row stretch of record high temps.  Thus well exceeding by mid-Feb the statistical total record high days expected in an entire year for a place keeping records back to the late 1800's.  Might be a warm year if that kind of trend holds.  We were in t shirts and shorts here in the mountains the last few days. 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 20, 2014, 04:24:02 AM
Below is an interesting comment from the RealClimate blog comment section.

297.I offered the speculation near the last of January, that empty Sierra reservoirs could still be significantly replenished if the blocking ridge broke down, but that, should rains continue to fail, damages from drought could eclipse such recent climatic heartaches as storm Sandy and the inundation of New Orleans. Today marks a noteworthy moment in this situation, for while the ridge did indeed yield to abrupt multi-day, record-setting torrent in early February, this month’s accumulation has now fallen back to dead-on average. Moreover, the remainder of the month is now forecast to be quite dry.

Sacramento can illustrate California’s Central Valley. On average, it receives 82% of its annual twenty-one inches, during five rainy months from November thru March, with the tapers beginning and ending this season separated by an utterly dry July. The drought started last Winter in mid-season, unfortunate because flood control is practiced in early season releases. Rain in quarter I of 2013 was off by 3/4ths, and the blocking ridge set up following a record half-inch of rain which fell on the fall equinox. From there, to the end of January 20014, Sacramento received two rains and a drizzle which totaled an inch and a half, off 87% for that interval. Thus, should the current 10-day forecast prove out, Sacramento will have wracked up a deficit only four days worth shy of a full-year, 21 inch shortfall, since January 1, 2013.

Salient circumstances at present include a forecast zero flow nomination to the State Water Project, a counter-intuitive assessment that supplies for southern, highly populated counties are far less seriously threatened due to more robust storage, Bay Area delta eco systems threatened with “collapse”, and land fallowing in the San Joaquin running to half a million acres (of a CA total of ~8 million irrigated, that produce nearly half the nation’s fruits and veggies). Lastly, the harrowing prospect for mass residential service loss, hangs on the receipt of March moisture, and frantic local efforts to effect emergency alternative water sources.

Comment by Dave Peters — 18 Feb 2014 @ 9:20 PM
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on February 20, 2014, 05:22:29 PM
Jim,

Considerably less "interesting" to those of us living here!  :)

We have some rain in the forecast next week. A week away, so let's see if it holds....
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 20, 2014, 05:48:30 PM
Jim,

Considerably less "interesting" to those of us living here!  :)

We have some rain in the forecast next week. A week away, so let's see if it holds....

Since you live in California I would think that you should be becoming one with your misery as a way of reaching enlightenment.  ;D

I think it was Nietzsche who said that "Suffering builds character." to paraphrase a bit.  I told my philosophy teacher that was undoubtedly true but what he failed to mention is that it builds bad character most of the time.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Jim Hunt on February 25, 2014, 10:37:54 AM
According to the BBC's weather man rain and snow are finally on their way to California in quantity:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/26314753 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/26314753)

Quote
Storm after storm from mid-week onwards
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 25, 2014, 03:30:04 PM
Great news! Hopefully the heavy rainfall is steady, allowing it to soak into the horribly dry hard ground.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 25, 2014, 04:58:45 PM
The weather forecasters are saying that the coming storm will drop as much as 1 inch here is AZ.  That would be big as here in Prescott we have not had more than a few drops since early Dec.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Apocalypse4Real on February 27, 2014, 02:49:05 PM
I decided to summarize the California and US drought situation and the resulting climate impacts - which are sobering despite whatever rain might fall.

See: http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/ (http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 27, 2014, 05:04:50 PM
I decided to summarize the California and US drought situation and the resulting climate impacts - which are sobering despite whatever rain might fall.

See: http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/ (http://a4rglobalmethanetracking.blogspot.com/)

Well, that was a depressing read. I am a news junkie and I have an index (subjective) that I use to evaluate the seriousness of any situation that is reported. The index is related to the number of anonymous expert sources that get quoted in articles. These experts choose to  remain anonymous  because they are sharing discussions by experts that are occurring behind closed doors. If they are recognized as the source of information they could be locked out of further discussions.

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on February 27, 2014, 05:24:18 PM
We got an inch and a half of rain yesterday. It was wonderful to feel it on my face again. It doesn't fix the drought, but it sure helped the soul.  :)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: RaenorShine on March 06, 2014, 03:50:52 PM
Radio Ecoshock have an hour long California Drought Special this week

Quote
RADIO ECOSHOCK SPECIAL ON CALIFORNIA DROUGHT Despite recent rains, California's reservoirs are near empty, snow-pack light, and groundwater depleted. Four experts on a drought that really started in 2006, impacts on economy, food, farming, and nature. Guests: Dr. Peter Gleick, Dr. Jay Famiglietti, David Schroeder, Dr. Reagan Waskom

http://www.ecoshock.info/2014/03/california-drought-is-this-big-one.html (http://www.ecoshock.info/2014/03/california-drought-is-this-big-one.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on March 06, 2014, 04:37:10 PM
RaenorShine

Thanks that is interesting stuff.  Note the following quote from your link.

Quote
Jay Familietti describes what we know. He says the average of prediction of when California will run out of groundwater at current rates is 60 years from now. After that, the glory days of big populations and big cities may be done. Some experts say it will come sooner than that.

60 years to empty (or less of course) but what that really means is that 30 years from now a big area will already be depleted as aquifers are not equally distributed and of even depth.  Like with the Ogalalla in the mid-west there are already areas which are dry.  Big changes coming in ag in Calif over the next 20 years.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: CraigsIsland on March 10, 2014, 06:58:10 PM
"Weekly Drought Update (3-10-2014)" from CA Governors Office. http://www.calema.ca.gov/NewsandMedia/Documents/2014%20Weekly%20Drought%20Update/Weekly%20Drought%20Update%20(03-10-14).pdf (http://www.calema.ca.gov/NewsandMedia/Documents/2014%20Weekly%20Drought%20Update/Weekly%20Drought%20Update%20(03-10-14).pdf)

Good bits of information on the situation in CA in that report

Lots of general information to other links/sites/data in the following link: http://www.water.ca.gov/waterconditions/ (http://www.water.ca.gov/waterconditions/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on March 10, 2014, 07:59:49 PM
CraigsIsland

I noted this from the last paragraph of your link.  Not a good sing for later in the year.  Triple normal fire activity.

Quote
Fire Danger:  665 fires have been reported across the state since January 1, burning 1,388 acres.  CALFIRE reports that this current fire activity is well above the year-to-date average of 223 fires, burning 773 acres.  22 new fires were reported over the past week.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on March 20, 2014, 02:19:11 AM
Quote
LAKE OF THE WOODS, California (The New York Times) –  People in this mountain town straddling the San Andreas Fault are used to scrapping for water. The lake for which it is named went dry 40 years ago. But now, this tiny community is dealing with its most unsettling threat yet: It could run out of water by summer.

As of last week, just two of the five wells drilled into the dry lake bed that serve its 300 homes were producing water. The mountains of the nearby Los Padres National Forest got their first dusting of snow — and it was a light one — last week; it is the winter snow that feeds the wells come spring...

We did drill three test holes, and we found nothing,” Mr. Stowell said. “Went down, three, four, five hundred feet. And we didn’t find anything. Now we’re going to go down more, 1,000 feet.



http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/in-parched-california-town-taps-run.html (http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/in-parched-california-town-taps-run.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 11, 2014, 01:57:07 AM
California snowpack water content, which provides about 1/3 of the state's water, was measured at 32% of normal on April 8.

http://pacinst.org/news/update-on-the-california-drought-april-10-2014/ (http://pacinst.org/news/update-on-the-california-drought-april-10-2014/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on April 11, 2014, 09:16:58 PM
Sig

And we are moving into the dry time of the year out here now so there will not be too much more moisture until the monsoon season here in AZ in July and when the summer high pressure system breaks down in CA (Sept-Oct).

Here in central AZ we have had an astonishingly dry winter.  About 0.1 inch at my house since early Dec. 6.6 inches below normal for that time period.  And only 2% of what is normal for this time of year.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 17, 2014, 07:15:49 PM
"Bombshell: Study Ties Epic California Drought, ‘Frigid East’ To Manmade Climate Change"

I thought at first their title was sarcastic.  But no. After years of scientists saying, "We can't tie any specific weather pattern to global warming" -- here is, apparently, the first study that does.  Bad news for the US: the jet stream pattern it predicts would mean more drought for the West and more frigid weather for the East in the years ahead.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/15/3426810/california-drought-climate-change/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/15/3426810/california-drought-climate-change/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 17, 2014, 09:12:30 PM
"Bombshell: Study Ties Epic California Drought, ‘Frigid East’ To Manmade Climate Change"

I thought at first their title was sarcastic.  But no. After years of scientists saying, "We can't tie any specific weather pattern to global warming" -- here is, apparently, the first study that does.  Bad news for the US: the jet stream pattern it predicts would mean more drought for the West and more frigid weather for the East in the years ahead.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/15/3426810/california-drought-climate-change/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/15/3426810/california-drought-climate-change/)

As long as normal precipitation occurs, frigid for the East is fine. In fact, snow precipitation is preferable in the winter as it encourages more of the moisture to soak into the ground with less  run off.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 18, 2014, 02:23:38 AM
....
As long as normal precipitation occurs, frigid for the East is fine. In fact, snow precipitation is preferable in the winter as it encourages more of the moisture to soak into the ground with less  run off.

Maybe "frigid for the East is fine" from a water perspective, but I bet most easterners would disagree with you otherwise.  The cold this winter was brutal.  It caused infrastructure damage, and there were emergencies declared due to natural gas and propane shortages, with major price hikes.  Plus, the record snows caused their own problems.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 18, 2014, 02:28:50 AM
Half of the CA snowpack gone in one week in some areas!

"In California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, where runoff from the spring snowpack provides much-needed water supplies during the dry season, half of the snowpack's liquid water equivalent melted in just the past week in some areas, due to temperatures that soared as high as 12 degrees Fahrenheit above average of early April, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor."

Click on the "liquid water equivalent" link in the article for snowpack comparison images.

http://mashable.com/2014/04/17/california-snowpack-melt-drought/ (http://mashable.com/2014/04/17/california-snowpack-melt-drought/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: idunno on April 18, 2014, 06:56:12 AM
Masters includes an impressive literature review...

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2665 (http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2665)

Evidence accumulates.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on April 18, 2014, 10:28:31 PM
....
As long as normal precipitation occurs, frigid for the East is fine. In fact, snow precipitation is preferable in the winter as it encourages more of the moisture to soak into the ground with less  run off.

Maybe "frigid for the East is fine" from a water perspective, but I bet most easterners would disagree with you otherwise.  The cold this winter was brutal.  It caused infrastructure damage, and there were emergencies declared due to natural gas and propane shortages, with major price hikes.  Plus, the record snows caused their own problems.

And if cold long into spring winters become the norm it will have a strong negative impact on agriculture production.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 19, 2014, 03:13:52 AM
CA groundwater discussion:

"April 18th, 2014, Oakland, Calif. – Groundwater has been on the lips (both literally and metaphorically) of Californians since the drought began. During normal years, groundwater use accounts for about 40% of total water use in the state and can increase up to 60% or more during dry years. This has resulted in groundwater levels that have been steadily declining since the early 1960s and these levels have yet to totally rebound, indicating unsustainable use (see figure...)."

http://pacinst.org/news/update-on-the-california-drought-april-18/ (http://pacinst.org/news/update-on-the-california-drought-april-18/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 23, 2014, 12:15:28 AM
"After a warm April so far, California snowpack down to ~18% of normal. Just 4.5" of water equivalent remain."

https://mobile.twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/458297361878351872/photo/1

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on April 23, 2014, 12:36:03 AM
18% of normal is crazy! :o

NPR reported this morning that 40% of the Central Valley is expected to be left fallow due to water shortages. It's the most productive agricultural region in the US. It won't be critical to food calories, but you'll feel it in your pocket everywhere I suspect. Employment impacts in the area will be huge as well.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 23, 2014, 03:45:56 AM
Employment impacts in the area will be huge as well.

What is the estimated number of illegals working there? That might be interesting - as they can't trivially easily go back and forth across the border... nor can they easily avail themselves of social support mechanisms.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: silkman on April 23, 2014, 08:14:43 AM
Here's another interesting knock on effect of the drought, this time on Food Banks. In times of shortage those with the least get hurt first:

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/California-drought-Food-banks-drying-up-too-5416846.php (http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/California-drought-Food-banks-drying-up-too-5416846.php)

This site pulls together a lot of news on the California drought if you haven't seen it

http://www.aquafornia.com/index.php/category/weather-snowpack/ (http://www.aquafornia.com/index.php/category/weather-snowpack/)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on April 23, 2014, 06:57:14 PM
Employment impacts in the area will be huge as well.

What is the estimated number of illegals working there? That might be interesting - as they can't trivially easily go back and forth across the border... nor can they easily avail themselves of social support mechanisms.

I'm not sure of the number but it's high. As you know, climate change will impact the poorest and under served first, even in the US.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 23, 2014, 08:40:14 PM
What is the estimated number of illegals working there? That might be interesting - as they can't trivially easily go back and forth across the border... nor can they easily avail themselves of social support mechanisms.

I'm not sure of the number but it's high. As you know, climate change will impact the poorest and under served first, even in the US.

I can see scope for problems whatever happens in that regard, assuming a significant drop in demand for illegal workers.

On the one hand, it might drive people back across the border - but that would leave the agricultural sector significantly under supplied for labour when conditions improve (as happened in some states when they cracked down and scared off the illegal labour - which appears to be necessary to sectors of the US economy).

On the other hand without access to the (limited anyway) social safety nets of the US - those who decide not to return may be driven to desperate measures to get by anyway. Damned if you do, damned if you don't (given the improbability of the US meaningfully reforming the immigration system).
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on April 25, 2014, 01:58:16 AM
Employment impacts in the area will be huge as well.

What is the estimated number of illegals working there? That might be interesting - as they can't trivially easily go back and forth across the border... nor can they easily avail themselves of social support mechanisms.

I'm not sure of the number but it's high. As you know, climate change will impact the poorest and under served first, even in the US.

I am at my sons little farm outside of Sacramento this week and we were talking about this a few days ago.

He told me that there are not high levels of illegals in California working the farms any longer and that this has resulted in a big jump in hourly wages (Americans just won't work for the lower rates).  But there is high unemployment in the Central Valley and the ag sector anyway. The need to fallow such large amounts of land due to the drought has cut the demand for all kinds of products from lots of businesses which support the ag sector thus less employment and of course less land to farm means less workers needed.

Driving up I5 there are just huge amounts of dead orchards visible.  Plus just lots of fallow land.  Down south by Bakersfield the grass in the hills has not even greened up yet (or maybe won't at all I suppose).  Looks like Arizona.

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 25, 2014, 03:09:07 AM
The latest US Drought Monitor is out.
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/)

Quote
This week marks the first time in the 15-year history of the Monitor that 100% of California was in moderate to exceptional drought.

The cost of the drought in California is estimated at least $7.48 billion in direct and indirect costs, according to Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition. This includes crop losses and about 20,000 job losses tied to 800,000 acres of idled farmland.

The amount of acres idled equals the size of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Fresno and Bakersfield combined — some 1,250 square miles.

Crops such as iceberg lettuce, broccoli, bell peppers, cantaloupes and tomatoes are being hardest hit, the farm coalition reports.

"If you combine the current drought with the nearly $450 million in damage to the state's citrus crop from a freeze last December, the state's agriculture has really had a rough couple of months," says Steve Bowen, a meteorologist with Aon Benfield, a global reinsurance firm based in London.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/04/24/california-western-drought/8097827/ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2014/04/24/california-western-drought/8097827/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on April 25, 2014, 05:41:28 PM
I am at my sons little farm outside of Sacramento this week and we were talking about this a few days ago.

He told me that there are not high levels of illegals in California working the farms any longer and that this has resulted in a big jump in hourly wages (Americans just won't work for the lower rates).

Interesting. There are definitely a fair number of illegals (or marginally legal) workers up here in wine country. Although the numbers definitely dropped during and after the rescission when the building industry collapsed. Still, white folk are generally too lazy and self entitled to do ag labor and grapes don't pick themselves.  ;)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 25, 2014, 08:27:30 PM
CA Drought Monitor numbers over time:

"@sftransitblog: CA drought: an inexorable, terrifying march of deeper shades of red. Via @DroughtCenter http://t.co/RxeLuvdiPI (http://t.co/RxeLuvdiPI)    "
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on April 30, 2014, 10:42:39 PM
This current ~20* above average heat wave sure isn't helping things. 1,100 homes evacuated in Rancho Cucamonga due to the wildfire there. It's going to be a whopper of a fire season.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/04/30/3043749/wind-gusts-drive-fire-in-san-bernardino.html?sp=/99/177/348// (http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2014/04/30/3043749/wind-gusts-drive-fire-in-san-bernardino.html?sp=/99/177/348//)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Yuha on May 02, 2014, 01:10:54 PM
According to the latest snow survey, the California snow levels are down to 18% of normal.

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action (http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 09, 2014, 01:13:03 AM
Quote
"The severity of the drought has been compounded by poor planning, poor management, and population growth putting pressure on already overcommitted resources," says Gleick, president of the Oakland, California-based Pacific Institute, a nonprofit that conducts interdisciplinary research on water issues. "It is the third year of the drought, and we did not act in the first two years as though anything was abnormal."
How five California cities are tackling the drought.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140508-drought-california-water-shortage-conservation/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/05/140508-drought-california-water-shortage-conservation/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 09, 2014, 01:18:34 AM
It's only the beginning of May, yet five US states have 100% of their land in drought:
• California
• Nevada
• New Mexico
• Arizona
• Kansas

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/ (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on May 09, 2014, 06:40:58 PM
The rain season has since past and we've got another (second this year) heatwave forecast for next week. 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on May 09, 2014, 09:35:14 PM
When No One Is to Blame - Rome Burns!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-sten-odenwald/when-no-one-is-to-blame-r_b_5291288.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-sten-odenwald/when-no-one-is-to-blame-r_b_5291288.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 14, 2014, 01:26:36 AM
Tweet from USFS Fire-California:
Quote
178 of our 179 wildfires so far this year have been human-caused http://t.co/IEj6KnfD8l (http://t.co/IEj6KnfD8l) #OneLessSpark
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 15, 2014, 02:12:53 AM
California is experiencing multiple Santa Ana wind events -- conditions usually not seen until late fall.  Does this signal more anomalous weather for the US?
Quote
It’s pretty unusual to have multiple strong Santa Ana wind events this late in the spring–typically, these events are most common in the early spring and particularly during the late fall months. The recurrence of hot, dry, and windy conditions over California over the past month or so stems from the persistence of a high-amplitude atmospheric flow pattern over much of the Pacific Ocean and North America. This pattern is reminiscent of the one associated with the incredible California dry spell that lasted from January 2013 through early February 2014–associated with the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge”–which also brought highly anomalous weather conditions to much of North America, including prodigious snowfalls in the upper Midwest and the advection of frigid Arctic airmasses over the eastern half of North America for much of the winter. Interestingly, the eastern Rocky Mountain region just experienced one of its more impressive late-season snowstorms in recent memory.
http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/1474 (http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/1474)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on May 15, 2014, 05:52:02 PM
California is experiencing multiple Santa Ana wind events -- conditions usually not seen until late fall.  Does this signal more anomalous weather for the US?

Without any speculation, I can say it is burning the hell out of Southern California. Dry, hot and windy. Not a good combination.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/15/us-usa-wildfires-california-idUSBREA4D00A20140515 (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/15/us-usa-wildfires-california-idUSBREA4D00A20140515)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 15, 2014, 07:24:59 PM
A tour of California's Central Valley in the "Thirsty West" series by meteorologist Eric Holthaus.

Quote
Almonds alone use about 10 percent of California’s total water supply each year. That’s nuts. But almonds are also the state’s most lucrative exported agricultural product, with California producing 80 percent of the world’s supply. Alfalfa hay requires even more water, about 15 percent of the state’s supply. About 70 percent of alfalfa grown in California is used in dairies, and a good portion of the rest is exported to land-poor Asian countries like Japan. Yep, that’s right: In the middle of a drought, farmers are shipping fresh hay across the Pacific Ocean. The water that’s locked up in exported hay amounts to about 100 billion gallons per year—enough to supply 1 million families with drinking water for a year.
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/05/_10_percent_of_california_s_water_goes_to_almond_farming.1.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/05/_10_percent_of_california_s_water_goes_to_almond_farming.1.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 15, 2014, 09:37:29 PM
Quote
The drought, combined with a recent set of powerful earthquakes, has provided the momentum for about a dozen local governments across California, the third-largest oil producing state, to vote to restrict or prohibit fracking in their jurisdictions, as concerns over environmental effects and water usage have grown.

At the same time, a bill that would declare a statewide moratorium on fracking has been gathering support in the State Senate, a year after a similar effort failed.

“There will be a statewide moratorium, whether it comes this year, next year or the year after that,” said Kathryn Phillips, the director of Sierra Club California, a leading opponent of fracking. “Even if we don’t get a moratorium, just the threat of a moratorium discourages investment.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/15/us/californias-thirst-shapes-debate-over-fracking.html?hpw&rref=science&_r=2 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/15/us/californias-thirst-shapes-debate-over-fracking.html?hpw&rref=science&_r=2)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on May 16, 2014, 05:46:53 PM
A tour of California's Central Valley in the "Thirsty West" series by meteorologist Eric Holthaus.

Quote
Almonds alone use about 10 percent of California’s total water supply each year. That’s nuts. But almonds are also the state’s most lucrative exported agricultural product, with California producing 80 percent of the world’s supply. Alfalfa hay requires even more water, about 15 percent of the state’s supply. About 70 percent of alfalfa grown in California is used in dairies, and a good portion of the rest is exported to land-poor Asian countries like Japan. Yep, that’s right: In the middle of a drought, farmers are shipping fresh hay across the Pacific Ocean. The water that’s locked up in exported hay amounts to about 100 billion gallons per year—enough to supply 1 million families with drinking water for a year.

Vast amounts of hay are also grown and exported from the arid parts of Australia to Japan to feed their cattle.

You want to largely fix California's water problem for a couple of decades ban orchards in the Central Valley and the export of hay and growing rice there and you have huge slack in the system.  Stop cotton farming via irrigation in Texas while you are at it.
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/05/_10_percent_of_california_s_water_goes_to_almond_farming.1.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/05/_10_percent_of_california_s_water_goes_to_almond_farming.1.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on May 27, 2014, 02:35:13 PM
California Drought: State's Flawed Water System Can't Track Usage

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/27/california-drought_n_5395501.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/27/california-drought_n_5395501.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 31, 2014, 03:01:40 AM
Just now watched "Cracked: Running Out of Water" from The Weather Channel.  They mentioned that an aquifer in California's Central Valley the size of Rhode Island could be made unusable -- due to sea water intrusion because of the lowering of the water table -- in as little as two years!

I could not find anything recent on this.  A 1994 "California Water Plan" document noted sea water incursion was already a problem "which is now almost 5 miles inland and threatens to contaminate municipal wells in Salinas."
http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/previous/b160-93/b160-93v1/sgw.cfm (http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/previous/b160-93/b160-93v1/sgw.cfm)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 31, 2014, 05:20:09 AM
Just now watched "Cracked: Running Out of Water" from The Weather Channel.  They mentioned that an aquifer in California's Central Valley the size of Rhode Island could be made unusable -- due to sea water intrusion because of the lowering of the water table -- in as little as two years!

I could not find anything recent on this.  A 1994 "California Water Plan" document noted sea water incursion was already a problem "which is now almost 5 miles inland and threatens to contaminate municipal wells in Salinas."
http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/previous/b160-93/b160-93v1/sgw.cfm (http://www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/previous/b160-93/b160-93v1/sgw.cfm)

As difficult as this decision may be, they are going to have to shut down agriculture in the Central Valley at some point.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on June 05, 2014, 08:13:57 PM
Not sure how accurate these long term forecasts are but the forecast is for a hot dry summer for the West Coast. Not good news.

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/whats-your-ideal-summer-weather/28049294 (http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/whats-your-ideal-summer-weather/28049294)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on June 05, 2014, 08:19:41 PM
And if a persistent high settles over the Northeast Pacific like this, it will  be a dry summer indeed as the Pacific moisture is driven north.

http://earth.nullschool.net/#2014/06/05/1500Z/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/overlay=mean_sea_level_pressure/orthographic=-133.51,40.30,2017 (http://earth.nullschool.net/#2014/06/05/1500Z/wind/isobaric/1000hPa/overlay=mean_sea_level_pressure/orthographic=-133.51,40.30,2017)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Buddy on June 05, 2014, 09:28:56 PM
Southwest and western US likely to get really torched this coming wildfire season.  Oregon had a wildfire on the central Oregon coast IN JANUARY.  Usually you can't even get a fire LIT in January on the Oregon coast.

And you can see from the drought monitor that the drought is "moving north" into Oregon.

Could be ugly.....we have 4 months of fire season ahead....
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 07, 2014, 02:34:57 AM
Poll:  Most Californians say the drought hasn't affected them personally [yet!].  They don't blame environmental regulations -- and they don't want to pay for building solutions.
Quote
While Central Valley congressmen and some agribusiness interests have blamed environmental regulations for worsening the water shortages, those polled cited a much broader range of causes. Topping the list was a lack of rain and snow and people using too much water, followed by insufficient storage and climate change.

"They're really blaming larger forces here," said David Kanevsky of American Viewpoint, the Republican firm that conducted the opinion survey with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm. "What they don't want to see is quick fixes at the expense of the environment."

The survey showed strong support for water recycling, capturing storm water, increasing storage in underground aquifers, voluntary conservation and seawater desalination. A smaller percentage, though still a majority, favored building new dams and reservoirs.

But when it comes to paying for the projects, the numbers flipped. Only 36% want to improve storage and delivery systems by spending taxpayer dollars.
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-poll-drought-20140606-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-poll-drought-20140606-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Yuha on June 08, 2014, 12:01:00 PM
An interesting video on CA drought and El Nino by National Weather Service saying a moderate El Nino might not help much:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6VxGhm7bSY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6VxGhm7bSY)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on June 08, 2014, 11:45:10 PM
Some stats on fire :
http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_stats?year=2014 (http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_stats?year=2014)

How California's drought affects the country's supply of fruits and vegetables
http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-california-drought-affecting-food-20140311-story.html#axzz2vjnPxFI8 (http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-california-drought-affecting-food-20140311-story.html#axzz2vjnPxFI8)

It Takes How Much Water to Grow an Almond?!
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/wheres-californias-water-going (http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/wheres-californias-water-going)

They are moving the thousands of salmons toward the sea by truck...
http://www.fws.gov/sfbaydelta/maps/chinook_salmon_relocation_20140321_Final.pdf (http://www.fws.gov/sfbaydelta/maps/chinook_salmon_relocation_20140321_Final.pdf)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 16, 2014, 02:57:19 AM
More on the trucking of fish due to the drought.  It's only a partial solution.
Quote
Trucking the smolts ensures a large number will survive and grow to be the California king salmon prized by fishermen and seafood lovers. But skipping the river journey means the migratory fish won't know how to swim home to spawn in three years.

"Because that imprinting cycle is broken, it's unlikely that many fish will make it back to Coleman. In other words, they stray. They won't find that scent to where home is," said Scott Hamelberg, who manages the Coleman National Fish Hatchery.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/california-salmon-trucks-migrate-fish-drought (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/california-salmon-trucks-migrate-fish-drought)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on June 16, 2014, 06:09:58 PM
More on the trucking of fish due to the drought.  It's only a partial solution.
Quote
Trucking the smolts ensures a large number will survive and grow to be the California king salmon prized by fishermen and seafood lovers. But skipping the river journey means the migratory fish won't know how to swim home to spawn in three years.

"Because that imprinting cycle is broken, it's unlikely that many fish will make it back to Coleman. In other words, they stray. They won't find that scent to where home is," said Scott Hamelberg, who manages the Coleman National Fish Hatchery.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/california-salmon-trucks-migrate-fish-drought (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/15/california-salmon-trucks-migrate-fish-drought)

I guess we'll have to train the fish to drive and outfit them with tablets so they can use Google  maps.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 17, 2014, 12:25:11 AM
Brief article on the prospects of dry farming in California.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/06/dry_farming_returns_to_drought_stricken_california.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/06/dry_farming_returns_to_drought_stricken_california.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on June 17, 2014, 01:24:51 AM
Possible long range could be strength of El Nino. http://www.climate.gov/sites/default/files/ENSO_USimpacts_precip_lrg.jpg (http://www.climate.gov/sites/default/files/ENSO_USimpacts_precip_lrg.jpg) has precipitation record for US of all El Ninos since 1950. Better hope for a very strong El Nino then get flooded other then that prospects don't look good.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 19, 2014, 03:04:43 AM
Trucking fish: too little, too late?  California fish hatcheries are "evacuating" fish to waterways due to the extreme heat.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/18/3450380/california-drought-fish-catastrophic-losses/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/18/3450380/california-drought-fish-catastrophic-losses/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 20, 2014, 12:55:45 AM
One-third of California is now in "exceptional" drought—the highest of the 4 categories—up from one-fourth last week.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 22, 2014, 09:00:24 PM
Engaging story following water flowing from California snowpack to the sea -- and its users and effects.
http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_26009266/california-drought-snowmelt-path-shows-impact-sierras-pacific (http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_26009266/california-drought-snowmelt-path-shows-impact-sierras-pacific)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 24, 2014, 02:56:16 AM
Quote
This week in… Water Rights

On Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board released proposed emergency regulations that would streamline the process for curtailing diversions by junior water rights holders in order to protect the supply for senior rights holders. The new emergency legislation outlines criteria the State Board will use in order to determine whether water is available under a diverter’s priority of right. If the water is not available, the State Board may issue curtailment orders, which – unlike curtailment notices – can incur fines for noncompliance.

In its Findings of Emergency, the State Board outlined why these regulations are needed to effectively curtail diversions and to expedite water transfers, something the Governor’s April drought declaration required the State Board to do. Under existing regulations, water users lack sufficient incentive to comply with curtailment orders. This lack of incentive, in addition to administrative delays related to the curtailment process, could result in continued diversions, impacting senior water rights holders.

Within seven days of being issued a curtailment notice, water rights holders must submit a compliance certification form, indicating they have complied with the curtailment order. As of June 20, only 21% have submitted the form.
http://pacinst.org/news/update-from-the-pacific-institute-california-drought-response-group-june-23/ (http://pacinst.org/news/update-from-the-pacific-institute-california-drought-response-group-june-23/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on June 24, 2014, 05:01:00 PM
Tumbling weeds: The rolling invasion of the US
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229740.100-tumbling-weeds-the-rolling-invasion-of-the-us.html?cmpid=RSS (http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229740.100-tumbling-weeds-the-rolling-invasion-of-the-us.html?cmpid=RSS)|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|environment#.U6mRPVFJzlc
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on July 02, 2014, 12:27:49 PM
Brown Is The New Green In California’s Drought
http://www.momscleanairforce.org/california-drought-brown-new-green/ (http://www.momscleanairforce.org/california-drought-brown-new-green/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 02, 2014, 03:35:53 PM
Brown Is The New Green In California’s Drought
http://www.momscleanairforce.org/california-drought-brown-new-green/ (http://www.momscleanairforce.org/california-drought-brown-new-green/)

California, all of the Southwest actually, needs to eliminate all non-native landscaping unless the non-native plants have been drawn from semi arid and/or arid areas of the world and can survive without any watering.

These are pictures of 2 separate Tucson yards. The 1st should be how every yard looks. The 2nd should be illegal.

I have a brother-in-law who lives in Tucson. His yard has cactus and other desert plants. Yardwork involves going out and raking the stones which are different colors and laid out in his front yard in a pattern. He never waters anywhere.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on July 02, 2014, 05:11:33 PM
These are pictures of 2 separate Tucson yards. The 1st should be how every yard looks. The 2nd should be illegal.

Agreed!  I am in Arizona during the school year and it's interesting to see first-hand.  Tucson is lightyears ahead of Phoenix in terms of sensible yards.  Very few have grass in Tucson, while everyone in Phoenix has their own private golf course and pool it seems.  They irrigate so much in Phoenix that it measurably raises the dewpoint.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 03, 2014, 08:46:48 PM
Los Angeles and Orange County are now officially in “exceptional drought,” the worst category. http://t.co/xhB0kR5nrz (http://t.co/xhB0kR5nrz)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on July 06, 2014, 08:17:23 PM
Video about the drought, impressive almond trees, I am not sure if they are dead thought...a tree may seem dead but it is just mmhh stalled...may be anyway if the drought continue that will really be a gigantic disaster...
http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000002980095/californias-extreme-drought-explained.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000002980095/californias-extreme-drought-explained.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)

Californians Keep Up With Joneses’ Water Use
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/us/californians-keep-up-with-joneses-water-use.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/us/californians-keep-up-with-joneses-water-use.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 08, 2014, 05:41:27 PM
Another crop threatened by the California drought:  marijuana.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/water-guzzling-pot-plants-draining-drought-wracked-california-n149861 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/legal-pot/water-guzzling-pot-plants-draining-drought-wracked-california-n149861)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Buddy on July 08, 2014, 09:38:06 PM
OMG........THAT is the last straw.... ;D
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Yuha on July 10, 2014, 11:51:59 AM
The California water season from July 2013 to June 2014 was the third driest on record:

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=288 (http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html?entrynum=288)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on July 10, 2014, 12:13:36 PM
A California Oil Field Yields Another Prized Commodity
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/08/us/california-drought-chevron-oil-field-water-irrigation.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/08/us/california-drought-chevron-oil-field-water-irrigation.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 11, 2014, 02:49:23 AM
LA Times:  without a few successive winters of above-average precipitation, California has only 12 to 18 months of water left.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-famiglietti-southern-california-drought-20140709-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-famiglietti-southern-california-drought-20140709-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on July 11, 2014, 05:40:13 PM
LA Times:  without a few successive winters of above-average precipitation, California has only 12 to 18 months of water left.

Scary to contemplate. The article is somewhat over simplistic in that various parts of California have varied water sources and storage capacities/techniques. It is spot on in its critique of the lack of conservation though. Why LA still has green lawns is beyond me. Can anyone imagine what it would require to relocated the population of the greater LA area should drought continue to worsen? Talk about climate refuges and logistical nightmares!
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on July 16, 2014, 09:12:50 AM
California Approves Forceful Steps Amid Drought
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/us/forceful-steps-amid-a-severe-drought.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/us/forceful-steps-amid-a-severe-drought.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on July 16, 2014, 03:45:30 PM
LA Times:  without a few successive winters of above-average precipitation, California has only 12 to 18 months of water left.

Scary to contemplate. The article is somewhat over simplistic in that various parts of California have varied water sources and storage capacities/techniques. It is spot on in its critique of the lack of conservation though. Why LA still has green lawns is beyond me. Can anyone imagine what it would require to relocated the population of the greater LA area should drought continue to worsen? Talk about climate refuges and logistical nightmares!

No cities or communities will be relocated as a result of water shortages. As California continues its inevitable march towards permanent shortages and can no longer support existing demands, agriculture and other outdoor uses will be stopped or banned. In the link provided by Laurent, 75% of water use is agriculture and half of residential water use in the state is outside the home. (landscape, pools etc.). Indoor residential uses will rule (drinking, cooking, cleaning, toilets) and, eventually, outdoor residential use will be banned and agricultural use will  simply wither away.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: pikaia on July 18, 2014, 10:52:22 AM
These photos show the browning of California and the loss of snow in the mountains over the last three years:-

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=84032 (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=84032)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Buddy on July 18, 2014, 12:32:54 PM
WOW.  The difference is incredible.  Many of the lakes, rivers, reservoirs.......just disappear.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: solartim27 on July 18, 2014, 05:27:19 PM
The real problem is the lack of groundwater regulation:
http://climatecrocks.com/2014/07/16/desperation-drilling-in-california/ (http://climatecrocks.com/2014/07/16/desperation-drilling-in-california/)

Of course this is nationwide.
http://rglennon.com/books/unquenchable/ (http://rglennon.com/books/unquenchable/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 24, 2014, 07:53:00 PM
Water for agriculture in California selling for 10 times the normal price -- if you can get it.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-24/california-water-prices-soar-for-farmers-as-drought-grows.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-24/california-water-prices-soar-for-farmers-as-drought-grows.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Yuha on July 31, 2014, 03:44:09 PM
More than half, 58.41%, of California is now in the highest category of drought:

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 05, 2014, 02:15:24 PM
Santa Cruz sets water limits, enforces frugal water use.

http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_26269016/california-drought-santa-cruz-pushes-limit-states-toughest (http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_26269016/california-drought-santa-cruz-pushes-limit-states-toughest)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 07, 2014, 09:19:47 PM
The easternmost 'corner' of California is now 'only' in D1 - Moderate Drought! (yes, all of 1/5th of 1% of the state)
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on August 07, 2014, 10:41:44 PM
"The easternmost 'corner' of California is now 'only' in D1 - Moderate Drought! (yes, all of 1/5th of 1% of the state)"

Note that, even without drought, that corner of CA is bone-dry desert, averaging only 2-8 inches of rain in a whole year. So even if they got a fraction of an inch, it probably improved the relative level of drought,but it's still a desert wasteland (beautiful, but no kind of agricultural area).


http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fromickinoakley.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F10%2F08%2Fcalifornia-water-rights-in-the-beginning%2F&h=0&w=0&tbnid=5CnC7FQQ6XqarM&zoom=1&tbnh=190&tbnw=266&docid=xEtQoz7QPOCX2M&tbm=isch&client=firefox-a&ei=uOPjU_7DJo79yQSUwYKADQ&ved=0CBEQsCUoBQ (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fromickinoakley.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F10%2F08%2Fcalifornia-water-rights-in-the-beginning%2F&h=0&w=0&tbnid=5CnC7FQQ6XqarM&zoom=1&tbnh=190&tbnw=266&docid=xEtQoz7QPOCX2M&tbm=isch&client=firefox-a&ei=uOPjU_7DJo79yQSUwYKADQ&ved=0CBEQsCUoBQ)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 08, 2014, 03:48:55 PM
Yes, and it appears the area received 1/2 to over 2" of rain in the last week:
http://www.intellicast.com/National/Precipitation/Weekly.aspx?region=bfl (http://www.intellicast.com/National/Precipitation/Weekly.aspx?region=bfl)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.intellicast.com%2FWxImages%2FWeeklyPrecipitation%2Fbfl.gif&hash=1704a314bb8e0f2c86f426e2eaf5103a)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 08, 2014, 07:36:46 PM
Too little, too late?

"California debates new regulations for diminishing groundwater amid historic drought"

"Groundwater basins around the state would need sustainability plans in place by 2020, and those plans would need to be fully implemented 20 years later. Those plans could include fees and impose regulations on groundwater use, and the agencies in charge could appropriate surface water to replenish exhausted groundwater supplies."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/08/06/california-debates-new-regulations-for-diminishing-groundwater-amid-historic-drought (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/08/06/california-debates-new-regulations-for-diminishing-groundwater-amid-historic-drought)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on August 10, 2014, 03:49:56 PM
Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/mapping-the-spread-of-drought-across-the-us.html (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/mapping-the-spread-of-drought-across-the-us.html)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/us/dry-california-fights-illegal-use-of-water-for-cannabis.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/us/dry-california-fights-illegal-use-of-water-for-cannabis.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 10, 2014, 03:55:42 PM
Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/mapping-the-spread-of-drought-across-the-us.html (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/mapping-the-spread-of-drought-across-the-us.html)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/us/dry-california-fights-illegal-use-of-water-for-cannabis.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/us/dry-california-fights-illegal-use-of-water-for-cannabis.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)

The shrinking areas of drought along the Mississippi and northern plains is great news for agriculture  in the U.S.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on August 11, 2014, 10:35:07 AM
Good news for this year and for the missipi area but not for California. The drough seems to accelerate, it will take some time but what I am seeing from the last ten year and the move of the jet stream annonced by Jennifer Francis tend to show that the drough may extend to Montana-wyoming-nebraska-kansas and the entire texas in the next ten years(may be even further...). (hope I am wrong)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on August 11, 2014, 11:58:54 PM
Undeniable Proof That The California Drought Is A Big Deal
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/11/our-drought-is-real_n_5659546.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/11/our-drought-is-real_n_5659546.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on August 17, 2014, 09:52:40 AM
Bad News For California: NOAA Lowers Chance Of El Niño To 65%, Predicts A Weak One
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/07/3468834/california-noaa-el-nino/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/07/3468834/california-noaa-el-nino/)

Get used to toilet-to-tap water, Californians told
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/07/california-drought-orange-county-toilet-to-tap-water (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/07/california-drought-orange-county-toilet-to-tap-water)
(That type of process use huge amount of energy, that does not help against climate warming...)(Dry toilets exist and they work fine, I have one)

Why heavy rains probably won’t do much good in drought-stricken Calif. (+video)
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2014/0806/Why-heavy-rains-probably-won-t-do-much-good-in-drought-stricken-Calif.-video (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2014/0806/Why-heavy-rains-probably-won-t-do-much-good-in-drought-stricken-Calif.-video)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on August 19, 2014, 09:47:02 AM
California Wildfire Near Yosemite National Park Prompts Officials To Order 13,000 Evacuation Calls
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/19/california-wildfire-yosemite_n_5690121.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/19/california-wildfire-yosemite_n_5690121.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on August 20, 2014, 08:19:45 PM
Drought in California – in pictures
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2014/aug/20/drought-in-california-in-pictures (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2014/aug/20/drought-in-california-in-pictures)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 21, 2014, 04:02:19 PM
California Has Given Out Rights To Five Times More Water Than It Actually Has.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/20/3473775/california-water-rights-five-times/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/20/3473775/california-water-rights-five-times/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on August 24, 2014, 10:59:29 AM
California Drought Leaves Homes Without Water
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/23/california-drought-water_n_5703273.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/23/california-drought-water_n_5703273.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 24, 2014, 03:20:48 PM
From link.....

"East Porterville resident Angelica Gallegos fought back tears as she described being without water for four months in the home she shares with her husband,, three children and two other adults.

"It's hard," she told The Bee. "I can't shower the children like I used to."

Farmworker Oliva Sanchez said she still gets a trickle from her tap, but dirt started coming out with the water about a week ago.

"I try to use the least possible. I'll move if I have to," she said."


Should they be considered climate refuges?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on August 27, 2014, 05:49:32 PM
What's behind California's historic drought?
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28930486 (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28930486)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: GeoffBeacon on August 28, 2014, 03:36:35 PM
Laurent

"What's behind California's historic drought?"

Well. Just don't ask the BBC.  They use the term "new normal" so they don't have to mention climate change.   I did do TweetsToTheBeeb fo a while (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/tweets-to-the-beeb/ (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/tweets-to-the-beeb/)) but gave up. I have also written to my MP complaining about the BBC and got the usual sort of answer.

I do wish one of the campaigning groups would take this on.

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on August 28, 2014, 09:08:46 PM
35-Year 'Megadrought' May Threaten Southwest Within Century, Study Finds
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/28/megadrought-southwest_n_5729082.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/28/megadrought-southwest_n_5729082.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on September 02, 2014, 10:08:44 PM
Is Rational Water Management Finally Emerging in Dry California?
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/is-rational-water-management-finally-emerging-in-dry-california/?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/is-rational-water-management-finally-emerging-in-dry-california/?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 04, 2014, 09:24:33 PM
It has come to this: stealing water from fire hydrants in the middle of the night.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/californians-stealing-water-hydrants-amid-drought/story?id=25229146 (http://abcnews.go.com/US/californians-stealing-water-hydrants-amid-drought/story?id=25229146)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 07, 2014, 08:35:07 PM
Read a wonderful, enlightening adventure:  Kayaking the length of the "endangered" San Joaquin River -- including hiking a dry riverbed where the water disappears in the Central Valley.

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/09/opinion/endangered-river-ctl/ (http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/09/opinion/endangered-river-ctl/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on September 08, 2014, 10:30:58 PM
Climate Change Ups Odds of a Southwest Megadrought
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/climate-change-megadrought-southwest-17969 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/climate-change-megadrought-southwest-17969)

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/mountain-forest-changes-threaten-water-supplies-17971 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/mountain-forest-changes-threaten-water-supplies-17971)

Battle Wages for California’s Groundwater Rights
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/battle-for-california-groundwater-rights-17956 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/battle-for-california-groundwater-rights-17956)

Drought-Stricken California Makes Historic Move To Regulate Underground Water For The First Time
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/30/3477615/underground-water-regulation-california-first-ever/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/08/30/3477615/underground-water-regulation-california-first-ever/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 13, 2014, 04:11:57 PM
The San Jose, California, newspaper ran a story about the water difficulties at a local nudist camp.  And then this happened.

http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_26514043/los-gatos-nudist-colony-accused-stealing-water-from (http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_26514043/los-gatos-nudist-colony-accused-stealing-water-from)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 13, 2014, 04:52:32 PM
Lake Tahoe level is dropping to where it will soon no longer drain into the Truckee River.

http://m.kcra.com/news/tahoe-headed-for-one-of-its-lowest-levels-in-years/28020172 (http://m.kcra.com/news/tahoe-headed-for-one-of-its-lowest-levels-in-years/28020172)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 17, 2014, 02:24:28 AM
Fascinating story of the great Orange County drought of 1864.

http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2014/09/orange_county_california_drought_water_history.php (http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2014/09/orange_county_california_drought_water_history.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on September 17, 2014, 05:13:52 PM
Great read, thanks!
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on September 18, 2014, 07:49:26 PM
Out-Of-Control Wildfire Doubles In Size In California As Governor Declares State Of Emergency
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/18/wildfires-grow-california_n_5842330.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/18/wildfires-grow-california_n_5842330.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: solartim27 on September 23, 2014, 05:46:46 PM
Drought causes mudslide from Mt Shasta glacier
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-drought-glacier-melt-20140923-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-drought-glacier-melt-20140923-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 28, 2014, 08:19:21 PM
Daily water allocation could be the next California drought strategy.
http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20140927/daily-water-allocation-could-be-the-next-california-drought-strategy (http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20140927/daily-water-allocation-could-be-the-next-california-drought-strategy)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 01, 2014, 02:19:29 PM
California begins a new water year with total reservoir storage at 36% of capacity.

Quote
"One of the reasons that agriculture hasn't done worse this year is because of the tremendous amount of groundwater withdrawal that took place," Cowin said. "That's essentially borrowing on tomorrow's future. We'll pay that price over time."

Even a normal rainy season wouldn't be enough to end the drought and refill reservoirs. And although the latest forecast from the federal Climate Prediction Center gives a 60% to 65% chance that El Niño conditions will develop this fall and winter, water managers know better than to count on it.
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-water-year-20141001-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-water-year-20141001-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on October 01, 2014, 07:52:29 PM

Quote
And although the latest forecast from the federal Climate Prediction Center gives a 60% to 65% chance that El Niño conditions will develop this fall and winter, water managers know better than to count on it.
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-water-year-20141001-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-water-year-20141001-story.html)

I am unsure that an el nino would do much anyway. If the persistent high pressure ridge continues to hang out off our coast, that extra precipitation will still miss us as it's pushed north. I'm definitely no expert on this though!
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 03, 2014, 02:17:26 AM
Recent heavy rains made essentially no difference in California drought.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 03, 2014, 09:08:15 PM
Smartphone apps and "drought shaming" on Twitter help stop outdoor water wastage.

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-water-waster-app-20141003-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-water-waster-app-20141003-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Espen on October 03, 2014, 11:11:02 PM
How a about a Oscar would that help?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on October 04, 2014, 12:56:16 PM
With Dry Taps and Toilets, California Drought Turns Desperate
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/us/california-drought-tulare-county.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/us/california-drought-tulare-county.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 07, 2014, 05:16:13 PM
California water officials' residential water use is hardly the model of conservation they call for in others.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/California-Water-Officials-Drought-Conservation-278236801.html (http://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/California-Water-Officials-Drought-Conservation-278236801.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on October 13, 2014, 05:58:35 PM
California’s Drought Is So Bad, Even Its Hydropower Is Drying Up
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/07/3576715/california-drought-hydropower/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/10/07/3576715/california-drought-hydropower/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 15, 2014, 04:33:06 PM
@EricHolthaus: California has about a 1-in-8 chance of a wet winter. Continued drought looks increasingly likely, per latest models: http://t.co/z0t4huwNNt (http://t.co/z0t4huwNNt)

http://mashable.com/2014/10/14/globe-records-warmest-september/ (http://mashable.com/2014/10/14/globe-records-warmest-september/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on October 18, 2014, 07:08:19 PM
When Our Responses to Drought Make Things Worse
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/when-our-responses-to-dro_b_6007878.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/when-our-responses-to-dro_b_6007878.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on October 19, 2014, 07:23:08 PM
'Water Cops' Hunt For Sprinkler Scofflaws As California Remains Parched By Drought
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/19/california-drought-water-cops_n_6010308.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/19/california-drought-water-cops_n_6010308.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 20, 2014, 08:01:19 PM
Mosquito population infected with West Nile virus explodes in San Jose area, affecting birds and people.  Drought is eyed as a cause.

http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_26759079/west-nile-cases-surging-state-bay-area (http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_26759079/west-nile-cases-surging-state-bay-area)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 21, 2014, 05:07:27 PM
The Westlands Water District, in California's Central Valley.
Quote
Westlands and its wealthy farmers are exercising their considerable clout to maintain a flow of cheap water from the north despite a harsh truth. In all of California, there may be no worse place to practice the kind of industrial-scale irrigated agriculture that Westlands is famous for than the badly drained, salt-laden lands that make up roughly half the district.
But there are signs the area could cash in on a different industry:  solar power.

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-westlands-20141021-story.html#page=1 (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-westlands-20141021-story.html#page=1)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on October 23, 2014, 09:52:00 PM
What Does Proposition 1 -- the 2014 California Water Bond -- Really Say?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/what-does-proposition-1_b_6035462.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/what-does-proposition-1_b_6035462.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on October 24, 2014, 04:18:35 PM
What Will Winter Hold for Drought-Plagued California?
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/weak-el-nino-calif-drought-winter-18222 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/weak-el-nino-calif-drought-winter-18222)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 25, 2014, 10:01:37 PM
It's not just the lack of surface water, or the shallowness of wells.  Some groundwater simply cannot be used as is.

Quote
With surface water supplies decimated from the ongoing drought, more Californians are forced to use groundwater.

But groundwater is unsafe for nearly 800,000 residents, according to the state's water resources control board.

This problem is the longtime contamination from nitrates and arsenic.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102111669 (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102111669)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 27, 2014, 04:36:40 PM
Quote
There’s a bleak inevitability to your work that, it seems like, captures what’s going on right now in California. Have you discovered any stories that give you hope?

Frankly, there’s not much hope. How do we accommodate this new reality? Farming is never going to go back, regardless of how much rain we get next year, to the way it was in the ’70s and ’80s. It’s a long-term era of scarcity.

California is much bigger than it was when these reservoirs were built, 40 or 50 years ago. There’s more water going to cities and the environment now. That boom era of California farming, I think everyone recognizes, is just a thing of the past.
http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/10/california_central_valley_agriculture_drought_and_climate_change_photos.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2014/10/california_central_valley_agriculture_drought_and_climate_change_photos.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on October 29, 2014, 10:21:20 AM
Corporate Greed Forces First City In California To Run Out Of Water
http://www.politicususa.com/2014/10/25/corporate-greed-caused-city-california-run-water.html (http://www.politicususa.com/2014/10/25/corporate-greed-caused-city-california-run-water.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 30, 2014, 11:37:42 PM
California's olive harvest:  also reduced due to damage caused by last December's cold snap.
Quote
Faced with a continuing drought, not to mention the ravages of the olive fruit fly, this year’s olive harvest is expected to start in a week or so, earlier than usual, and be about a third smaller than last year.
http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/California-drought-squeezes-olive-oil-makers-5846360.php (http://www.sfgate.com/food/article/California-drought-squeezes-olive-oil-makers-5846360.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on November 01, 2014, 01:09:21 AM
The attached image of the latest doppler radar forecast (for late evening Oct 31st) from The Weather Channel, suggests that a large portion of Southern CA is about to see our first decent October precipitation event since 2011. This will not help the drought of course, but it's still exciting and much welcomed nonetheless.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on November 01, 2014, 03:06:06 PM
California is continuing to get much needed precipitation today, including snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on November 01, 2014, 11:25:39 PM
The attached rainfall map from the County of Santa Barbara, shows 24 hr rainfall totals measured (in inches) at various stations throughout the county from Oct 31-Nov 1, 2014. 90% of the rain fell between 8:30-10:00 pm on Oct 31, making it the highest amount of rainfall in a single day during the month of October, since 2010. I realize that in reality this single event doesn't mean much, but it does provide a small glimmer of hope.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 02, 2014, 04:15:20 PM
State water planning under a changing climate.
Quote
State officials released the plan just days before California voters weigh in on Proposition 1, a $7.5billion water bond pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown. If passed, the measure would authorize bonds for a range of water projects, including dams, groundwater replenishment, water recycling, flood protection and habitat restoration.

DWR’s water plan lays out 350 strategies aimed at boosting water supplies and improving conservation. Key among them is better connecting existing water systems. For instance, the plan calls for reconnecting rivers with their historic floodplains so that, when floods occur, the water can be held on the land to recharge groundwater wells.

In many cases, this would mean breaching levees. It also could mean difficult changes in land use, said DWR Director Mark Cowin.

“For many decades, one of the challenges we’ve had is that agencies that carry out responsibility for water management are not necessarily connected to the local agencies that are responsible for land use,” Cowin said. “That needs to change.”
http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article3505269.html (http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article3505269.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on November 07, 2014, 04:14:31 AM
NASA declares California drought could threaten U.S. food supply.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/nasa-warns-california-drought-could-threaten-u-s-food-supply/5412228 (http://www.globalresearch.ca/nasa-warns-california-drought-could-threaten-u-s-food-supply/5412228)

NASA has also tracked serious aquifer depletion in “the North China Plain, Australia’s Canning Basin, the Northwest Sahara Aquifer System, the Guarani Aquifer in South America … and the aquifers beneath northwestern India and the Middle East,” as Think Progress notes. Parts of Northern China are also seeing their worst drought in 60 years.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nature.com%2Fnclimate%2Fjournal%2Fv4%2Fn11%2Fimages%2Fnclimate2425-f2.jpg&hash=1788f3af102e99b83f5c7ec9183235b6)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 15, 2014, 09:06:06 PM
Dwindling groundwater supply found to have been contaminated by fracking waste.

Quote
State records show waste water from several sources, including from the oil and gas industry, has gone into the aquifer below where 60 different water supply wells are located within a one mile radius.
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Waste-Water-from-Oil-Fracking-Injected-into-Clean-Aquifers-282733051.html# (http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Waste-Water-from-Oil-Fracking-Injected-into-Clean-Aquifers-282733051.html#)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 20, 2014, 03:19:26 PM
California's drought gets personal with portable showers, rain barrels, and sewage water

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/19/3594226/californias-drought-gets-personal/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/19/3594226/californias-drought-gets-personal/)


Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on November 25, 2014, 10:39:14 PM
1st attachment: Global tropics precipitation anomalies during each phase of the MJO (far left composite), U.S. temperature and precipitation anomalies by MJO phase (center and far right composites). This shows the teleconnection between the active phase of the MJO and U.S. temperature and precipitation anomalies during the November-December-January time-frame. Notice that when the active phase of the MJO is in phases 1-3 (or in the Indian Ocean) during this time of year, the U.S. West Coast generally sees cooler and wetter weather. 

2nd attachment: Dynamical (top) and Statistical (bottom) forecast of MJO related anomalous OLR for the next 15 days. Notice that the active phase of the MJO (represented by the blue colors) is currently in phase 3 and is forecast to remain there until the first few days of December.

3rd attachment: Stormsurf.com GFS northeast Pacific SLP and precipitation forecast for Dec 1. Notice the large storm off the U.S. West Coast with a weak “Pineapple express” like signature (precipitation anomalies extending from the tropics/Hawaii to the U.S. West Coast).

Conclusion: CA may possibly see a moderate precipitation event sometime between November 30 and December 2, likely associated with (or at least enhanced by) a moderate-strong active phase of the MJO currently in the Indian Ocean. NOTE: it's possible the evolving El Nino event may play a part in this as well. Fingers crossed that this actually occurs, we need the rain.

For further reading on the MJO-U.S. teleconnection, I provide the following links:

See pages 19-21: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/mjoupdate.pdf (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/mjoupdate.pdf)

http://wwa.colorado.edu/climate/iwcs/archive/IWCS_2008_May_focus.pdf (http://wwa.colorado.edu/climate/iwcs/archive/IWCS_2008_May_focus.pdf)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 26, 2014, 09:32:32 PM
California’s Drought Is Forcing Bears, Bobcats, and Coyotes Into Suburban Backyards
As rivers and lakes dry up, wild animals are migrating to cities in search of food and water.
http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/11/19/now-californias-drought-forcing-californias-wildlife-backyards (http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/11/19/now-californias-drought-forcing-californias-wildlife-backyards)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on November 28, 2014, 08:01:47 AM
Attached is NOAA's CPC December 2014 precipitation forecast for the U.S., which suggests slight drought relief may be on the way!

The following excerpts are from the linked article regarding the now predicted above normal rainfall for December:

http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/local/2014/11/24/normal-rainfall-now-predicted/70065560/ (http://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/local/2014/11/24/normal-rainfall-now-predicted/70065560/) 

Quote
In fact, according to Rich Tinker of the Climate Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the above-normal rainfall this season is knocking the Central Coast down a notch on the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook.

Quote
Up until Friday, the majority of California was listed as an area where “drought persists or intensifies.” Now, because of soppy month ahead, the Central Coast and most of the rest of the state is listed as “drought remains but improves.” Temperatures, however, are expected to remain warmer than normal, which will further support this year as one of the warmest on record.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on December 01, 2014, 05:12:02 AM
Attached is the GFS forecast (initialized 12Z Nov 30th) of total accumulated precipitation from Nov 30th through Dec 4th (courtesy Levi Cowan of Tropicaltidbits.com).
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 03, 2014, 09:29:12 PM
@EricHolthaus: For those curious, current round of rain (3-4") is about 15-20% of what's needed to end the drought in N California. http://t.co/j1OkrT93xx (http://t.co/j1OkrT93xx)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 04, 2014, 12:18:58 AM
How unusual is the 2012-2014 California drought?
Quote
Abstract
For the past three years (2012-2014), California has experienced the most severe drought conditions in its last century. But how unusual is this event? Here we use two paleoclimate reconstructions of drought and precipitation for Central and Southern California to place this current event in the context of the last millennium. We demonstrate that while 3-year periods of persistent below-average soil moisture are not uncommon, the current event is the most severe drought in the last 1200 years, with single year (2014) and accumulated moisture deficits worse than any previous continuous span of dry years. Tree-ring chronologies extended through the 2014 growing season reveal that precipitation during the drought has been anomalously low but not outside the range of natural variability. The current California drought is exceptionally severe in the context of at least the last millennium and is driven by reduced though not unprecedented precipitation and record high temperatures.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL062433/abstract (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL062433/abstract)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 05, 2014, 12:09:10 AM
@EricHolthaus: Here’s how Lake Oroville, one of California’s biggest, has responded to the recent rains. Still at ~26% capacity. http://t.co/M5ucTgcF4m (http://t.co/M5ucTgcF4m)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on December 05, 2014, 11:46:45 PM
@EricHolthaus: Here’s how Lake Oroville, one of California’s biggest, has responded to the recent rains. Still at ~26% capacity. http://t.co/M5ucTgcF4m (http://t.co/M5ucTgcF4m)

What's worse is that snow pack in the Sierra is 38% of normal for this date.
http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action (http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on December 07, 2014, 04:17:46 AM
The attached GFS forecast (courtesy Stormsurf.com and Tropicaltidbits.com) suggests that another moderate-strong precipitation event may be headed to CA sometime between Thursday and Saturday (Dec 11th-13th). This may be thanks to U.S.-MJO teleconnection once again. When the active phase of the MJO is in phase 7 (or roughly the Central Pacific), the U.S. West Coast typically sees wetter weather. Indeed, the active phase of the MJO is projected to be in phase 7 between Dec11th-13th. Again, the evolving El Nino conditions may be playing a role in this as well (by enhancing the teleconnection). For more details, see my above post about the U.S.-MJO teleconnection.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 07, 2014, 03:57:16 PM
Quote
Recently... Los Angeles has reduced its reliance on outside sources of water. It has become, of all things, a leader in sustainable water management, a pioneer in big-city use of cost-effective, environmentally beneficial water conservation, collection and reuse technologies. Some combination of these techniques is the most plausible path to survival for all the cities of the water-depleted West.
...
Together, these projects will treat polluted and even sewage water, capture rainwater, store water in aquifers, and use (or reuse) all of it, often while mimicking or supporting natural processes. The area’s water administrators who, until recently, thought of watersheds as merely rural concerns now recognize that even in Los Angeles, all living things are linked by their common water course and that its proper management is essential to the administrators’ success.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/opinion/sunday/los-angeles-city-of-water.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/opinion/sunday/los-angeles-city-of-water.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 07, 2014, 09:03:48 PM
Buy a T-shirt, help save California from the drought?   ::)
http://teespring.com/ConserveCalifornia (http://teespring.com/ConserveCalifornia)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on December 08, 2014, 05:33:06 PM
California just had its worst drought in over 1200 years, as temperatures and risks rise
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/dec/08/california-just-had-its-worst-drought-in-over-1200-years (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/dec/08/california-just-had-its-worst-drought-in-over-1200-years)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: viddaloo on December 09, 2014, 03:49:16 PM
California just had its worst drought in over 1200 years, as temperatures and risks rise
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/dec/08/california-just-had-its-worst-drought-in-over-1200-years (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/dec/08/california-just-had-its-worst-drought-in-over-1200-years)
Same study as the above. Seems CA is hit by drought not only worse than the thirties or the 'dustbowl'.

RT's angle: California drought worst in 1,200 years – study (http://rt.com/usa/212579-california-worst-drought-heat/)

PS: Is it correct that an el niño will probably end the drought?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on December 10, 2014, 11:36:14 AM
From what I have read on this forum, it is said El nino can bring rain but not necesseraly. If there is too much rain at once that's not very good for them. The storage will happen little and the soil's carbon will be washed away.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on December 10, 2014, 03:41:25 PM
A solid El Nino event could definitely bring some short term relief, but multiple years of enhanced rainfall are necessary to restore the groundwater deficits.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on December 11, 2014, 11:11:35 AM
California's Worst Storm In Nearly A Decade Shuts Schools
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/10/california-storm-schools-closed_n_6305310.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/10/california-storm-schools-closed_n_6305310.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on December 11, 2014, 06:16:30 PM
California's Worst Storm In Nearly A Decade Shuts Schools
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/10/california-storm-schools-closed_n_6305310.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/10/california-storm-schools-closed_n_6305310.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)

4.5 inches of rain in my area last night. Lots of localized flooding in the north Bay Area.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 14, 2014, 07:58:52 PM
How California’s Water Rights Make It Tough to Manage Drought
http://blogs.kqed.org/science/audio/how-californias-water-rights-make-it-tough-to-manage-drought/ (http://blogs.kqed.org/science/audio/how-californias-water-rights-make-it-tough-to-manage-drought/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on December 17, 2014, 09:38:28 AM
California's water woes quantified
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30510263 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30510263)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 17, 2014, 11:29:37 PM
California will need 11 trillion gallons of water to end epic drought, NASA says
http://mashable.com/2014/12/16/11-trillion-gallons-end-california-drought/ (http://mashable.com/2014/12/16/11-trillion-gallons-end-california-drought/)

Andrew Freedman: The 11 trillion gallons Calif. needs to get out of drought = about 20 in. of rain per year for 4 yrs statewide, acc. to @JayFamiglietti.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 19, 2014, 02:51:01 AM
@weatherchannel: Weekly #Drought Monitor released: Exceptional drought in #California decreases from ~55% of state to ~32%!  #CAwx http://t.co/ckBba8lss6 (http://t.co/ckBba8lss6)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on December 23, 2014, 12:39:26 PM

'Atmospheric Rivers' to Soak California as Climate Warms

http://www.livescience.com/49225-atmospheric-rivers-double-climate-change.html (http://www.livescience.com/49225-atmospheric-rivers-double-climate-change.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 31, 2014, 02:31:43 PM
@PeterGleick: I'm calling it. California's last 36 months were the hottest & driest, by far, in the 119-yr instrumental record.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 31, 2014, 04:33:11 PM
Survey Finds More Snow in Mountains, but Water Content Is Still Far Below Average for Date
http://www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2014/123014.pdf (http://www.water.ca.gov/news/newsreleases/2014/123014.pdf)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 01, 2015, 01:51:17 PM
California Droughts Could Have Dangerous Ripple Effects
Quote
Aside from the direct dangers fires pose to the people and property in their paths, they also set the stage for compounding hazards in the future, including landslides, floods and poor water quality, scientists say.  For example, burnt plant material leaves a waxy residue on forest floors that is relatively waterproof, causing storm runoff to then flow over a forest floor without seeping into the ground, Kinoshita said.  "If you pour water on it, it will run right off like a parking-lot effect," Kinoshita told Live Science. This can lead to floods, or landslides, because the burnt tree roots just below the waxy  layer offer poor support for topsoil, she said.
...
Dirty water

As forest fires singe the root systems of California's trees and weaken their ability to hold on to soil, California's water quality will also suffer as more soil gets into the drinking-water supply, said Tim Kuhn, a hydrologist for Yosemite National Park. Without ground cover to shield soil, rain droplets directly contact soil particles and mobilize heavy metals that can contaminate water, Kuhn told Live Science. Loose soil can also increases the turbidity, or cloudiness, of water, forcing water-treatment facilities to work harder to supply clean water and potentially shut down for a period during particularly large fires.

"Turbidity is a really big challenge because that's really fine sediment, and so it takes forever for that to settle out," Kuhn told Live Science. "It becomes a real treatment issue."
http://news.yahoo.com/california-droughts-could-dangerous-ripple-effects-194910410.html (http://news.yahoo.com/california-droughts-could-dangerous-ripple-effects-194910410.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on January 02, 2015, 06:40:32 PM
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2015/01/01/no-doubt-its-a-climate-change-drought-scientists-say/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2015/01/01/no-doubt-its-a-climate-change-drought-scientists-say/)

No Doubt It's A Climate-Change Drought, Scientists Say

Quote
To frame the drought we should be mentioning that much of the southwest and west has been in drought now for nearly 15 years, since 1999. This is important for California because a big part of that story is the Colorado River. The major storage, the biggest reservoirs in the United States are only half full now, and precipitation this winter has been lower than average there.”

The scientists had gathered in part because a recent study from NOAA has been interpreted to suggest the drought derives from the natural variability of the climate. But these three scientists say that  interpretation derives from NOAA’s focus on only one aspect of the drought—mean rainfall. When you look at the drought as an extreme event, they said, and when you look at its probability of recurring, and when you look at not only rainfall but also temperature and evaporation, there’s no doubt what’s behind the drought.

“One of the things that is certainly making it worse is climate change,” Overpeck said. “If we really want to tackle the water problem in the west we need to tackle the climate change problem.”

Overpeck and Stanford Professor Noah Diffenbaugh said the NOAA study is sound but does not consider all of the factors that reveal the influence of anthropogenic climate change.

I agree that all of these studies that in some cases appear at first glance to be conflicting are good science, but they all have their own focus. But one of the reasons we’re doing this press event today is that we’re trying to give you the big picture.”




Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on January 03, 2015, 05:53:18 PM
I live in the mountains of central AZ.  The last year we had above the historical average rainfall was 1998.  Our average over the last 16 years has been about 35-40% below the long term average up to 1998. 

In some areas a lot of trees have died and I have noticed that in the burn areas below about 6500ft the usual response of the forest to have a burst of regrowth has not been occurring.  I go for walks in areas which burned about 15 years ago and the number of baby pine trees initiating the regrowth of the forest are hard to find.  What is growing is the manzanita and other brush.  I expect this is because there is not enough soil moisture any longer to sustain the baby pine trees until they get their roots deep. 

I spent a week walking thru one of AZ's biggest wilderness areas in 2014 and it was eyeopening. Before the area was designated a wilderness it was heavily ranched and the mountains were logged.  The logging took place a good 40-50 years ago.  One can still find the stumps from the trees (things rot slowly here in AZ) and some of them were 18-24 inch in diameter.  So a big substantial forest used to be there.  In the entire time since it was logged no forest has regrown.  It is all covered by brush.

People who live here (largely climate change deniers) have no idea at all what AZ was like 100-150 years ago.  It used to have forests, plenty of water, grass for livestock.  Large native American cultures used to populate this entire region.  If you got rid of everyone and returned this land to hunter gatherers almost no one could survive here any longer.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on January 04, 2015, 02:56:15 PM
California Town Turns To High-Tech Water Plant In Face Of Drought
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/03/california-drought-water-plant_n_6410154.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/03/california-drought-water-plant_n_6410154.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 05, 2015, 11:01:54 PM
@PeterGleick: I'm calling it. California's last 36 months were the hottest & driest, by far, in the 119-yr instrumental record.

That's a great graphic!

In other news, it appears our early good start to the season's rainfall has faltered. I hope this is not indicative of the return of the ridiculously resilient ridge that dominated last year.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on January 08, 2015, 08:57:38 PM
California snow pack at 40% of normal for this day of the year, only 15% of the annual average maximum (april 1).

No rain in the forecast.  If this follows the previous 2 year trend California agriculture will continue to collapse and U.S. food prices will skyrocket.

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 08, 2015, 10:55:52 PM
No rain in the forecast.  If this follows the previous 2 year trend California agriculture will continue to collapse and U.S. food prices will skyrocket.

But it was looking so promising in my area on December 11th. Plenty of water for all!

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Frack.3.mshcdn.com%2Fmedia%2FZgkyMDE0LzEyLzEyLzhkL0Nhbm9lLmZlODEyLmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTk1MHg1MzQjCmUJanBn%2Fb72c18d6%2F47a%2FCanoe.jpg&hash=824f9c8e8bb0f4138354b1dfd86fae1e)

Hasn't really rained since...

You're correct--if we don't get continued precipitation this winter, especially snowpack, much of the state is screwed.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on January 08, 2015, 11:03:02 PM
NOAA is predicting an unusually wet spring for CA and for most of the SW as well.
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/multi_season/13_seasonal_outlooks/color/p.gif (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/multi_season/13_seasonal_outlooks/color/p.gif)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov%2Fproducts%2Fpredictions%2Fmulti_season%2F13_seasonal_outlooks%2Fcolor%2Fp.gif&hash=8f55ffddd79e6b0a3df675aaf12c2c05)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on January 09, 2015, 12:42:08 AM
They also predict a wet January, this is only a 3 week look ahead.

however that has so far shown not to be the case.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov%2Fproducts%2Fpredictions%2F30day%2Foff14_prcp.gif&hash=ed08b4d5a5ad34934cdd0205418c2cbb)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on January 09, 2015, 10:57:43 AM
2014 Was California's Hottest Year On Record -- By Far
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/09/california-hottest-year-warmest-2014_n_6441096.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/09/california-hottest-year-warmest-2014_n_6441096.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jdallen on January 09, 2015, 07:20:00 PM
No rain in the forecast.  If this follows the previous 2 year trend California agriculture will continue to collapse and U.S. food prices will skyrocket.

But it was looking so promising in my area on December 11th. Plenty of water for all!

Hasn't really rained since...

You're correct--if we don't get continued precipitation this winter, especially snowpack, much of the state is screwed.
The problem problem with extremes, combined with changes in habitat.  Not enough "sponge" to hold it. Too much water to catch it.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 09, 2015, 07:25:33 PM
No rain in the forecast.  If this follows the previous 2 year trend California agriculture will continue to collapse and U.S. food prices will skyrocket.

But it was looking so promising in my area on December 11th. Plenty of water for all!

Hasn't really rained since...

You're correct--if we don't get continued precipitation this winter, especially snowpack, much of the state is screwed.
The problem problem with extremes, combined with changes in habitat.  Not enough "sponge" to hold it. Too much water to catch it.
Yes, of course. I was just having some fun with the photo. We had some 8.5 inches in 12 hours that resulted in localized flooding. Then it all ran down the river to the ocean. And there are those in California that think that since it rained, we're no longer in drought....
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 10, 2015, 03:21:11 AM
Rains avoid California as "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" returns.
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html (http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on January 10, 2015, 07:45:05 AM
Rains avoid California as "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" returns.
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html (http://www.wunderground.com/blog/weatherhistorian/comment.html)

 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(

http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display_alt.cgi?a=npac_250 (http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display_alt.cgi?a=npac_250)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 13, 2015, 03:32:52 AM
@ClimateDesk: California almonds suck as much water annually as Los Angeles uses in three years http://t.co/Ad5RH6APXq (http://t.co/Ad5RH6APXq) http://t.co/w7Xp0FBTfd (http://t.co/w7Xp0FBTfd)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on January 13, 2015, 04:22:50 AM
Cowspiracy:  what environmental organizations don't want to talk about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV04zyfLyN4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV04zyfLyN4)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.motherjones.com%2Ffiles%2FDairy-Flow-Chart_0.gif&hash=7f7cd565c556b0fb8d2581866ca173b4)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on January 13, 2015, 09:48:13 AM
Not the good thread but talking about milk...

‘If First Milk goes, that will finish my business overnight’
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2015/jan/13/first-milk-prices-dairy-farmers-founder-member-business (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2015/jan/13/first-milk-prices-dairy-farmers-founder-member-business)

Supermarket price war leads to 50% cut in dairy farmers
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/supermarket-price-war-leads-to-50-cut-in-dairy-farmers-9971293.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/supermarket-price-war-leads-to-50-cut-in-dairy-farmers-9971293.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 14, 2015, 06:31:00 PM
@EricHolthaus: After a very wet Dec, there’s a good chance of *zero* meaningful rain in N. California in Jan. Snowpack 38% of normal http://t.co/7YRCXwc424 (http://t.co/7YRCXwc424)

@RobElvington: @EricHolthaus Our local Ski Park in NorCal just closed down yesterday for lack of snow: https://t.co/tuv6rsk1xV (https://t.co/tuv6rsk1xV)

@RobElvington: @EricHolthaus This comes after not even opening last winter.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: GeoffBeacon on January 14, 2015, 08:54:23 PM
jai

Quote
Cowspiracy:  what environmental organizations don't want to talk about.

I have tried to get Wikipedia to have an entry on the carbon footprint of beef - but failed.

Quote
As far as I can see there is no [[the carbon footprint of beef]] on Wikipedia or many other everyday products and activities that were found on the website I set up. Wikipedia would be a much better place than my site.
I did offer to pay a student this summer on the carbon footprint of beef or anything else of his choice without mentioning my site. He couldn’t get past the moderator.

www.brusselsblog.co.uk/is-wikipedia-too-credentialist/ (http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/is-wikipedia-too-credentialist/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 15, 2015, 03:24:02 AM
Interactive Map of California’s Urban Water Use
http://pacinst.org/publication/interactive-map-of-californias-urban-water-use/ (http://pacinst.org/publication/interactive-map-of-californias-urban-water-use/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 15, 2015, 05:42:38 PM
@EricHolthaus: Last 30 days have been 25-98% below normal for precip across most of California. #cadrought still in full swing. http://t.co/PG6VyCfyIv (http://t.co/PG6VyCfyIv)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 15, 2015, 10:01:47 PM
@PeterGleick: Breaking. Latest Drought Monitor report shows California #drought re-intensifying. #water #cawater http://t.co/S42p8O8mcl (http://t.co/S42p8O8mcl)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 15, 2015, 10:10:55 PM
@NWS: #Drought improvement likely in So. Calif., SW through April says NOAA forecasters. http://t.co/cnx8IgRv56 (http://t.co/cnx8IgRv56) @DroughtGov http://t.co/xrYVYxctIw (http://t.co/xrYVYxctIw)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on January 16, 2015, 09:23:45 AM
Striking Photos Show Struggle Of Farmers In California Drought
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/15/california-drought-farm-photos_n_6482762.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/15/california-drought-farm-photos_n_6482762.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 16, 2015, 09:03:39 PM
@Weather_West: Great visualization of California's total reservoir storage via http://t.co/R5tXJv3Raw (http://t.co/R5tXJv3Raw) #cawx #cadrought #cawater http://t.co/QBJNdRGOwg (http://t.co/QBJNdRGOwg)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 17, 2015, 10:59:45 PM
Fourth year of drought?  No rain has fallen since December in some CA locations.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Experts-tell-Californians-to-prepare-for-fourth-6018730.php (http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Experts-tell-Californians-to-prepare-for-fourth-6018730.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 20, 2015, 02:56:36 AM
Northern California map, with lots of 0%'s.

@NWSSacramento: January shaping up to be a bad month rainfall-wise for #NorCal. Here's the percent of normal so far this month. #cawx http://t.co/Lhz46fnSA7 (http://t.co/Lhz46fnSA7)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 20, 2015, 09:09:45 PM
Fourth year of drought?  No rain has fallen since December in some CA locations.

Snowpack is averaging 31% of normal in the Sierra. Not good.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on January 21, 2015, 02:48:25 PM
You Need to Know: About That Drought
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-turow/you-need-to-know-about-th_2_b_6492904.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-turow/you-need-to-know-about-th_2_b_6492904.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 22, 2015, 12:51:58 AM
California's Big Trees are suffering.

I visited Sequoia National Park some years ago (late 90's?) because I thought the trees might not be around much longer, due to drought, insects, etc.  At the time, the rangers stressed how resilient the trees were, so not to worry, now that we had stopped human damage by logging, trampling the roots, taking pine cones as souvenirs, etc.  Climate change didn't come up.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/21/3613620/californias-big-trees-are-suffering-badly/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/21/3613620/californias-big-trees-are-suffering-badly/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 24, 2015, 02:13:44 AM
California Drought Worsening During Height of Rainy Season
Quote
The rainy season started out promisingly, with several December storms bringing precipitation amounts close to average for the month over much of the state. Troublingly, though, record-warm ocean temperatures off of the coast meant that the December storms were unusually warm. This resulted in snow falling only at very high elevations, keeping the critical Sierra snow pack much lower than usual. The jet stream pattern shifted during January 2015, bringing disastrously dry conditions to the state. January usually brings 4.19" of rain to San Francisco, but no rain at all has fallen in January 2015 in the city--or over much of Central California.
http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2901 (http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2901)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 25, 2015, 04:11:30 PM
Quote
Research suggests that the drought is a function of a warm patch in the Pacific Ocean, which has prevented precipitation from reaching the state. Record heat in the state (it and Nevada and Arizona saw their hottest years on record in 2014) has made a bad problem worse.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/01/23/the-massive-scale-of-californias-drought-and-how-it-informs-the-climate-change-debate/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/01/23/the-massive-scale-of-californias-drought-and-how-it-informs-the-climate-change-debate/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 26, 2015, 06:32:00 PM
It's looking like my neck of the woods (Northern Bay Area) will close out January with a whopping 0.12" of rain. Average for this day in January is 6.01". Sierra snow pack now at 27% of average for January 26. Nothing of note in the forecast. This summer may really suck.  :o
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 27, 2015, 03:51:17 PM
It's looking like my neck of the woods (Northern Bay Area) will close out January with a whopping 0.12" of rain. Average for this day in January is 6.01". Sierra snow pack now at 27% of average for January 26. Nothing of note in the forecast. This summer may really suck.  :o
The Northeast was trying to figure out ways to send you all the excess snow they figured they would get today, but that storm never really happened. Sorry!
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on January 27, 2015, 05:13:54 PM
Maybe the snow the NE USA didn't get is on its way to the US Pacific Northwest???? ;D
(via the Atlantic, Eurasia and the Pacific)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 29, 2015, 02:49:16 AM
More expensive water is better than no water.  But watch where you put the extracted salt.

San Diego desalinization plant should start supplying drinking water this year.
http://m.ibtimes.com/california-water-shortage-1-billion-plant-will-make-seawater-drinkable-end-2015-1795834 (http://m.ibtimes.com/california-water-shortage-1-billion-plant-will-make-seawater-drinkable-end-2015-1795834)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 29, 2015, 03:33:28 AM
Sig,  I don't see much good news but I am happy when I find some. There may be some side benefits to saline discharges of desalinization.

http://news-oceanacidification-icc.org/2015/01/22/solar-thermal-decomposition-of-desalination-reject-brine-for-carbon-dioxide-removal-and-neutralisation-of-ocean-acidity/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wordpress%2FlRgb+%28Ocean+acidification%29 (http://news-oceanacidification-icc.org/2015/01/22/solar-thermal-decomposition-of-desalination-reject-brine-for-carbon-dioxide-removal-and-neutralisation-of-ocean-acidity/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wordpress%2FlRgb+%28Ocean+acidification%29)

There are multiple desalinization projects proposed for the Calif. coast. Many have spent years in planning. Tomorrow the cal.water quality board will hear a request to fire up the desalinization plant for Santa Barbara. It was decommissioned after the drought back in the eighties was called off by some spectacular El Nino events . I was hoping 2014 would deliver another El Nino and maybe 2015 will produce some rain if the 2015 year supports our reprieve. For now the drought has a death grip on water supplies. Local rivers here on the Calif. central coast haven't gotten even one big storm to recharge our reservoirs. There will be a lot of wells that will be shut down if 2015 doesn't deliver some rain.  Otherwise it has been a beautiful mild winter. Spring bloom started this week for Japanese plums, foxtails are going to seed and I see budswell in a lot of my fruit trees.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 29, 2015, 03:39:18 PM
Sig,  I don't see much good news but I am happy when I find some. There may be some side benefits to saline discharges of desalinization.
...
It would indeed be wonderful if that worked as expected. But I would worry that adding magnesium oxide to the ocean might affect the ecosystem just as much as, as has been suggested, adding iron.  :-(
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on January 29, 2015, 04:39:31 PM
I don't understand the problem with desalination plant discharge.  Put it back in the ocean where it came from.  Water evaporates off the surface of the ocean all the time to no ill effect.  I have a hard time believing any extra saline discharge from a desalination plant wouldn't mix out pretty quickly.  The ocean is huge.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on January 29, 2015, 07:37:10 PM
time believing any extra saline discharge from a desalination plant wouldn't mix out pretty quickly.  The ocean is huge.

The old "dilution is the solution to pollution" meme never really seems to work out for us...

Example: The ocean is huge. And utterly polluted with plastic.
Example: The atmosphere is huge. And utterly changed by CO2 emissions.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 30, 2015, 08:21:58 PM
Horrible California Drought Is Now Even More Horrible
Quote
... In most of northern and central California—the hardest hit regions of the state’s drought—rainfall in 2015 has been less than 2 percent of normal.

Any hopes the state had of finally turning the corner on its oppressive, possibly climate change–fueled megadrought have withered like the Sacramento River. Progress made in refilling the state’s largest reservoirs thanks to a series of major December storms has stalled, and key rainfall indices are back to being below normal. Snowpack in the Sierras, which supplies more than 60 percent of the state’s water resources, is down to a dismal 25 percent of normal. New data released by the National Drought Mitigation Center on Thursday showed 40 percent of the state is now classified as “exceptional drought,” the most severe category.
...
For now, California is the country’s leading dairy-producing state. That might change if the drought continues at this pace. Iowa Public Radio reports that there’s been an increasing exodus of dairy farmers from California to the Midwest, where supplies of grass and grain are more stable. With the specter of climate change, these kinds of stories hint at what could be a broader decline in the country’s leading agricultural state in coming years.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/01/29/california_s_drought_is_now_even_more_horrible.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/01/29/california_s_drought_is_now_even_more_horrible.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on January 31, 2015, 04:30:37 AM
The difference with desalination is that we're not putting anything in there that wasn't there to begin with, we're just taking water out.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: icefest on January 31, 2015, 05:38:26 AM
The difference with desalination is that we're not putting anything in there that wasn't there to begin with, we're just taking water out.
By removing part of the whole you are by definition changing the whole.

If you were to remove 20% of the water in your body, you'd not be adding anything new. Nonetheless you'd just as surely be dead.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: pikaia on January 31, 2015, 11:50:03 AM
Satellites spot fields made idle by drought.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=85199 (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=85199)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on January 31, 2015, 05:12:15 PM
Any amount of water we remove from the oceans via desalination will make its way back eventually, through rivers and streams or through evaporation and precipitation.  There is no way we could remove 20% of the oceans mass through desalination.  Rather than talking about removing 20% of the water from a human body, a more apt analogy would be plucking a hair from the head to use as a piece of string, then eating the strand of hair once it's served its purpose.  Nothing is wasted, it all goes back where it came from.  We're not permanently removing the water with desalination, we're just temporarily borrowing it.

The ultimate source of all water on the continents is the ocean anyway.  We're adding gobs of water by melting ice and that will shift the salinity balance in the opposite direction, so removing some water with desalination plants won't shift the balance appreciably.  There's no way we could pull enough water out by desalination to counteract all the melting ice added to the ocean, especially considering any water we pull out will return to the ocean eventually anyway.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 01, 2015, 03:33:42 PM
@EricHolthaus: It’s official: First-ever rainless January in [San Francisco] history http://t.co/vpnHcLcgOE (http://t.co/vpnHcLcgOE) via @SFGate
See also: http://t.co/2x8EwU2ai1 (http://t.co/2x8EwU2ai1)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 01, 2015, 08:05:14 PM
@EricHolthaus: It’s official: First-ever rainless January in [San Francisco] history http://t.co/vpnHcLcgOE (http://t.co/vpnHcLcgOE) via @SFGate
See also: http://t.co/2x8EwU2ai1 (http://t.co/2x8EwU2ai1)

I fear we are beginning to see the development of a  semi-permanent feature in northern hemisphere winters, a ridiculously resilient ridge driving anomalously warm weather into Alaska, baking the Southwestern US and freezing the east coast. Combine this with a growing cold pole over Greenland and you get wild blasts of weather coming off the Atlantic, pounding western Europe.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on February 01, 2015, 08:30:32 PM
California Likely Headed Into Fourth Year Of Drought As State Suffers One Of Driest Januarys On Record
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/01/california-drought_n_6589316.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/01/california-drought_n_6589316.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 02, 2015, 02:36:10 PM
Nice discussion of the meterology over the past year, and the "atmospheric river" poised to hit northern CA soon.
Quote
Big changes on the way: major precipitation event likely in NorCal this week

As seems to have become the theme over the past few years, an intense precipitation event now appears likely to immediately follow an extraordinary dry spell across Northern California. Confidence has been growing in recent days that another extremely moist plume of subtropical moisture will take aim at NorCal during the first week in February, bringing heavy to excessive precipitation to at least the far northern part of the state.
http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/2905 (http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/2905)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on February 02, 2015, 05:49:38 PM
Clicking that link led me to a site, softwareupdaterlp.com, that tried to install a virus by claiming it was updating out of date software in my browser.  I know it's a scam because I'm running Linux and it tried to send me a Windows .exe file.  The site owner probably doesn't know about it, it's probably sneaking in through an ad, but beware.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on February 02, 2015, 10:04:53 PM
Adding to sigmetnow's post:

The attached images (courtesy Levi Cowan/tropicaltidbits.com) show the GFS forecast of total accumulated precipitation for Feb 2nd-9th (first attachment), and the GFS forecast of total snowfall for Feb 2nd-9th (second attachment). Per the GFS model (which has been a bit more bullish with this event than other models), Northern CA is to see a moderate-strong Atmospheric River (AR) event later this week (starting late Thursday), potentially dumping copious amounts of much need rain and snow. If the GFS forecast develops as advertised, Northern CA could see several inches of rain (2-4 inches widespread with local amounts up 10 inches), and the Sierra snowpack could get a nice little face lift (higher elevations potentially seeing up to 2-3 feet of snow). Of course, this would only be a small drop/flake in a large bucket, but we'll take whatever drop/flake we can get. Unfortunately, it appears that a ridge of high pressure will keep the southern half of the state from getting in on the action. However, even a slight shift to the southeast or weakening of the ridge (compared to what models are currently showing) would likely result in at least some precipitation making it into the northern parts of southern CA. Something to keep an eye!   
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on February 02, 2015, 11:35:29 PM
I'll make sure to leave some tools or such outside Thursday and schedule some site visits with clients on Friday, just to make sure it does rain.  ;)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on February 04, 2015, 10:13:18 AM
California Has Been Letting Oil Companies Dump In Protected Water Sources, And Conservationists Are Livid
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/03/california-oil-groundwater-wells_n_6606830.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/03/california-oil-groundwater-wells_n_6606830.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)

Quote
Some claim those injection wells have already done damage. Mike Hopkins, managing partner of Palla Farms near Bakesfield, sued four oil companies in September after he found that they had been injecting wastewater near his orchard, a practice he claims contaminated the groundwater he used with salt and boron and forced him to rip out 3,500 dying cherry trees.

This story has been updated to include comments from the California Department of Conservation.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on February 04, 2015, 10:20:53 AM
California: Water Use Down, but Emergency Persists
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/us/california-water-use-down-but-emergency-persists.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/04/us/california-water-use-down-but-emergency-persists.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)

Quote
December’s rains enabled Californians to finally meet Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a 20 percent reduction in monthly water consumption, but more restrictions loom as the state adapts to a drought. A survey released Tuesday that showed an unusually rainy month helped residents cut water use by 22 percent statewide from December 2013 levels. But the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which supplies a third of California’s water, is 75 percent below its historical average, and for the first time in recorded history, there was no measurable rainfall in downtown San Francisco in January, when winter rains usually come. The governor called on Californians to use 20 percent less water last year when he declared a drought emergency. The closest they previously came to reaching that goal was in August, when water use dropped 11.6 percent. The state has authorized cities to fine people $500 a day for violating restrictions on lawn watering and washing cars.


State let oil companies taint drinkable water in Central Valley
http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/State-let-oil-companies-taint-drinkable-water-in-6054242.php (http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/State-let-oil-companies-taint-drinkable-water-in-6054242.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 10, 2015, 03:22:20 AM
Not very much.  Snow was limited to very high elevations, due to the warmth.

@EricHolthaus: Here’s how much this weekend’s Atmospheric River helped California’s snowpack: #blip
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 12, 2015, 03:29:11 AM
@EricHolthaus: Though snowpack looks abysmal, serious progress in reservoirs: MT @NWSCNRFC: NorCal reservoirs have risen since Feb 1 http://t.co/OcGJJ6Bu1n (http://t.co/OcGJJ6Bu1n)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wehappyfew on February 12, 2015, 02:29:38 PM
How much water are the reservoirs able to hold compared to the snow pack over the whole Sierra Nevadas?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Lord M Vader on February 12, 2015, 08:29:59 PM
Well, I think the californians need this water. At least if one looks at the brutal forecast from ECMWF 12z run today (12/2) which hints that "3R" will get superstrong by the end of next week topping at 1040 hPa... This run is probably rather extreme as none of the earlier runs have modeled the "3R" to be that strong...

In any case, the stubborn "3R" ("Ridiculous Resilient Ridge") almost deserve its own topic at this forum :)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 14, 2015, 12:26:33 AM

Quote
California has promised to stop letting oil companies inject chemical-laden wastewater into clean water sources underground, saying in a plan released Monday that the practice must stop by October 15.
The plan, which still must be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, also says that oil companies must stop injecting waste into lower-quality, but still drinkable aquifers by Feb. 15, 2017. Because oil companies have been injecting their wastewater into drinkable water sources for years, the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources also pledged to review all the drinking water wells at risk of contamination.
The proposed changes come in response to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle last week which showed that California regulators gave oil companies permits for at least 171 wastewater injection wells into clean aquifers, and 253 wastewater wells into aquifers that were salty but potentially usable with treatment. The revelation drew considerable outrage because of California’s epic, ongoing four-year drought, which has forced restrictions on water usage and availability across the state.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/12/3622305/california-oil-waste-water-schmater/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/12/3622305/california-oil-waste-water-schmater/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 14, 2015, 03:57:05 PM
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2015/02/13/Study-predicts-future-megadroughts-for-western-US/7851423837104/ (http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2015/02/13/Study-predicts-future-megadroughts-for-western-US/7851423837104/)

Study predicts future megadroughts for western U.S.

The chance of a megadrought hitting the western United States rises to 80 percent if emissions fail to slow down in the coming decades.

Quote
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Researchers at NASA say the ongoing drought in California, one of the worst in decades, is rather puny compared to what awaits in the second half of this century.
A new study by climatologists with the space agency claims so-called megadroughts -- the driest and longest droughts in more than 1,000 years -- could afflict much of the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains in just a few decades.

The increased risk in these regions of more expansive, longer-lasting and drier droughts is fueled by the increasing levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, researchers say.

While previous studies have offered similar suggestions, no one climate model is exactly the same. The latest efforts by NASA researchers amassed data from 17 climate models. The researchers also ran the numbers on a variety of scenarios, including one in which greenhouse gas emissions taper off by mid-century and another in which emissions continue to rise at an accelerated pace.

"What I think really stands out in the paper is the consistency between different metrics of soil moisture and the findings across all the different climate models," said Kevin Anchukaitis, a climate scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who participated in the study. "It is rare to see all signs pointing so unwaveringly toward the same result, in this case a highly elevated risk of future megadroughts in the United States."

Under a scenario where greenhouse gas emissions taper off by 2050 or so, the chance of a megadrought -- one lasting more than three decades -- affecting the western United States comes out to roughly 60 percent. That chance rises to 80 percent if emissions fail to slow down in the coming decades...........

Here in AZ the news media is already putting forth their local "experts" (people like farmers) who are scoffing at this report and saying that drought resistant GMO crops and water conservation will take care of the problem.  Nothing to see here. Move on!  Hey! Let's build a few more houses!  You want a swimming pool?  No problem!  Sigh...
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 14, 2015, 04:01:08 PM
Forgot the actual study link.  Interesting reading.

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/1/e1400082 (http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/1/e1400082)

Quote
Abstract
In the Southwest and Central Plains of Western North America, climate change is expected to increase drought severity in the coming decades. These regions nevertheless experienced extended Medieval-era droughts that were more persistent than any historical event, providing crucial targets in the paleoclimate record for benchmarking the severity of future drought risks. We use an empirical drought reconstruction and three soil moisture metrics from 17 state-of-the-art general circulation models to show that these models project significantly drier conditions in the later half of the 21st century compared to the 20th century and earlier paleoclimatic intervals. This desiccation is consistent across most of the models and moisture balance variables, indicating a coherent and robust drying response to warming despite the diversity of models and metrics analyzed. Notably, future drought risk will likely exceed even the driest centuries of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (1100–1300 CE) in both moderate (RCP 4.5) and high (RCP 8.5) future emissions scenarios, leading to unprecedented drought conditions during the last millennium.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 14, 2015, 04:32:22 PM
It is my very unscientific opinion that a persistent drought will set up over the western U.S. in my  lifetime. (I am 59 years old and healthy.) This change to North American climate will finally result in the creation of the "Great American Desert", a term coined by European settlers when they first stared at the vast extent of grasslands stretching endlessly to the Rockies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_Desert (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_American_Desert)

The "Great Plains Breadbasket" will be no more.

http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.ii.006 (http://plainshumanities.unl.edu/encyclopedia/doc/egp.ii.006)

The Mississippi River watershed drains all of the central U.S. Most people are not aware that the Ohio River at the confluence with the Mississippi carries significantly more volume of water. This is true even though the mighty Missouri has joined the Mississippi north of the Ohio.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_River (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_River)

It would be more accurate to characterize this river system as the Ohio River and the Mississippi  is merely a large tributary feeding it as it makes its way to the Gulf.

As the Great Plains dry out, the disparity in volumes can only increase.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on February 14, 2015, 04:38:09 PM
Quote
The Mississippi River watershed drains all of the central U.S. Most people are not aware that the Ohio River at the confluence with the Mississippi carries significantly more volume of water. This is true even though the mighty Missouri has joined the Mississippi north of the Ohio.

Very interesting.  Did not know that. 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 15, 2015, 04:39:46 PM
When you look at this map, it becomes fairly clear which is the tributary and which is the main branch of the river.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 15, 2015, 04:51:41 PM
Due to its low volume of water, the upper Mississippi is only open to river barge traffic due to a large complex of locks and dams. Even with these locks in place, the upper Mississippi will be closed  to barge traffic in dry summers as the Army Corps dredges areas where shallow draft barges get stuck. This makes it extremely expensive to ship grain from the northern plains states to New Orleans for export as the grain needs to be moved by rail. This problem can only get worse.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on February 16, 2015, 05:21:48 AM
Thanks for that, SH.

Since we're on to general western US drought, I though I'd share this here:
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/02/15/drought-wins-usda-declares-10-western-counties-primary-natural-disaster-areas-159180 (http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/02/15/drought-wins-usda-declares-10-western-counties-primary-natural-disaster-areas-159180)

 Drought Wins: USDA Declares 10 Western Counties as 'Primary Natural Disaster Areas'


Quote

10 counties in Arizona and New Mexico have been declared primary natural disaster areas by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), with about two dozen more contiguous counties also eligible for assistance.

On February 4 the USDA designated Apache, Cochise, Gila, Graham and Pinal counties in Arizona as primary natural disaster areas because of drought-related damages and losses. On the same day the counties of Colfax, McKinley, Quay, San Juan and Union in New Mexico received the same designation, for the same reason.

“Our hearts go out to those … farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement about the counties in each state. “President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation’s economy by sustaining the successes of America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities through these difficult times. We’re also telling Arizona producers that USDA stands with you and your communities when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood.”

Farmers and ranchers in contiguous counties—Coconino, Greenlee, Maricopa, Navajo, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yavapai in Arizona, and 11 more in New Mexico—also qualify for natural disaster assistance, the USDA said.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/02/15/drought-wins-usda-declares-10-western-counties-primary-natural-disaster-areas-159180 (http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/02/15/drought-wins-usda-declares-10-western-counties-primary-natural-disaster-areas-159180)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2015, 02:32:37 PM
California is reducing its water consumption -- but projected population growth signals increasing water needs.
Quote
A 2009 state law requires urban water agencies to reduce per-capita water consumption 20 percent by 2020, compared with use at the start of the century. Most agencies are on track to reach that goal, and have made even more progress thanks to emergency cuts over the past year triggered by the ongoing drought.

However, by 2030, the data show, these savings will be more than erased by anticipated population growth. According to projections by the water agencies themselves, their total water deliveries will increase 16 percent by 2030 compared to their estimates for 2015.
http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article10311635.html (http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article10311635.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2015, 09:27:42 PM
The initial forecast of federal water deliveries for summer is expected this week.
Quote
The next train wreck in California’s drought is headed for the San Joaquin Valley this week when federal leaders forecast how much river water farmers can expect to irrigate nearly 3 million acres this summer.

Most folks in farm country are expecting the same number as last year — zero for both east and west sides of the Valley. Consecutive years of no river water would be another unprecedented body punch from a drought dating back to the winter of 2011-12.

http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/02/14/4379565_an-encore-of-valley-drought-crisis.html (http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/02/14/4379565_an-encore-of-valley-drought-crisis.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Csnavywx on February 17, 2015, 04:10:33 AM
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2015/02/13/Study-predicts-future-megadroughts-for-western-US/7851423837104/ (http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2015/02/13/Study-predicts-future-megadroughts-for-western-US/7851423837104/)

Study predicts future megadroughts for western U.S.

The chance of a megadrought hitting the western United States rises to 80 percent if emissions fail to slow down in the coming decades.

Quote
WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Researchers at NASA say the ongoing drought in California, one of the worst in decades, is rather puny compared to what awaits in the second half of this century.
A new study by climatologists with the space agency claims so-called megadroughts -- the driest and longest droughts in more than 1,000 years -- could afflict much of the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains in just a few decades.

The increased risk in these regions of more expansive, longer-lasting and drier droughts is fueled by the increasing levels of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, researchers say.

While previous studies have offered similar suggestions, no one climate model is exactly the same. The latest efforts by NASA researchers amassed data from 17 climate models. The researchers also ran the numbers on a variety of scenarios, including one in which greenhouse gas emissions taper off by mid-century and another in which emissions continue to rise at an accelerated pace.

"What I think really stands out in the paper is the consistency between different metrics of soil moisture and the findings across all the different climate models," said Kevin Anchukaitis, a climate scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who participated in the study. "It is rare to see all signs pointing so unwaveringly toward the same result, in this case a highly elevated risk of future megadroughts in the United States."

Under a scenario where greenhouse gas emissions taper off by 2050 or so, the chance of a megadrought -- one lasting more than three decades -- affecting the western United States comes out to roughly 60 percent. That chance rises to 80 percent if emissions fail to slow down in the coming decades...........

Here in AZ the news media is already putting forth their local "experts" (people like farmers) who are scoffing at this report and saying that drought resistant GMO crops and water conservation will take care of the problem.  Nothing to see here. Move on!  Hey! Let's build a few more houses!  You want a swimming pool?  No problem!  Sigh...

Yeah, this report needs its own thread here. It really highlights the extreme risk of re-running devastating paleo-droughts in any AGW scenario. I don't think these folks really understand how severe those droughts were or fully understand how much more severe they're likely to be under strong greenhouse warming.

They make these last few dry years look fairly moist by comparison.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on February 17, 2015, 06:31:00 AM
The EPA published this projection in 2009
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdownloads.globalchange.gov%2Fusimpacts%2Fallimages%2F14-Southwest%2F14-Hi%2520res%2F14-Southwest-pg-130.jpg&hash=1d93059c112080e1457a4db41e742411)

Link here:  http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/southwest.html (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/southwest.html)

The gross underestimation of regional extreme shifts in precipitation mirrors the extreme underestimation of arctic sea ice loss and (I believe) the secondary and long-term effects of aerosols on decadal oscillations in the pacific and atlantic.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 17, 2015, 07:09:27 PM
@PeterGleick: Look at the current western drought (measured by PDSI) versus the "Dust Bowl."

[More on the Palmer Drought Severity Index here:  http://www.drought.gov/drought/content/products-current-drought-and-monitoring-drought-indicators/palmer-drought-severity-index (http://www.drought.gov/drought/content/products-current-drought-and-monitoring-drought-indicators/palmer-drought-severity-index) ]
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 20, 2015, 03:09:01 AM
Oy.  No help in sight.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 25, 2015, 01:08:44 AM
Latest update on the drought by the Pacific Institute, with lots of charts and links, is here:
http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/ (http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/)

Included is a note that, "The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will consider water rationing beginning July 1st, if drought conditions do not improve."
http://www.acwa.com/news/water-news/mwd-outlines-drought-scenarios-could-result-mandatory-rationing-summer (http://www.acwa.com/news/water-news/mwd-outlines-drought-scenarios-could-result-mandatory-rationing-summer)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on February 27, 2015, 01:23:43 PM
Alarming Consequences Of The California Drought You May Not Have Expected
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/26/california-drought-unexpected-consequences_n_6765240.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/26/california-drought-unexpected-consequences_n_6765240.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Jester Fish on February 28, 2015, 01:31:44 AM
Good short take on the atmospheric set up and shifting location of the "RRR" from Dr. Bob Henson on Jeff Masters Blog.... http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2925 (http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2925)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on February 28, 2015, 02:31:57 AM
The EPA published this projection in 2009
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdownloads.globalchange.gov%2Fusimpacts%2Fallimages%2F14-Southwest%2F14-Hi%2520res%2F14-Southwest-pg-130.jpg&hash=1d93059c112080e1457a4db41e742411)

Link here:  http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/southwest.html (http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/southwest.html)

The gross underestimation of regional extreme shifts in precipitation mirrors the extreme underestimation of arctic sea ice loss and (I believe) the secondary and long-term effects of aerosols on decadal oscillations in the pacific and atlantic.
As has been the case all along this grand experiment that we have created, the only issue scientist are having a debate about is how bad and how fast. Seems that it has been time  and time again the the more 'alarmist' scenario that has been close to right. They sometimes granted have been too alarmist based upon it not happening as soon as projected, but still ending up with the closest mark. Scary when you contemplate what some are stating in regards to other impacts. If they end up being the closest to being right, we are all in very big trouble. And I am talking about possibly in my life time and I am not that young.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on February 28, 2015, 05:27:09 AM
The image I posted and LRC replied to was not showing properly so I decided to upload it here.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JER on February 28, 2015, 08:41:39 PM
Jai and everyone,

Is there a more recent graphic than this one (from 2009) showing the projections? There's been a lot of scientific work on the pertinent issues since then, and the CA drought has exceeded everyone's expectations (in a bad way), so I'm wondering whether more recent projections might be more pessimistic.

Cheers,
Jenny
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 01, 2015, 03:08:54 PM
Quote
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The federal government said Friday it won't send any of its reservoir water to the Central Valley for the second straight year, forcing farmers in California's agricultural heartland to scramble for other sources or leave fields unplanted once more.

Farmers had been bracing for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's announcement as California's drought enters its fourth year. Some farms are exempt from complete cuts under California's antiquated water rights system, dating to Gold Rush-era days. But many farmers are running out of short-term options to deal with water shortages, such as uprooting orchards and tapping groundwater wells.

"They were able to Band-Aid things together last year just to keep their trees alive," said Ryan Jacobsen, executive director of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. "The first aid kit we had last year is really not available this year."
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/california-farmers-facing-another-scramble-water-n314626 (http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/california-farmers-facing-another-scramble-water-n314626)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 01, 2015, 07:41:31 PM
Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute: “The drought forecast calls for pain.”
http://www.sfchronicle.com/green/article/The-drought-forecast-calls-for-pain-6106156.php (http://www.sfchronicle.com/green/article/The-drought-forecast-calls-for-pain-6106156.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 02, 2015, 05:25:28 PM
Editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Californians must treat drought as a way of life."

http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Californians-must-treat-drought-as-a-way-of-life-6109107.php (http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/editorials/article/Californians-must-treat-drought-as-a-way-of-life-6109107.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 04, 2015, 03:07:43 AM
@PaulRogersSJMN: Just in: Sierra Nevada snow pack a dismal 19% of normal, down from 25% in January and 50% in December. #cadrought http://t.co/rYn2rPtDRK (http://t.co/rYn2rPtDRK)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 04, 2015, 07:33:08 PM
Californians now backsliding on water-saving efforts.
Quote
Critics say the state's efforts have been too timid.

"The responses have to be far more comprehensive and aggressive," said Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, an Oakland water research organization. "The issue is not telling people not to water their lawns after it rains; the issue is telling people to get rid of their lawns. The issue is not about restaurants and glasses of water; it's about getting rid of millions of inefficient appliances."
...
Gleick said the Brown administration should be distributing money from the water bond voters passed in November to fund programs that pay people to replace old washers, dishwashers and other appliances with more efficient models. The funds, he said, should also be used to pay people to remove lawns, which use 50 percent of all the water in many California communities.

"The policy we adopted last year of hoping for rain has turned out to be a failure," Gleick said. "We better look for more effective new ones -- and soon."
http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_27632870/california-drought-water-conservation-weakening-drought-worsens (http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_27632870/california-drought-water-conservation-weakening-drought-worsens)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 05, 2015, 05:35:40 PM
Action taken -- at a tiny number of waste injection sites.

California Orders Oil Companies To Stop Drilling Near Drinking Water Supplies
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/04/3629578/california-halts-oil-drilling-at-12-wells/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/04/3629578/california-halts-oil-drilling-at-12-wells/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on March 05, 2015, 06:16:49 PM
Jai and everyone,

Is there a more recent graphic than this one (from 2009) showing the projections? There's been a lot of scientific work on the pertinent issues since then, and the CA drought has exceeded everyone's expectations (in a bad way), so I'm wondering whether more recent projections might be more pessimistic.

Cheers,
Jenny

Jenny,

We are currently at the limits of the models.  They cannot include the fine detail associated with changing Aerosol emissions and natural variability.  The models use multi-model arrays meaning 12-16 models are run with multiple changes in parameters to determine the "average"  the variance between these models is huge.  maybe one or two actually gets it right but the others wash out the results.

So we look to the paleoclimate records and find that there is a propensity for intense drought regimes in the west to take hold under current warming levels (re: the medieval climate anomaly droughts in the U.S. southwest and the sand dunes of Nebraska).

Nasa just published a b.s. study where they asserted that the current drought is not anthropogenic in nature, simply because their models did not show the current offshore sea surface temperature anomaly - and associated Ridiculously Resilient Ridge as a function of a homogenous radiative forcing increase from greenhouse gas emissions.  However, in the GEOMip runs, where they increased the CO2 levels to 4X pre industrial (about 1120ppmv) and then modeled sulfur injections into the stratosphere for geoengineering, the blocking patterns and sea surface temperature increases appeared in the runs.

so, we are dramatically understating the effects of aerosols and this drought is caused primarily by human activity.  The indication is that compounding factors from Chinese pollution, arctic amplification warming, expansion of the Hadley cell and Amazonian deforestation all appear to be contributors.  The end result is that this is the new normal and we haven't seen anything yet. 

We will lose every major city in the southwest from Abilene to Vegas in the next 30 years and a majority of the San Diego and Los Angeles basin in 50.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on March 05, 2015, 06:37:28 PM
@JM Initial drops will occur but I do see a come back. Where this will come from will be massive investments in desalination both from the side of infrastructure and R&D. o nano filters may be the answer. A side to that is that the pipes sending water from inland to places like LA will then start pumping water in the opposite direction. The Central Valley is of too much importance to the US for food that it can not from a national level let it go dry. You're losing Lake Mead, the aquifers ar drying up that leaves you with only one option. The ocean. The US up to this point in time has spent very little R&D on desalination. I see that about to change. Too many votes are depended upon from the west and if any party is found to have let the west die, they will not get back into power for a very long time.
Opposite of that occurring is the fact the Democrats won a lot of elections based on what FDR did for the west.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on March 05, 2015, 10:35:08 PM
@JM Initial drops will occur but I do see a come back. Where this will come from will be massive investments in desalination both from the side of infrastructure and R&D. o nano filters may be the answer. A side to that is that the pipes sending water from inland to places like LA will then start pumping water in the opposite direction. The Central Valley is of too much importance to the US for food that it can not from a national level let it go dry. You're losing Lake Mead, the aquifers ar drying up that leaves you with only one option. The ocean. The US up to this point in time has spent very little R&D on desalination. I see that about to change. Too many votes are depended upon from the west and if any party is found to have let the west die, they will not get back into power for a very long time.
Opposite of that occurring is the fact the Democrats won a lot of elections based on what FDR did for the west.

Do do we get the power to run desal on that scale from liberating more carbon? I don't think solar will cut it and we won't have hydropower because all the reservoirs will be empty. Desal will work almost as well as geoengineering to get us out of this mess. In other words, I very much fear the consequences of its implementation.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on March 06, 2015, 02:07:53 AM
ritter, I think it will be one of those things we can run on days when the wind is blowing so hard there's extra energy on the grid.  The energy required is definitely a concern though.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 06, 2015, 04:34:46 PM
ritter, I think it will be one of those things we can run on days when the wind is blowing so hard there's extra energy on the grid.  The energy required is definitely a concern though.
Can't some forms of desalinization work from hydropressure (like pumped storage), rather than electricity?  It might not be as chemically efficient, but perhaps an energy-efficient supplement?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 06, 2015, 04:38:31 PM
California snowpack around 15% of normal (January).

@arapaho415: @afreedma @nycjim @nytimes From yesterday's @latimes, Jan 2014 on left, Jan 2015 on right:
http://t.co/Y0YeHCBt95 (http://t.co/Y0YeHCBt95) http://t.co/rvE3UCdvwC (http://t.co/rvE3UCdvwC)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on March 06, 2015, 05:42:34 PM
ritter, I think it will be one of those things we can run on days when the wind is blowing so hard there's extra energy on the grid.  The energy required is definitely a concern though.
Can't some forms of desalinization work from hydropressure (like pumped storage), rather than electricity?  It might not be as chemically efficient, but perhaps an energy-efficient supplement?

One way or another you've got to lift (pump) the sea water from sea level to treatment level. Then you need to lift it (pump) to where ever you intend to use it. Pumping water requires a lot of energy. It's heavy stuff. All that said, I only work with engineers, I am not one myself!

You might be able to make it work for domestic uses at high energy costs. I don't see if working at all for agricultural use. I'd love to be proven wrong.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on March 06, 2015, 07:08:41 PM
What is jaw dropping is that there is nearly nothing left in the northern part...
They did received some water in January and I guess it wasn't snow !
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 06, 2015, 08:28:02 PM
Fake Snow, Real Money: The High-Tech Fight to Save California Skiing

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-03-06/fake-snow-real-money-the-high-tech-fight-to-save-california-skiing (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-03-06/fake-snow-real-money-the-high-tech-fight-to-save-california-skiing)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 06, 2015, 08:30:02 PM
What is jaw dropping is that there is nearly nothing left in the northern part...
They did received some water in January and I guess it wasn't snow !
Yes, much of the recent storms was snow only at very high elevations, because the air was so warm.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on March 07, 2015, 01:14:57 AM
ritter, I think it will be one of those things we can run on days when the wind is blowing so hard there's extra energy on the grid.  The energy required is definitely a concern though.
Can't some forms of desalinization work from hydropressure (like pumped storage), rather than electricity?  It might not be as chemically efficient, but perhaps an energy-efficient supplement?

Reverse Osmosis actually works with mechanical energy in the form of pressure, so that could work.  High pressure water is run by a membrane that pushes the water molecules through holes in the membrane just big enough for them to pass through.  So if you can pressurize water without electricity, it can run an RO machine.  I've got a unit at my house that requires no electrical input, just high pressure water from the well pump.

That said, probably the only way water would get way up high to gravitationally power an RO machine is with electrical pumping, so might as well cut out the middle man and efficiency loss, and pump the water straight into the RO machine.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on March 07, 2015, 09:58:28 AM
California Drought Just Broke A 120-Year Record
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/06/california-drought-february-record_n_6820704.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/06/california-drought-february-record_n_6820704.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on March 07, 2015, 11:04:49 AM
ritter, I think it will be one of those things we can run on days when the wind is blowing so hard there's extra energy on the grid.  The energy required is definitely a concern though.
Can't some forms of desalinization work from hydropressure (like pumped storage), rather than electricity?  It might not be as chemically efficient, but perhaps an energy-efficient supplement?
IMO I believe as more R&D is done more energy efficient ways will be found. Also, When there is no other source of water, amount of energy used comes in last place.
In the Middle East Solar is one of the primary energy sources. Expanding water has a lot of power in it.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Yuha on March 07, 2015, 02:56:41 PM
While some reservoirs are in a bit better shape than last year at this time, the New Melones Reservoir is much worse. It is the fourth largest reservoir in California (fifth if you count Lake Tahoe).
http://www.mantecabulletin.com/section/1/article/121322/ (http://www.mantecabulletin.com/section/1/article/121322/)
Quote
Numbers released by the Bureau on Monday shows that New Melones Reservoir will for all practical purposes become a dead lake sometime in August when it reaches the dead storage point of 80,000 acre feet or just over 3.5 percent of its design capacity of 2.4 million acre feet of water.

Dead storage refers to water that cannot be drained  by gravity through the dam’s outlet, spillway or power plant intake and can only be pumped out. The projection calls for the reservoir to dip to 49,000 acre feet or 2 percent of capacity by Oct. 1. It is projected to stay below dead storage through at least Jan. 1 when 63,000 acre feet of water is expected to be in the reservoir.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 07, 2015, 04:37:26 PM
With regards to agriculture  in the Central Valley...........

While I have found that there are some minor differences in estimates for water usage in California, it is generally agreed that agriculture accounts for about 75% of the water currently consumed. (See pie chart below and following link.)

http://www.environment.ucla.edu/reportcard/article4870.html (http://www.environment.ucla.edu/reportcard/article4870.html)

While we must absolutely focus on the reduction of urban water use, the effect of dramatic reductions in non-agriculture uses is limited in that only 25% of current water use is non-agriculture. If, for example, we completely eliminated water use for landscaping, over all water demand would be reduced by 7%. Dramatic reductions in interior residential use (water efficient  faucets, toilets, washing machines etc.) may buy us another 4%. This is assuming that a complete  conversion of all residences could cut internal usage by 50%. Every available approach should be aggressively pursued to accomplish this.

Will these actions be sufficient, allowing the region to adjust to the drier climate that seems to be establishing itself? Even more importantly, are we actually sure that this drier climate is more or less a reality? Could we actually have a return to the wetter conditions that existed in the prior century? I do not know the answer to the 2nd question but there does seem to be a growing consensus by the scientific community that a warming world will result in a much drier climate in the western U.S.  I hope they are wrong.

We are focusing on this terrible drought of the last 4 years but the problem is actually more grave than this. The last 15 years have been abnormally dry in California.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150304-snow-snowpack-california-drought-groundwater-crisis/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/03/150304-snow-snowpack-california-drought-groundwater-crisis/)

The snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas is currently 19% of normal which does suggest this year will be the fourth consecutive year for severe drought. This, however, is not a single year phenomena nor is it restricted to California. Below, you will find an image that shows the changes in snowpack that have been occurring across the western U.S. since 1955. This reduction in snowpack can be seen everywhere. In some regions, the reduction has been more than 50%!!!!!!!!

It would seem that climate scientists are on to something and a drier west is in the cards. California will continue to see ongoing reductions in available water and, as already shown, the only real meaningful, long term reductions in water consumption will be in agriculture.

The fate of Central Valley agriculture is sealed.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 07, 2015, 04:58:39 PM
As for desalinization, while technically feasible no one has bothered to think about whether it is economically viable with regards to agriculture.

The average farm worker in California makes far less than any other occupation. There is a reason for this. Agriculture operates on razor thin margins. The industry simply cannot survive on a source of water that is significantly more expensive and desalinization cannot possibly be as cheap as melting snowpack sources.

But how will America feed itself????? America will feed itself just as it did prior to the explosion in Central Valley agriculture that occurred post WWII. Produce will be increasingly local and seasonal, just as it was in my childhood.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 07, 2015, 07:23:13 PM
@billmckibben: CA winter is hottest on record, smashing the record that dates back all the way to last year
http://t.co/WqwrRLoSvm (http://t.co/WqwrRLoSvm)
Quote
From December through January, California recorded an average temperature a solid 1.5°F above last year’s mark. For just the first two months of this year, temperatures are 1°F hotter than last year, which ended as the hottest year on record by nearly 2 degrees.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/record-hot-winter-for-california-18737 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/record-hot-winter-for-california-18737)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 07, 2015, 11:30:50 PM
Article stands without  comment....

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/07/california-drought-farmers-drilling-groundwater-environment (http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/07/california-drought-farmers-drilling-groundwater-environment)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: icefest on March 08, 2015, 02:04:58 PM
Jbatten,
Depends on costs I guess. If pumped saline hydro with a high load factor on your reverse osmosis plant is cheaper than battery storage  or just overbuilding the RO plant and dealing with a lower load factor.

The choice will be largely dependent on location and wind variability. Wit with short variations favouring batteries and long variations favouring pumped hydro.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 08, 2015, 11:56:08 PM
Snowpack (or lack thereof): Mineral King, in Sequoia National Park.  March 7 -- 2014 and 2015.

@Sustainable2050: California MT @NWSHanford: Drought takes toll on Sierra snow pack. Mineral King at (2400 m) on March 7th 2014 & 2015
http://t.co/Uz79qfvblb (http://t.co/Uz79qfvblb)

@stevebloom55: @Sustainable2050 @NWSHanford Note 2014 was already very bad.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on March 09, 2015, 03:03:38 PM
But how will America feed itself????? America will feed itself just as it did prior to the explosion in Central Valley agriculture that occurred post WWII. Produce will be increasingly local and seasonal, just as it was in my childhood.
Unless things are very different from where I live, you are dreaming. a) the drought is affecting almost everything west of the Mississippi. b) almost everyone now lives in housing with little to no growing area. c) any garden still needs water for it to grow and even where you have 'lots' of water available locally you will find that available water is not much more then currently used. add too much more stress to it to grow local produce and that will end up with you having water shortages.
Granted we need to learn how to eat healthy with low water hungry food. we do need to eat far more locally and stop paving all farmable land over, but water shortages are becoming a world wide crisis and we need to start looking at the oceans to fix it on continental levels because folks that is ending up with all the water we have left for us to drink and grow our food from as a long term dependable source.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Anne on March 09, 2015, 04:04:02 PM
Stupid question alert: Supposing that you can develop an effective solar/wind/renewable power type of desalination. How do you deal with the effluent? Can you sell the salt? Or do you just let it pollute the sea?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on March 09, 2015, 04:46:36 PM
LRC, as long as people are still hosing down their sidewalks, watering unproductive lawns, constantly washing their cars, filling their swimming pools, and mostly using massive amounts of water for non-essential forms of agriculture like almonds and cattle (directly and indirectly), there is not rational excuse for denying people a bit of water for a victory garden.

There are many techniques, of course, for minimizing the amount of water needed for gardens, and those should be encouraged, too. But in any case, they use much less water than a lot of the really stupid things people do with water.

(That's not so say we won't need desalination plants. But that is a very energy intensive affair, and energy is not something we will have lots of going forward, especially if we ever get serious on actually cutting back on ff use.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on March 09, 2015, 06:43:53 PM
Stupid question alert: Supposing that you can develop an effective solar/wind/renewable power type of desalination. How do you deal with the effluent? Can you sell the salt? Or do you just let it pollute the sea?
That is a very big question and not stupid. If you take in the ocean as a whole it will do nothing, but on a local level unless you pump it into major currents that is a big impact. There are though very serious effluent problems though. Salt is the least. You would also raise concentrations of all sorts industrial pollutants and that you will have to deal with safely.
wili:
Quote
But that is a very energy intensive affair, and energy is not something we will have lots of going forward, especially if we ever get serious on actually cutting back on ff use.
We have to get off of ff. the sooner the better. As for present day water sources. Major river systems of the world get most of their water from glaciers. Those are going, going, gone. With weather systems changing places like the US west will turn into a Sahara. Move them? where? East? doubling the pop of eastern states will turn that area into a desert. Then where do you go? Also where do you replace the food production lost? Right now the US west is keeping production going by replacing surface water with underground water. That is disappearing. OK you can conserve.
Most water is actually used in agriculture and industry. Somehow in order to keep those 2 areas working you have to find a new source of water because most of the old sources are disappearing fast.
For energy it has been stated that if you use the non food producing areas of the midwest US into solar farms you can generate all the energy needs of North America. So generating energy is not the problem. The problem is we have to start rethinking  of the way we have always done things. The end result is we take for granted of what we have around us. Very little R&D has actually gone into desalination because of the idea that it was always costlier then putting a pipe into a local river.
Another point of energy. Do you have any idea how much energy and water is needed for the lithium battery that is in most of our batteries? If the totals where compared, I would be shocked if it would take more energy to run a desalination plant for a million people then it would be to keep those same people provided with lithium batteries. The issue is not costs, is not energy, it comes down to what is more important.
We also have as a western world always thought of getting things done by brute force. And now because you can get proprietary compensation for your invention, costlier, more energy inefficient and environmentally damaging ways of getting a job done all in the name of greed.
Unless you want to see the US west turn into a depopulated Sahara dessert, which climatologist are saying will happen because of AGW and changes to weather patterns, desalinization is the only option you have to save it because there is no fresh water source option left. It also is easier to make the changes now before everything does turn to desert and you lose your top soil, then wait until everything has turned into desert then try and rehabilitate it.
My belief is that it can be done and at an affordable and environmentally sustainable way, the question is are we going to continue to buy into the notion that it can not be done because it has never been done before until it is too late to find a solution.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 09, 2015, 08:06:38 PM
Sorry guys. I am not talking about victory gardens. I am talking about commercial farms growing and selling produce in cities. These farms are expanding all around Chicago and more and more groceries are advertising locally grown produce....even leafy produce in winter that is being grown in commercial greenhouses.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on March 09, 2015, 08:52:05 PM
First, I agree with LRC that Anne's question is not stupid and that it is potentially a large problem of local environmental consequences where to put all the salt (and other stuff) that is extracted from the ocean, especially as these plants start to grow to the scale that they are supplying much of the water needed in a densely populated and for supporting ag and industry.

LRC wrote: "where do you replace the food production lost?"

Yes, this is a huge problem. Mostly, we have to vastly reduce the amount of land that needs to be watered from these kinds of aquifers. One thing to keep in mind in these discussions is that by far the largest portion of ag crops is taken up by corn and soy together. But only a very small percentage of those crops go toward feeding humans directly. So you could get the same amounts of calories and protein from a much smaller portion of ag land if you re-purposed those crops to direct consumption by humans. Do this, and suddenly you have lots more wiggle room for all sorts of conservation efforts.


"Most water is actually used in agriculture and industry."

Right, and that is exactly why we have to look closely at how that water is used and for what purposes.

"For energy it has been stated that if you use the non food producing areas of the midwest US into solar farms you can generate all the energy needs of North America. So generating energy is not the problem."

I hope you are kidding here, but I suspect you are not.

You might as well point out that there is more hydrogen in the universe than any other element, so there should be  no problem creating a hydrogen based energy infrastructure.

.....

SH, thanks for the clarification. But I think the issue of priorities still holds. Water is used for a lot of stupider things in our society than to grow crops of whatever kind. I do think, though, that it is more important to learn to eat crops that are in season than to figure out how to build millions of acres of greenhouses to ensure we can have endive in February in Chicago.

If you want local greens in winter, sprout some beans or grains and leave them in a south-facing window to green up a bit before consumption. Use the left over water to water household plants that double as air purifiers and humidifiers.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on March 09, 2015, 09:34:57 PM
Greenhouses don't just enable typically out-of-season produce, they also dramatically increase agricultural productivity per acre by protecting plants from the elements, on top of dramatically decreasing water usage by keeping humidity in and blocking the wind.  Greenhouses, high tunnels and low tunnels are the way forward for agriculture in this country if we are to thrive.  Especially as the storms grow more severe, you can't just let your plants get battered now that we have technology to prevent it.  This is particularly applicable to produce, rather than grains which can take some abuse.  High tunnels growing fruit crops such as raspberries pay for themselves in just 2 to 3 years in Minnesota, up to quadrupling weight of fruit per acre on top of improving fruit quality and extending the season.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on March 09, 2015, 09:53:49 PM
SH: Thanks for clarity. Across the border from you in Canada the story is very much different. most of the best farm land in the country is being paved and housed over >:(.
Wili:
Quote
I hope you are kidding here, but I suspect you are not.
Semi kidding in that it was using as an example of what in theory could be done. Best case IMO would be the carrot and stick approach. every property owner for every piece of property must generate x% of power used on that property by renewable resources on that property or pay a penalty annually based on power used. Idea is that local power is far more efficient as you limit power losses you get carrying over long distances and you lower stress on power grid. Carrot is you get an upfront aid to build it (argument is that it would be too costly. How much tax money is spent via upfront aid and tax benefits on every power plant?) and if you generate more then you need you get a healthy return by providing it to the grid.
Guaranteeing the grid money does 2 things. gets more power onto the grid locally and if owners see how much they get from providing that power would increase efforts at saving power. Do not have the stats, but I believe you would find out that for most people a greater incentive is found when you get paid in cash for doing something then convincing people how much you would save if you did not use it in the first place.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 10, 2015, 08:21:44 PM
As if the looming drought wasn't bad enough... a new USGS study updates the risk of earthquakes in California.

Good news: earthquakes of around magnitude 6.7, the size of the destructive 1994 Northridge earthquake, has gone down by about 30 percent, from an average of one per 4.8 years to about one per 6.3 years.

Bad news:
Quote
However, in the new study, the estimate for the likelihood that California will experience a magnitude 8 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years has increased from about 4.7% for UCERF2 to about 7.0% for UCERF3.
http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=4146 (http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=4146)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 13, 2015, 11:11:50 PM
LA Times editorial.

California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now?
Quote
Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.
...
Several steps need be taken right now. First, immediate mandatory water rationing should be authorized across all of the state's water sectors, from domestic and municipal through agricultural and industrial. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is already considering water rationing by the summer unless conditions improve. There is no need for the rest of the state to hesitate. The public is ready. A recent Field Poll showed that 94% of Californians surveyed believe that the drought is serious, and that one-third support mandatory rationing.
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-famiglietti-drought-california-20150313-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-famiglietti-drought-california-20150313-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 14, 2015, 12:56:28 AM
California rice farmers are selling their water.
Quote
With the drought stretching into its fourth year, a heavyweight water agency from Los Angeles has come calling on Sacramento Valley rice farmers, offering up to $71 million for some of their water.

The price being offered is so high, some farmers can make more from selling water than from growing their rice. ...

As many as 115,000 acre-feet of water could be sold, or more than 37 billion gallons, to Metropolitan and its fellow buyers. The result: a reduction in the amount of rice planted as farmers take fields out of production. As it is, California’s rice industry is struggling to recover from a difficult 2014, in which 140,000 acres were idled due to drought and one-fourth of the crop didn’t get planted.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article13908632.html (http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article13908632.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 16, 2015, 12:59:05 PM
May need to change the thread to "U.S. West Coast Declares Drought Emergency."

Washington (state) declares drought emergency.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/13/usa-washington-drought-idUSL1N0WF20H20150313 (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/13/usa-washington-drought-idUSL1N0WF20H20150313)

Oregon declares drought emergency.
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/03/gov_kate_brown_to_declare_drou.html (http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/03/gov_kate_brown_to_declare_drou.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on March 18, 2015, 09:23:16 AM
As California Drought Enters 4th Year, Conservation Efforts and Worries Increase
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/us/as-california-drought-enters-4th-year-conservation-efforts-and-worries-increase.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/18/us/as-california-drought-enters-4th-year-conservation-efforts-and-worries-increase.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on March 18, 2015, 06:47:07 PM
Quote
While Sacramento has suffered drought, Nestle continues to drain California aquifers and sell the people's water back to them at great profit... under many dozen brand names.

Quote
The city of Sacramento is in the fourth year of a record drought - yet the Nestlé Corporation continues to bottle city water to sell back to the public at a big profit, local activists charge.

The Nestlé Water Bottling Plant in Sacramento is the target of a major press conference on Tuesday, March 17, by a water coalition that claims the company is draining up to 80 million gallons of water a year from Sacramento aquifers during the drought.

The coalition, the crunchnestle alliance, says that City Hall has made this use of the water supply possible through a "corporate welfare giveaway," according to a press advisory....

"Nestlé pays only 65 cents for each 470 gallons it pumps out of the ground – the same rate as an average residential water user. But the company can turn the area's water around, and sell it back to Sacramento at mammoth profits," the coalition said.

Activists say that Sacramento officials have refused attempts to obtain details of Nestlé's water used. Coalition members have addressed the Sacramento City Council and requested that Nestle’ either pay a commercial rate under a two tier level, or pay a tax on their profit.

In October, the coalition released a "White Paper" highlighting predatory water profiteering actions taken by Nestle’ Water Bottling Company in various cities, counties, states and countries. Most of those great “deals” yielded mega profits for Nestle’ at the expense of citizens and taxpayers. Additionally, the environmental impact on many of those areas yielded disastrous results....

http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/222681/index.php (http://boston.indymedia.org/newswire/display/222681/index.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: oren on March 18, 2015, 08:47:08 PM
Unbelievable. Bottling business as usual for near-free in the middle of a drought emergency
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 18, 2015, 11:43:16 PM
While the bottled water industry makes an easy target, it uses only a tiny portion of the state's withdrawn water.  Much more water could be saved by addressing agricultural waste.
Quote
Statewide, the bottled water industry accounts for a small fraction of overall water use. The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that roughly 1 percent of the water used in the state goes to industrial users, with bottling plants being a small portion of that.
http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/2015/03/05/bottling-water-california-drought/24389417/ (http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/2015/03/05/bottling-water-california-drought/24389417/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 19, 2015, 05:51:29 PM
A Tiny California Fish Is On Brink Of Extinction And The Ramifications Are Huge
Quote
Jeff Miller, a California-based conservationist with the Center for Biological Diversity, agrees. He said the record-low numbers of Delta smelt in recent years indicate the Delta ecosystem is unraveling.

“Delta smelt, longfin smelt, several populations of salmon, steelhead trout, green sturgeon, and Sacramento splittail are facing extinction in the Delta,” he told ThinkProgress. “If state and federal regulators carry on with business as usual, allowing wealthy agribusiness interests to dictate water policy, we will lose all of these fish.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/19/3635666/delta-smelt-could-go-bottom-up/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/19/3635666/delta-smelt-could-go-bottom-up/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 20, 2015, 12:44:42 AM
Almonds!
Quote
Moreover, environmentalists say the proposed regulations fail to address the state's largest water waster: Big Agribusiness. In fact, California's agricultural interests use 80 percent of the available water in the state each year (even though they represent just 2 percent of California's economy). "But there's no target [reduction] for agricultural use," noted Tom Stokely, a water policy analyst for the nonprofit California Water Impact Network. Instead, Stokely pointed out that the state is just targeting urban and suburban water users in its rationing plan, even though they only consume about 20 percent of the California's available water each year.
...
But environmentalists rightly note that no one is calling for a cutback on water use for the state's essential food supplies. The problem is the water wasted on non-essential crops. Right now, California is producing far more almonds than state residents can consume. So much so that at least 70 percent of the state's almond crop is now exported — much of it to China. In other words, we're essentially exporting our water to China.
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/california-targets-wrong-water-wasters/Content?oid=4222724 (http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/california-targets-wrong-water-wasters/Content?oid=4222724)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Anne on March 20, 2015, 01:35:49 AM
Almonds!
To say nothing of the biohazard of bee transport (which is way off topic).
Quote
<snip>With more than 20,000 bees in each hive, this means that there are more than 30 billion honeybees in the Central Valley and all of them have been brought there to work. Beekeepers from across the US have put their hives onto flatbed trucks and hauled their insect livestock down to the almond orchards.
Worth a look on environmental grounds anyway.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21741651 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21741651)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 21, 2015, 06:54:45 PM
California Gov. Jerry Brown Announces $1 Billion Drought Plan
http://www.weather.com/science/environment/news/california-drought-governor-brown-plan (http://www.weather.com/science/environment/news/california-drought-governor-brown-plan)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 22, 2015, 12:55:26 AM
Eric Holthaus:  California’s Next Megadrought Has Already Begun
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/03/20/california_megadrought_it_s_already_begun.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2015/03/20/california_megadrought_it_s_already_begun.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on March 23, 2015, 04:27:55 PM
Another feedback loop to the drought, more CO2 (http://www.columbian.com/news/2015/mar/21/power-dries-up-california-drought-hydroelectricity/).
Quote
At a minimum, "we'll keep the lights on," said Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission. "We're not concerned about not having power."
"What we're concerned about," he said, "is, the power is going to come from different sources not as benign" for the health of people and the environment as hydro.
Also as I have said that the California drought affects not only California but most of anything west of the Mississippi.
Quote
California's historically low snowpack is a meager accumulation with serious implications not only for the state but potentially for the entire West if the drought persists.
Then, if you see what happens to desert areas and extrapolate, it could cause drought conditions across the entire USA. Canada in part may be saved because the Hadley Cells moving north.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on March 23, 2015, 04:51:09 PM
I think we may need to ditch the term "drought" and begin to look at this as the new normal.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: silkman on March 23, 2015, 05:34:59 PM
Graphic illustration of the drought's impact on the snowpack in Yosemite. March 19 pics of the Half Dome for the last five years :

http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/article15386540.html (http://www.sacbee.com/site-services/databases/article15386540.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: oren on March 23, 2015, 09:51:14 PM
I think we may need to ditch the term "drought" and begin to look at this as the new normal.

Indeed. And still some deny "climate change"
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 23, 2015, 11:34:48 PM
California Governor says presidential contender Ted Cruz is unfit to be president because of his denial position on climate change.
Quote
"Here's the point, that the buildup of carbon coming from coal and petroleum and other sources, that this is going to create these droughts and much, much worse. And that's why to have the leader of the Senate, Mr. McConnell representing his coal constituents, are putting it at risk, the health and well being of America, is a disgrace," Brown said.

Calling the drought California's new normal, Brown wants a presidential campaign "almost at the level of a crusade" to make the public aware that man-made carbon dioxide emissions can have an affect on the climate. He implied that politicians who dismiss the scientific consensus on climate change are doing the bidding of profit-hungry constituents and corporate donors.

"The coal companies are not as important as the people of America and the people of the world," Brown said.
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/california/Calfiornia-Gov-Jerry-Brown-Ted-Cruz-Unfit-President-Climate-Change-Comments-297171891.html# (http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/california/Calfiornia-Gov-Jerry-Brown-Ted-Cruz-Unfit-President-Climate-Change-Comments-297171891.html#)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 25, 2015, 08:23:17 PM
How much rain has San Francisco missed in the 4-year drought? More than 2.5 FEET...  over a year of rain. 
Rain in SF since July 2011:  61.5 inches.  4 years of "average" rain would be 92.6 inches.


@NWSHanford: 4 YEARS OF DROUGHT...Images of Half Dome in YNP taken every year on Mar 19th since 2012. #cawx http://t.co/QyEXxE2L5G (http://t.co/QyEXxE2L5G)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 26, 2015, 01:54:35 AM
Snowless ski resorts show just how bad California’s drought really is.
Quote
Two weeks ago, snowfall accumulation at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory officially reached zero. “We’ve never seen a zero snow depth in March in the history of our station,” Randall Osterhuber, a research associate at the center, told the Bee. Osterhuber said that normally the snowfall is around 10 feet. This season, however, the entire Tahoe basin is at about 16 percent of normal. “For us to be at zero at this point is significant,” he said.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/24/these-snowless-ski-resorts-show-just-how-bad-californias-drought-really-is/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/24/these-snowless-ski-resorts-show-just-how-bad-californias-drought-really-is/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: BornFromTheVoid on March 26, 2015, 12:34:08 PM
/r/science reddit AMA (questions and answers) just put up.

Science AMA Series: We are NASA and university scientists who study drought, “megadrought,” and how climate change can affect drought patterns now and in the future. Ask Us Anything!

Ben Cook -- I'm a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a co-author on a recent paper demonstrating that climate change, by the end of the 21st century, will make droughts in Western North America even worse than the driest time periods of the last 1000 years. I study past drought events, including the Dust Bowl and the “megadroughts” of the 12th and 13th centuries, and use computer simulations to investigate how climate change and global warming will affect drought in the future.
Megadrought paper (sub. required): http://goo.gl/g2fhvm (http://goo.gl/g2fhvm)[1]
Megadrought coverage: http://goo.gl/UCCyem (http://goo.gl/UCCyem)[2]
Bill Patzert -- Hi everybody! I’ve been an oceanographer and climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 32 years. My research is focused on improving our understanding of important environmental problems ranging from El Niño and La Niña to longer-term climate change, especially important water issues, like our present punishing drought in the American West. I always try to balance my scientific research with a sense of social responsibility. In the final balance, the ultimate test of any science is if it has a credible use for public policy. During my career, I have attempted to communicate what I think we do know to as many people in the science community, the general public and the private sector as I can. I look forward to your questions.
Narendra Das -- I’m a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where I currently work for the NASA’s SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) mission. I developed an algorithm to retrieve global, high-resolution soil moisture data from the SMAP measurements that will provide significant information to monitor agricultural and hydrological droughts, and will also help improve the skills of weather and climate models to forecast drought, its onset and recovery.
Ben Zaitchik -- I'm a hydrologist and climate scientist in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. My research focuses on modern day drought patterns, drought prediction, and potential changes in drought patterns under climate change. Most of my work is on East Africa and the Middle East--two regions where drought has significant human impacts, and where climate change has the potential to intensify the severity of droughts in coming years.
We’ll be online at 1 pm EST on Mar. 26 to answer your questions about the link between drought and climate change, and what NASA and other scientists are doing to understand this challenge. Ask Us Anything!


https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/30d1be/science_ama_series_we_are_nasa_and_university/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/30d1be/science_ama_series_we_are_nasa_and_university/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 28, 2015, 07:51:49 PM
Groundwater records should not be kept confidential in drought-stricken California
The state’s database of 800,000 well logs is not publicly available because of a 64 year-old law that considers them proprietary to well drillers
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/27/groundwater-records-should-not-be-kept-confidential-in-drought-prone-california (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/27/groundwater-records-should-not-be-kept-confidential-in-drought-prone-california)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 29, 2015, 09:13:38 PM
Quote
Electronic surveys show the water content of the snow throughout the Sierra is a shocking 8 percent of the historical average for this time of year, by far the driest it has been since 1950, the year record-keeping began, because of the lack of rain and snowfall and the exceedingly high temperatures. It is a troubling milestone that water resources officials say is bound to get even lower as the skies remain stubbornly blue.

“It’s certainly sobering when you consider that the snowpack in a normal year provides about 30 percent of what California needs in the summer and fall,” said Doug Carlson, the spokesman for the California Department of Water Resources. “What this suggests is that we will have very little water running off. It accentuates the severity of the drought and emphasizes the importance of people cutting back on their water use.”
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/California-drought-Sierra-Nevada-snowpack-hits-a-6164391.php (http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/California-drought-Sierra-Nevada-snowpack-hits-a-6164391.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 30, 2015, 02:56:47 PM
Not that long ago, the financial media giant CNBC scoffed at the idea of climate change.  Nowdays, articles like this include climate model maps of a megadrought in 2095.  (So, getting closer to the harsh reality....)

Farmers in near 'survival mode' as California drought drags on
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102527195 (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102527195)

Related:
Unsafe water only adds to California drought misery
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102111669 (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102111669)

Outside states to California dairy farmers: We have water
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102413487 (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102413487)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on March 30, 2015, 05:46:06 PM
Oh NO! Say it ain't so!

http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/mar/28/marijuana-cultivation-in-california-sucking-streams-dry-says-new-report (http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/mar/28/marijuana-cultivation-in-california-sucking-streams-dry-says-new-report)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 30, 2015, 06:19:44 PM
Not that long ago, the financial media giant CNBC scoffed at the idea of climate change.  Nowdays, articles like this include climate model maps of a megadrought in 2095.  (So, getting closer to the harsh reality....)

Farmers in near 'survival mode' as California drought drags on
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102527195 (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102527195)

Related:
Unsafe water only adds to California drought misery
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102111669 (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102111669)

Outside states to California dairy farmers: We have water
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102413487 (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102413487)

And as the near term costs of AGW increase, business, driven by profits, will become the vanguard for addressing the issue. My biggest concern is, while they will be fierce supporters of the science, their response will be short term, focusing on mitigation. We are already seeing evidence of this everywhere, developing drought tolerant plants for example, insurance companies raising premiums and pulling out of states entirely.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99942808 (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99942808)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 30, 2015, 08:35:34 PM
@RobElvington: After record breaking warmth the last 4 days, CA statewide snowpack at 6% of average snow-water content.  #CAdrought http://t.co/4P6I8fCKS1 (http://t.co/4P6I8fCKS1)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Jester Fish on March 31, 2015, 01:24:13 AM
The costs keep piling on....

California ratepayers spent an additional $1.4 billion for electricity due to lower hydropower production over the last three years as drought conditions drove a shift to alternative electricity-generation resources, a new report issued March 17 by the Pacific Institute estimates.

http://pacinst.org/publication/impacts-of-californias-ongoing-drought-hydroelectricity-generation/ (http://pacinst.org/publication/impacts-of-californias-ongoing-drought-hydroelectricity-generation/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on March 31, 2015, 01:47:29 AM
Oh NO! Say it ain't so!

http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/mar/28/marijuana-cultivation-in-california-sucking-streams-dry-says-new-report (http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/mar/28/marijuana-cultivation-in-california-sucking-streams-dry-says-new-report)
Might be just a little misdirection on someones part????
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on March 31, 2015, 03:02:28 AM
Oh NO! Say it ain't so!

http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/mar/28/marijuana-cultivation-in-california-sucking-streams-dry-says-new-report (http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/mar/28/marijuana-cultivation-in-california-sucking-streams-dry-says-new-report)
Might be just a little misdirection on someones part????
I'm sure the powers that be love the convenient scapegoat that arises, but this is a legitimate problem, and pretty serious.  Marijuana is, by dollar value, California's biggest cash crop.  Due to a lax legal environment in Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties (collectively referred to as the Emerald Triangle), that area of Northern California produces vast quantities of marijuana for export throughout the US.  Since they're already in flagrant violation of state and federal law, they will pump water from anywhere they can find it with no regard to the environment or downstream users.  Last growing season a lot of creeks dried up and a support industry of water trucks who don't care what you're growing emerged to fill the gap.  The increased truck traffic put undue strain on rural county roads that otherwise don't see much heavy traffic.  I suspect we'll see even more of that this year.

The Emerald Triangle exists today as a wealthy, developed area instead of rural wilderness because of the marijuana production.  The county government is on board and fights for the growers in the state legislature.  However, their contribution to the water crisis exists more as a side effect of Federal marijuana laws than anything else.  They do have a fantastic climate which helps, but marijuana is not picky and grows well enough almost everywhere.  If consumers of marijuana in other states could legally source their marijuana closer to home, the California export business would get shut down.

On a related topic, if consumers of fresh fruits and vegetables could source their produce closer to home, the California export business would get shut down.  I see a lot of specialty producers popping up in the Midwest, especially further south and east like Iowa to Illinois and onward, but even as far north as Minnesota where I am.  It's sad when anything but chemical laden grain, eggs, dairy, and meat counts as specialty but that is how they are referred to in the MN/ND/SD area I'm most familiar with.  I'm in the process of bringing 2.5 acres into production with raspberries and grapes.  It definitely requires a lot more people per acre than grain crops, but  the profit per acre is also much higher, and while it does take some money, the upfront investment is nowhere near the millions of dollars required to get into grain.

Anyway, this is only related to the California drought in a sideways fashion.  I think increasing costs and water scarcity will force a lot of California producers out of business and create vast economic opportunity for those of us in food-deprived states.  Not to mention, all of our ridiculous subsidies on the conventional meat, dairy, and ethanol businesses can't last forever, and their inevitable demise will make other crops that much more attractive.  If you know any Midwestern farmers (long shot I know) you should mention these things to them and see if they have any interest in converting over.  Not only will it make them more money, it requires less water, fertilizer, and chemicals, so it's far better for the environment.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 31, 2015, 03:34:09 PM
Quote
I think increasing costs and water scarcity will force a lot of California producers out of business and create vast economic opportunity for those of us in food-deprived states.
I may be biased (because raspberries are the favorite produce in my little garden :)) ), but this makes a lot of sense to me.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 31, 2015, 03:36:22 PM
As Drought Worsens, Restrictions on Pools Rise in California
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/drought-worsens-restrictions-pools-rise-california-n333111 (http://www.nbcnews.com/business/consumer/drought-worsens-restrictions-pools-rise-california-n333111)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 31, 2015, 08:52:46 PM
Cheap water, arcane water rights, and water-intensive crops threaten the future of Central Valley agriculture.
Quote
But agriculture consumes a staggering 80 percent of California’s developed water, even as it accounts for only 2 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. Most crops and livestock are produced in the Central Valley, which is, geologically speaking, a desert. The soil is very fertile but crops there can thrive only if massive amounts of irrigation water are applied.
...
The other great unmentionable of California’s water crisis is that water is still priced more cheaply than it should be, which encourages over-consumption. “Water in California is still relatively inexpensive,” Heather Cooley, director of the water program at the world-renowned Pacific Institute in Oakland, told The Daily Beast.

One reason is that much of the state’s water is provided by federal and state agencies at prices that taxpayers subsidize. A second factor that encourages waste is the “use it or lose it” feature in California’s arcane system of water rights. Under current rules, if a property owner does not use all the water to which he is legally entitled, he relinquishes his future rights to the unused water, which may then get allocated to the next farmer in line.

Lawmakers have begun, gingerly, to reform the water system, but experts say that much remains to be done. For years, California was the only state in the arid West that set no limits on how much groundwater a property owner could extract from a private well. Thus nearly everyone and their neighbors in the Central Valley have been drilling deeper and deeper wells in recent years, seeking to offset reductions in state and federal water deliveries. This agricultural version of an arms race not only favors big corporate enterprises over smaller farmers, it threatens to collapse the aquifers whose groundwater is keeping California alive during this drought and will be needed to endure future droughts. (Groundwater supplies about 40 percent of the state’s water in years of normal precipitation but closer to 60 percent in dry years.)
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/30/how-growers-gamed-california-s-drought.html (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/30/how-growers-gamed-california-s-drought.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 31, 2015, 09:24:42 PM
Quote
Downtown Los Angeles hit 90F  6 times in March, shattering the previous record of 3 90-degree readings during the month  in 1977.  Los Angeles has logged just 2.79 inches of rain this calendar year compared to the normal value of 9.30 inches.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/03/31/california-snowpack-fades-to-shocking-record-low/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/03/31/california-snowpack-fades-to-shocking-record-low/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: OldLeatherneck on April 02, 2015, 03:24:15 AM
I was just listening to CNN on the radio where they were talking about the mandatory water rationing that has just been implemented in California.  What saddened me most during the report was that not one damn time did the report give any reference to Anthropogenic Global Warming.  How do they think this happened....magic?  Oh sure, there are too many people, too many swimming pools, etc., etc.  But too many people or swimming pools did not cause the snowpack to shrink.  That my friends was due in large part to too many GHGs pumped into the atmosphere.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Buddy on April 02, 2015, 12:57:30 PM
Quote
That my friends was due in large part to too many GHGs pumped into the atmosphere

....from too many people:)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on April 02, 2015, 06:32:25 PM
I was reading some blurb about Calif and what they were implementing to control water consumption.

One of the items was many locales in the state were now restricting homeowners from filling their swimming pools with new water more than 2 times a year.  Oh horrors!  ...In regards to actual need to replace the water you can easily go for several years if you maintain the pool and don't let green things grow in it.  btw Calif has almost 2 million swimming pools.

The blurb pointed out that in many areas they are seeing a big surge in pool construction as homeowners are rushing to beat the expected coming restrictions on building new pools.

Humans!@
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: OldLeatherneck on April 02, 2015, 07:24:43 PM
There is a solution to California's water problem:

Step1. Elect a Republican governor.

Step2. Declare Global Warming a Criminally Inspired Hoax.

Step3. Indict Barbra Streisand and Al gore for Crimes Against Humanity.

Step4. Encourage the citizenry to buy new Cadillac Escalades and then proceed to:

    a. Drive their new Escalades to the Mall.

    b. Buy expensive clothes imported from Europe.

    c. Drive their new Escalades to Palm Springs for a round of golf.

    d. Drive their new Escalades back home to cool off in the backyard swimming pool.

    e. Drive their new Escalades to the coast for a seafood dinner of Lobsters imported from Maine or Australia.

    f. Drive their new Escalades back home to relax in the Hot Tub.

    g. Get on their knees before going to bed and thank the Good Lord for American Ingenuity, FOX NEWS and Senator James Inhofe.

Problem Solved

   
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on April 03, 2015, 11:20:58 AM
California's worst drought in 1,200 years in pictures
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32150064 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32150064)

Fracking In California Used 70 Million Gallons Of Water In 2014
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/02/fracking-california-water_n_6997324.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/02/fracking-california-water_n_6997324.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 04, 2015, 02:12:41 AM
Scary Times For California Farmers As Snowpack Hits Record Lows
Quote
Until last year, Schlitz says, wells were used to supplement the federal water.

"Now, we have nothing but wells. Nothing. There's no water other than what's coming out of the ground," he says.

Last year, one of those wells at La Jolla dried up. The farm lost 160 acres — about a million dollars' worth of produce, plus the wasted labor and other resources.
...
Groundwater reserves are getting lower and lower as farmers and towns drill deeper and deeper, sucking out more water than there is coming in.

It's gotten so bad in the San Joaquin Valley that the ground is actually sinking. Last summer it sank a half-inch each month.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/04/01/396780035/scary-times-for-california-farmers-as-snowpack-hits-record-lows (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/04/01/396780035/scary-times-for-california-farmers-as-snowpack-hits-record-lows)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 04, 2015, 02:20:05 AM
NYT on the mandatory water restrictions:
Quote
PHILLIPS, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered mandatory water use reductions for the first time in California’s history, saying the state’s four-year drought had reached near-crisis proportions after a winter of record-low snowfalls.

Mr. Brown, in an executive order, directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose a 25 percent reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies, which serve 90 percent of California residents, over the coming year. The agencies will be responsible for coming up with restrictions to cut back on water use and for monitoring compliance. State officials said the order would impose varying degrees of cutbacks on water use across the board — affecting homeowners, farms and other businesses, as well as the maintenance of cemeteries and golf courses.
...
Owners of large farms, who obtain their water from sources outside the local water agencies, will not fall under the 25 percent guideline. State officials noted that many farms had already seen a cutback in their water allocations because of the drought. In addition, the owners of large farms will be required, under the governor’s executive order, to offer detailed reports to state regulators about water use, ideally as a way to highlight incidents of water diversion or waste.

Because of this system, state officials said, they did not expect the executive order to result — at least in the immediate future — in an increase in farm or food prices.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/california-imposes-first-ever-water-restrictions-to-deal-with-drought.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/california-imposes-first-ever-water-restrictions-to-deal-with-drought.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bosbas on April 04, 2015, 04:53:44 AM
Theatlantic has the following:
"How bad is the California drought in the context of state history and U.S. history?

Patty Limerick (director of the University of Colorado's Center of the American West): I would not use the word bad. I would just say "severe, and severe at a new scale, and a new intensity, and a new urgency. I guess I’m not using the word bad because it is a call to action. It is, sorry to use the cliché, but it is a wakeup call, and that might be good. Though I also don’t want to call it good, because there are people who are in a pickle now. So I guess I wouldn’t use the term good or bad, but this certainly puts us in a new framework for thinking about who we are and how we live and what are necessities and what are luxuries. And that has virtues and values to it."

A record low snowpack 2 years in a row and no greater urgency then this? One thing to consider - when water stops running from the faucet, people tend to go through a very steep learning curve; but do we really want to get to that point?

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 04, 2015, 03:34:06 PM
Theatlantic has the following:
One thing to consider - when water stops running from the faucet, people tend to go through a very steep learning curve; but do we really want to get to that point?

I believe we  need to. Most people will only act when they are personally affected. It is not, however,  enough for the faucets to go dry but the connection to AGW must be  explicit.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Ymir on April 04, 2015, 04:03:36 PM
Theatlantic has the following:
One thing to consider - when water stops running from the faucet, people tend to go through a very steep learning curve; but do we really want to get to that point?

I believe we  need to. Most people will only act when they are personally affected. It is not, however,  enough for the faucets to go dry but the connection to AGW must be  explicit.

How far away from that are we? I've read that the state has "year of water left", so could another year or two of the same conditions see California turn "biblical". Reading the thread it sounds like there is some slack the system and it being the World's wealthiest country actions can be taken to relocate people/get water "in" but how practical are those actions on this scale?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Vergent on April 04, 2015, 04:21:49 PM
The problem that will get the attention isn't "no water in the faucet"....No water in the toilet will kill California overnight. That is what killed Rome. The "Barbarians" destroyed Rome's aqueducts and the city of Rome became instantly uninhabitable because of the human waste.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on April 04, 2015, 04:27:28 PM
All they have to do is cut off the farms and they'll be fine.  Consuming 80% of the state's water and only contributing 2-3% to their GDP, something's got to give.  But the political will for that will probably take extreme catastrophe to emerge.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Ymir on April 04, 2015, 05:22:34 PM
All they have to do is cut off the farms and they'll be fine.  Consuming 80% of the state's water and only contributing 2-3% to their GDP, something's got to give.  But the political will for that will probably take extreme catastrophe to emerge.

I assumed that the state produced a lot of crops? It's not part of the U.S. "bread basket"?

Good point Vergent, I had no idea that's what did for Rome. In Eaarth, Bill Mckibben cites an estimate of 500 billion dollars needed to make America's sewers fit for the future, that sounds like a catastrophe in the making, with or without drought.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jbatteen on April 04, 2015, 07:51:16 PM
All they have to do is cut off the farms and they'll be fine.  Consuming 80% of the state's water and only contributing 2-3% to their GDP, something's got to give.  But the political will for that will probably take extreme catastrophe to emerge.

I assumed that the state produced a lot of crops? It's not part of the U.S. "bread basket"?

The Break Basket typically refers to the plains states from Texas to North Dakota and a few on either side like Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, where most of the nation's grain is grown.  I'm sure there's a popular expression for what California is but nothing that's coming to mind right now...  But I know what you meant.  :)

California does grow a lot of produce that the rest of the country benefits from, but they also have Hollywood and Silicon Valley and lots of other things I don't know about to drive their economy.  The loss of that food supply isn't California's problem.  From California's perspective, the current food export industry is doing far more harm than good.  If they just focused on growing enough for local consumption and didn't export, they could probably manage their water sustainably, or at least much closer to it than they are now.

As far as the other states that benefit from the food supply are concerned, even as far north as Minnesota we are perfectly capable of growing everything we need for local consumption, it's just not economical because of California's taxpayer subsidized water.  That's how valuable that water is, enough to overcome thousands of miles of transportation and storage costs.  Another reason we don't grow more of our produce locally is that the corn, soybeans, beef, and dairy industries that make up our ag economy in Minnesota are also heavily subsidized, making it less economical to grow other things.

Taxpayer investment in agriculture is good.  It's one of the better choices of an industry to subsidize in my opinion.  Kind of like education and transportation, money invested in agriculture pays back at a great rate of return that benefits everyone.  Everyone eats and whether you're rich or poor, human nutritional requirements are generally similar, so the cheap prices benefit the poor as much as the rich, maybe even more.  Having massive food stores is handy in case the weather fails some year or an enemy nation carpetbombs our fields.

That said, as with almost everything American, something that could be fantastic in theory is implemented by people who will write in backdoors benefiting themselves, their friends, and their campaign contributors.  The whole system is fantastically broken and encourages only the bottom line at the cost of....  everything else important in life.  Healthy people, humane food, balanced earth.

The California drought is meteorologically interesting, but it's a desert.  This has happened before and it will happen again.  This one is particularly severe, I understand possibly the worst in 2000 years.  But, we wouldn't be having this level of conversation about it were it not for the massive economic side effects caused by poor centralized planning on part of the government, and naturally emerging behavior from farmers trying to game the broken system.  When you put a system like this in place, there's little incentive to try to behave ethically, because it muddies just what ethical is, and you'd only be putting yourself at a severe disadvantage relative to your competitors.

I listened to a guy from Mozambique on NPR yesterday talking about why he poached rhino horns.  He said he knew it was wrong, he knew it was horrible, but when it pays $10,000 in a country where people live on $1 a day and there is no employment to be found, it was either that or starve.  The situation isn't quite as dramatic here in America, but the principles at work are the same.  Perhaps even worse because some of these farmers genuinely believe they're doing nothing wrong, that it's their God-given right to terraform the Earth to suit their needs.

Sorry to just rant about this.  If I sound angry it's because I hate what the government has done to ag in this country.  I work in the industry, and the same ridiculous government that caused this problem causes all kinds of other problems closer to home.  Government is great, I'm not an anarchist, but the plutocracy we have today has got to go.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on April 04, 2015, 08:03:32 PM
The attached image shows the GFS forecast of total accumulated precip (top) and total snowfall (bottom) for April 4th through April 9th. A low pressure system currently spinning in the Gulf of Alaska is projected to dive south over the next few days, potentially bringing moderate amounts of precip to the state of CA during the first half of next week (Nor Cal looks to benefit the most). Based on the current location and projected storm track, this system should be relatively cold in nature, and will likely dump several inches of snow across much of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. However, this is too little too late, but should provide at least a few weeks of relief. At this point even a few weeks is better than nothing.......
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on April 05, 2015, 07:50:32 PM
The attached image shows the GFS forecast of total accumulated precip (top) and total snowfall (bottom) for April 5th through April 15th. The last few GFS model runs have become quite interesting, suggesting that multiple storm systems will impact the state of CA during the next two weeks. If this were to develop as advertised, it could mean months of relief as we head into the late spring and early summer months. At the moment, confidence is low that this will actually occur, but it's well worth monitoring. The first system (which will come in two separate waves) is already beginning to impact Nor Cal. We'll see.... 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on April 05, 2015, 08:06:56 PM
California’s Wasteful Water Habits Run Up Against a Dry Future – and Past
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/californias-wasteful-water-habits-run-up-against-a-dry-future-and-past/?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/californias-wasteful-water-habits-run-up-against-a-dry-future-and-past/?partner=rss&emc=rss)

Why Isn’t Desalination the Answer to All California’s Water Problems?
http://blogs.kqed.org/science/audio/why-isnt-desalination-the-answer-to-all-californias-water-problems/ (http://blogs.kqed.org/science/audio/why-isnt-desalination-the-answer-to-all-californias-water-problems/)

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/california-drought-tests-history-of-endless-growth.html?smid=re-share&_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/05/us/california-drought-tests-history-of-endless-growth.html?smid=re-share&_r=0)

In Greenhouse California, the Hissing of Summer Lawns Fizzles While Races for Senator and Governor Quietly Take Shape
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-bradley/in-greenhouse-california-the-hissing-of-summer-lawns-fizzles-while-races-for-senator-and-governor-quietly-take-shape_b_7005658.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-bradley/in-greenhouse-california-the-hissing-of-summer-lawns-fizzles-while-races-for-senator-and-governor-quietly-take-shape_b_7005658.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)

California drought: agribusiness, fracking untouched by water rationing
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2819125/california_drought_agribusiness_fracking_untouched_by_water_rationing.html (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2819125/california_drought_agribusiness_fracking_untouched_by_water_rationing.html)
Quote
Yet any such rational reorganization is blocked by the interests of the US financial oligarchy, which, controlling the entire political system, will not abide any impingement on its profits.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on April 06, 2015, 11:31:21 PM
I profess to be a farmer, a California farmer and a fifth generation one at that.
I think the ag community could do a lot more in the conservation of water without killing the goose that laid golden egg.  For starters running sprinklers at night and creating a fine system to back up penalties for daytime sprinkler abusers would be a start.  
 I irrigate out of  a riparian watershed and I am metering my water use. It is only logical that to control use we must monitor use. There is a requirement to meter riparian ag wells in Calif. but I have no idea how many ag wells actually comply with monitoring requirements. Well users should report and be held accountable for reporting accuracy. At some point failure to comply should be publicly accessible information.
 When orders to curtail water use/ riparian pumping are issued and only 67% of water users comply we have a problem. Without equity of compliance there is no incentive to cooperate. Pumping restrictions in the central valley 2014 only achieved 67% compliance.  
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on April 06, 2015, 11:49:19 PM
For anyone wanting to further explore Calif. Water law I provide the following link. The 455 users listed in the reference are the 23% in non compliance I mentioned in my last post. I think it's illegal to list their identity. So public pressure or censor are not an option.

 http://www.natlawreview.com/article/california-state-water-board-launches-investigation-claims-senior-water-rights (http://www.natlawreview.com/article/california-state-water-board-launches-investigation-claims-senior-water-rights)

Other than the notice I get from the state water board I don't know where the public gets info on water compliance issues but considering the severity of the water issues at least an airing of
Non-compliance seems reasonable.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bigB on April 08, 2015, 07:05:18 PM
The attached image is a snap shot taken from the Yosemite High Sierra webcam on April 8, 2015. Still not ideal, but MUCH better than what it looked like on March 19, 2015 (see reply #356 by Sigmetnow).

EDIT: Here's a better pic from later in the day.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 09, 2015, 04:26:15 PM
Green lawns and golf courses, surrounded by desert.

In Palm Springs, America's 'Oasis' Grapples With Drought
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/palm-springs-americas-oasis-grapples-drought-n337371 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/palm-springs-americas-oasis-grapples-drought-n337371)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on April 09, 2015, 06:44:42 PM
California Is In The Middle Of The Worst Drought In 1,200 Years, And These People Are Doing Something About It
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/09/doing-something-about-the-drought_n_7000126.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/09/doing-something-about-the-drought_n_7000126.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 10, 2015, 05:46:34 PM
It's not the lack of rain, it's the extreme heat putting California in new record territory.  And, "This is only the beginning."

Graph shows the 12-month average temperature, April through March.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-10/california-s-new-era-of-heat-destroys-all-previous-records (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-10/california-s-new-era-of-heat-destroys-all-previous-records)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: oren on April 11, 2015, 11:59:21 PM
That's a seriously impressive chart.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Neven on April 12, 2015, 01:45:08 PM
That's a seriously impressive chart.

Just one word: wow.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 12, 2015, 04:18:26 PM
The linked article identifies a "rogues gallery" of water guzzlers in California, beyond almonds (which this article actually says has a good value to water ratio as compared to other water guzzlers like alfalfa for silage for dairy cows).

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/04/12/398757250/beyond-almonds-a-rogues-gallery-of-guzzlers-in-californias-drought (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/04/12/398757250/beyond-almonds-a-rogues-gallery-of-guzzlers-in-californias-drought)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 12, 2015, 05:36:47 PM
That spike is frightening but it distracts the viewer from the fact that California has experienced "dust bowl"type temperatures for the decade leading up to the recent spike.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on April 12, 2015, 05:42:55 PM
For Drinking Water in Drought, California Looks Warily to Sea
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)

In California, the Grass Is Greener at Coachella
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/business/media/in-california-the-grass-is-greener-at-coachella.html?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/business/media/in-california-the-grass-is-greener-at-coachella.html?partner=rss&emc=rss)

California Delta's Water Mysteriously Missing Amid Drought
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/11/california-delta-water-drought_n_7046260.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/11/california-delta-water-drought_n_7046260.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on April 13, 2015, 06:00:35 PM
Laurent's 3rd link is very interesting.  Those who can are stealing water and claiming the right to take it.  Now other farmers are starting to fight them over their rights.  This will result in a breakdown in the political lobby of the agricultural interests if it goes on long enough - and it likely will.

This is a good thing in that basing water rights from who settled the land 150 years ago throughout the western US is clearly crazy in today's world. 

Do we value the social good over the individual good or vice versa?

Whisky's for drinking and waters for fighting.  As they say.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 13, 2015, 06:27:14 PM
Article discusses recent desalinization projects, particularly in California; and briefly reviews related environmental issues, and possible energy solutions.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/science/drinking-seawater-looks-ever-more-palatable-to-californians.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 14, 2015, 04:03:37 PM
California Drought: Top Water Supplier Moves Toward Rationing
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/california-drought-top-water-supplier-moves-toward-rationing-n340961 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/california-drought-top-water-supplier-moves-toward-rationing-n340961)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on April 14, 2015, 05:54:53 PM
Interesting. There's a big difference between mandatory percent reductions and rationing. With rationing, the water just isn't there.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 14, 2015, 10:48:47 PM
In Drought-Stricken California, Nestlé’s Bottled Water Business Is Under Fire
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/13/3646220/nestles-ups-and-downs-in-california-and-oregon/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/13/3646220/nestles-ups-and-downs-in-california-and-oregon/)

Bottled Water Is Evil—but Not Because of the Water
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/08/12/ditching_bottled_water_is_a_good_idea_but_won_t_help_the_california_drought.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/08/12/ditching_bottled_water_is_a_good_idea_but_won_t_help_the_california_drought.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 16, 2015, 04:18:28 PM
Recycling waste water.

California Takes Serious Look at 'Toilet to Tap' Tech
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/california-takes-serious-look-toilet-tap-tech-n342206 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/california-takes-serious-look-toilet-tap-tech-n342206)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on April 16, 2015, 05:54:15 PM
For me that doesn't look like a good idea, because behind there is a huge release of CO2 (Mining, making the pumps, the pipes...) for doing something that would require nearly no CO2 emission and even store CO2.
That is called a dry toilet. If you separate the urine it is even better, because as mentioned recently on the forum it can be used for fertilising plants. you don't need a big surface...around 2 m2/person/year for the poo and 100 m2 for the urine (could be less). After one year your poo is called ground.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 16, 2015, 07:38:58 PM
Tweet from Elon Musk:
Quote
Have asked SolarCity if we can do something philanthropic with the CA aqueducts to help the water crisis. Investigating…

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/587421152819208193
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 16, 2015, 09:26:49 PM
Here's an article examining some of the potential -- and obstacles -- of solar on the canals, as of 2012.

Could California's Canals Create Clean Energy?
http://www.kcet.org/news/redefine/rewire/solar/photovoltaic-pv/could-californias-canals-create-clean-energy.html (http://www.kcet.org/news/redefine/rewire/solar/photovoltaic-pv/could-californias-canals-create-clean-energy.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 17, 2015, 02:46:04 AM
For me that doesn't look like a good idea, because behind there is a huge release of CO2 (Mining, making the pumps, the pipes...) for doing something that would require nearly no CO2 emission and even store CO2.
That is called a dry toilet. If you separate the urine it is even better, because as mentioned recently on the forum it can be used for fertilising plants. you don't need a big surface...around 2 m2/person/year for the poo and 100 m2 for the urine (could be less). After one year your poo is called ground.

I'm going to need a lot  more houseplants or I could just hang my ass out the third floor apartment window.  :D
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on April 17, 2015, 09:54:55 AM
Ah Shared Humanity, why don't you say it earlier, I have a solution for everything (nearly)  ;)

there is some collective systems :
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine-diverting_dry_toilet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine-diverting_dry_toilet)

What does looks like a dry toilet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbNMmosKmXA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbNMmosKmXA)

If I had to build a new house, instead of bringing my poo every 5 days from point A to point B (50 meters), It is ok for me alone but with 2 or more it becomes very annoying to do that every day. I would build a double toilet system in the house, one is use every 6 months, it is enough time for the the few worms that you would have droped to make manageable ground. (1,5 m3/person/year is ok). Righ now I don't have any ventilation and it is ok for me (of course you should'nt be very sensible, you'll discover that it is a cultural thing) but you can design the flow of air to go out through your toilets.

This situation with big towns is not sustainable, the ecological foot print of the entire town should never exceed the limits of the administrative limits of the town.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 18, 2015, 08:08:04 PM
Another look at California almond water use, by Eric Holthaus.
Quote
For now, California’s unique Mediterranean climate is almost ideal for almonds to flourish. Yes, almonds use a lot of water, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Almonds are much more efficient water-users, per calorie, than dairy or beef, for example. (As a Wisconsin resident, I feel duty-bound to remind everyone at this point that dairy farming can be done almost anywhere—and indeed, dairies in search of more reliable water are leaving California because of the current drought.) Replacing a glass of cow’s milk with almond milk is a net gain for the environment. But almond trees, which must be watered even when they’re not producing, have been gradually displacing fields of row crops that can be fallowed when the weather turns dry. That means by planting almonds, farmers are locking in future water use for decades to come—a troubling trend.
http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2015/04/almonds_in_california_they_use_up_a_lot_of_water_but_they_deserve_a_place.1.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2015/04/almonds_in_california_they_use_up_a_lot_of_water_but_they_deserve_a_place.1.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on April 21, 2015, 01:58:14 PM
Water Pricing To Spur Conservation Ruled Unconstitutional
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/20/california-drought-water-_n_7105202.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/20/california-drought-water-_n_7105202.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 23, 2015, 07:04:17 PM
Plenty of 'blame' to go around.

From Almond Milk to the Putting Green: California Drought Shaming, Diagrammed
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/04/california-drought-shaming-diagrammed (http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/04/california-drought-shaming-diagrammed)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: skanky on April 24, 2015, 11:14:56 AM
Here's a good source on water news, inc/esp California:

http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/ (http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 25, 2015, 07:12:52 PM
Too  stupid to survive.

http://crooksandliars.com/2015/04/ca-lawmakers-moving-block-cities-fining (http://crooksandliars.com/2015/04/ca-lawmakers-moving-block-cities-fining)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: silkman on April 26, 2015, 10:31:02 AM
The Aquafornia News Archive is also an excellent source of "water news you need to know" in California:

http://www.watereducation.org/aquafornia (http://www.watereducation.org/aquafornia)

This story caught my eye today:

http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-california-assembly-acts-to-prohibit-fines-for-brown-lawns-in-droughts-20150423-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-california-assembly-acts-to-prohibit-fines-for-brown-lawns-in-droughts-20150423-story.html)

Brown lawns in Beverly Hills? Whatever next?





Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on April 26, 2015, 02:38:49 PM
Brown lawn... It is a bit stupid you'd better have resistant plants instead all year round so they can protect the soil.
Like this one (and many others) :
http://austinnativelandscap.fatcow.com/Pictures/Queen_Victoria_Agave_Xeriscape_Drought_Tolerant_Plant.jpg (http://austinnativelandscap.fatcow.com/Pictures/Queen_Victoria_Agave_Xeriscape_Drought_Tolerant_Plant.jpg)
http://th09.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2010/159/f/8/Ghost_Plant_by_SpookyKidDesigns.jpg (http://th09.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2010/159/f/8/Ghost_Plant_by_SpookyKidDesigns.jpg)

Using plastic floor to mimic green lawns is not a good idea since it does worsen the problem, sending CO2 in the atmosphere.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on April 29, 2015, 08:41:58 PM
Where Does California's Agricultural Water Go?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/where-does-californias-ag_b_7172200.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/where-does-californias-ag_b_7172200.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 01, 2015, 09:23:23 PM
@EricHolthaus: California snowpack down to just 2% of normal as of May 1, per latest measurements. Horrific. http://t.co/ZStc3YBqW1 (http://t.co/ZStc3YBqW1) http://t.co/JNdLrP2Q3s (http://t.co/JNdLrP2Q3s)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: silkman on May 05, 2015, 09:34:01 AM
It seems the main stream media is starting to join up the dots:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/03/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-california.html?ref=opinion&_r=1 (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/03/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-california.html?ref=opinion&_r=1)

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-29/carbon-energy-production-shrinks-california-water-supplies (http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-29/carbon-energy-production-shrinks-california-water-supplies)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on May 06, 2015, 12:55:04 PM
California Approves Mandatory Water Cutbacks To Combat Drought
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/05/california-water-cutbacks_n_7218696.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/05/california-water-cutbacks_n_7218696.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)

Drought forces California into first mandatory rules to save water
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/06/drought-forces-california-into-first-mandatory-rules-to-save-water (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/06/drought-forces-california-into-first-mandatory-rules-to-save-water)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 06, 2015, 07:10:50 PM
California’s Drought Could Upend America’s Entire Food System
Quote
Up to this point, feats of engineering and underground aquifers have made the drought somewhat bearable for California’s farmers. But if dry conditions become the new normal, how much longer can — and should — California’s fields feed the country? And if they can no longer do so, what should the rest of the country do?

“It’s Not Just A California Drought Problem, It’s A Problem With Our Whole Food System”
...
But that conversion is easier said than done, according to Chase. Farming corn requires a completely different infrastructure than farming produce, and he doesn’t see farmers jumping to replace their crops and machinery with California still capable of producing fruits and vegetables. Equipment for corn or soy farming can cost upwards of $100,000, a financial commitment that encourages farmers to grow crops that are easy to plant and harvest with the machinery.

“It’s not a land issue and it’s not a soil quality issue,” Chase said. “A lot of it is an infrastructure issue or a labor issue, particularly with those products that are so extremely labor intensive.”
...
“Human societies for the last 10,000 years have arisen on that same assumption — climatic stability, the continuation of certain trends indefinitely,” Stoll says. “No one could have known, or only few did, that fossil fuels had the capacity of changing those conditions.”

As Walker sees it, California agribusiness, for a long time, has dealt with problems through engineering. But now — after a century of diverting rivers — there’s simply less surface water to work with.

“It turns out that you can’t overcome all the problems with engineering,” Walker says. “You don’t even need climate change to know that this system was a fantasy.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/05/3646965/california-drought-and-agriculture-explainer/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/05/3646965/california-drought-and-agriculture-explainer/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on May 07, 2015, 04:15:33 PM
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-04/leaking-las-vegas-forced-rationing-looms-lake-mead-faces-federal-water-emergency (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-04/leaking-las-vegas-forced-rationing-looms-lake-mead-faces-federal-water-emergency)

Leaking Las Vegas: Forced Rationing Looms As Lake Mead Faces Federal "Water Emergency"

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fimages%2Fuser3303%2Fimageroot%2F2015%2F05%2F20150504_mead_0.jpg&hash=eb6022252c9d26b8abf738e22e957374)

Quote
If the water level is below 1,075 feet elevation – 4 feet below today’s level – by January 1, 2016, it will trigger a federal water emergency. And water rationing. Las Vegas Review Journal reported that forecasters expect the level to drop to 1073 feet by June, before Lake Powell would begin to release more water. Assuming “average or better snow accumulations in the mountains that feed the Colorado River – something that’s happened only three times in the past 15 years,” the water level on January 1 is expected to be barely above the federal shortage level.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs1.postimg.org%2F54as2bdlb%2FLake_Mead_Comparison.jpg&hash=44ba03737e2abe8f672b0ae356fdf6f8)

However, snow water values for the Upper Colorado River basin show about 40% of what it should be at this time.  So, no there won't be normal inflows to Lake Powell this year.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fs22.postimg.org%2Fkvftyazv5%2FUpper_Colorado.jpg&hash=6c0421031ed51e05c6e8f99341c0bd21)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on May 07, 2015, 05:55:51 PM
Another long term graphical perspective.

http://www.arachnoid.com/NaturalResources/ (http://www.arachnoid.com/NaturalResources/)

And Imperial Valley water issues - Not the Central Valley  - different part of CA and very different water supply sources.

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/05/your-winter-vegetables-are-grown-desert-watered-dwindling-river (http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/05/your-winter-vegetables-are-grown-desert-watered-dwindling-river)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 08, 2015, 01:27:01 PM
Starbucks Moves Water Operation Out of Drought-Stricken California
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/starbucks-moves-water-operation-our-dry-california-n355776 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/starbucks-moves-water-operation-our-dry-california-n355776)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 08, 2015, 07:57:47 PM
California Regulators Approve Unprecedented Water Cutbacks
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/california-regulators-approve-unprecedented-water-cutbacks-n354391 (http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/california-regulators-approve-unprecedented-water-cutbacks-n354391)

'It's Gone' — Snowpack Crucial for West's Water Melts Early
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/its-gone-little-left-wests-crucial-snowpack-n355926 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/its-gone-little-left-wests-crucial-snowpack-n355926)

California's Four-Year Drought Starts a 'Water Truck' Boom
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/californias-four-year-drought-starts-water-truck-boom-n338016 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/californias-four-year-drought-starts-water-truck-boom-n338016)

Can Railroad Water Transportation Help Alleviate California's 4-Year Drought?
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/can-railroads-help-alleviate-californias-4-year-drought-n352071 (http://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/can-railroads-help-alleviate-californias-4-year-drought-n352071)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 08, 2015, 08:04:49 PM
So, it's a dehumidifier, by any other name?  With filters.

Linked from the "water truck" article in the previous comment:
Quote
The Dewpointe Atmospheric Water Generator, also known as the Dong Yang Air Water Machine AD-6, is a machine that filters the air, then removes water from the air, filters this water as well, and then provides hot and cold drinking water to the consumer. The Dewpointe AD-6 is able to do this by employing several different filters. Instead of the original OEM filtering system, our compatible option to the Dewpointe system filters offer made in the USA filters that still produce great tasting, clean water.
http://www.freshwatersystems.com/s-581-dewpointe.aspx (http://www.freshwatersystems.com/s-581-dewpointe.aspx)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 09, 2015, 09:00:07 PM
California Farmers Are Watering Their Crops With Oil Wastewater, And No One Knows What’s In It
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/05/3654388/california-drought-oil-wastewater-agriculture/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/05/3654388/california-drought-oil-wastewater-agriculture/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on May 11, 2015, 06:50:04 PM
California Farmers Are Watering Their Crops With Oil Wastewater, And No One Knows What’s In It
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/05/3654388/california-drought-oil-wastewater-agriculture/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/05/3654388/california-drought-oil-wastewater-agriculture/)

Seems like a great idea.  >:(
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on May 12, 2015, 10:13:37 AM
The blob
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R6RaAYA9OMA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R6RaAYA9OMA)

California drought in pictures: US state running out of water
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/drought/11597289/California-drought-in-pictures-US-state-running-out-of-water.html?frame=3299762 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/drought/11597289/California-drought-in-pictures-US-state-running-out-of-water.html?frame=3299762)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 13, 2015, 09:18:46 PM
Nice infographic on where California's water goes.  (But some rather half-baked thoughts about solutions.)
Quote
In fact, though I am not at all sure here and I’ll want a real economist to double-check this, it seems to me if we wanted to buy out all alfalfa growers by paying them their usual yearly income to just sit around and not grow any alfalfa, that would cost $860 million per year and free up 5.3 million acre-feet, ie pretty much our entire shortfall of 6 million acre-feet, thus solving the drought.
http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/05/11/california-water-you-doing/ (http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/05/11/california-water-you-doing/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 19, 2015, 04:50:34 AM
Washington State Is In A Drought ‘Unlike Any We’ve Ever Experienced’
Quote
Unlike California’s current drought — brought on by a combination of heat and lack of precipitation — both Washington and Oregon’s droughts have been called “wet droughts,” characterized by normal precipitation but above-average temperatures that cause winter snow to fall as rain instead.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/18/3659911/washington-drought-emergency-declared/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/05/18/3659911/washington-drought-emergency-declared/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 22, 2015, 11:13:12 PM
The average American consumes more than 300 gallons of California water each week by eating food that was produced there.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/21/us/your-contribution-to-the-california-drought.html (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/05/21/us/your-contribution-to-the-california-drought.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 22, 2015, 11:21:43 PM
California regulators on Friday accepted a historic offer by farmers to make a 25 percent voluntary water cut to avoid deeper mandatory losses during the drought.
http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/california-oks-offer-voluntary-water-cuts-farmers-n363486 (http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/california-oks-offer-voluntary-water-cuts-farmers-n363486)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 03, 2015, 02:19:20 PM
California Water Use Fell 13.5 Percent in April Amid Drought
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/california-water-use-fell-13-5-percent-april-amid-drought-n368646 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/california-drought/california-water-use-fell-13-5-percent-april-amid-drought-n368646)

The video focuses on the "desert oasis" of Palm Springs.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 07, 2015, 03:07:42 PM
Op-Ed by Dianne Feinstein: How DC can help fight the drought in California
Quote
The federal government can and must play a significant role in proposals for new and expanded reservoirs to store water north and south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta. Most of the environmental studies necessary to evaluate these projects have been languishing for a decade or more, and they must be completed as quickly as possible.

Expanding these storage facilities will benefit not only urban areas, rural communities and farms, but also fish species that depend on the cold-water supplies held in reservoirs. In addition to expediting the federal environmental studies, there's also a role for federal dollars to leverage state investments.
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-feinstein-federal-water-legislation-for-california-20150607-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-feinstein-federal-water-legislation-for-california-20150607-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: A-Team on June 08, 2015, 05:22:44 PM
The NY Times story on the 05 June 15 business page opened a whole new chapter in the book of California groundwater managment stupidity (oxymoron alert). Upstream newcomers can drill like crazy near rivers and reservoirs to lower them before the water can go into irrigation canal intakes going to senior water right holders. Even better, pump so hard that ground subsidence will lower the canal so much that water no longer will flow down it.

This is a great example of laissez-faire capitalism desperately needing a government nanny to step in and regulate the bejezus out of the private sector before it destroys itself along with the state’s groundwater resource. California passed some voluntary regulations (oxymoron alert) last year but the rules don’t kick in for 25 years. An estimated ~20 years of groundwater are left.

This is straight out of Garrett Hardin’s 1968 classic ‘Tragedy of the Commons’, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/162/3859/1243.full (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/162/3859/1243.full)

The dueling water users depicted here are a struggling almond grower from Punjab ($383,987 in EWG cotton subsidies, $14 million annual sales, $8 million 2nd home in Pebble Beach) and a family alfalfa farm ($11,522,057 in USDA subsidies, $3.7 million annual profit on $25 sales) with the ultimate senior water rights.

Here you can look up individual farm gov’t subsidies in the Environmental Working Group data base, http://farm.ewg.org/. (http://farm.ewg.org/.) It is not clear where the public benefit derives when 80% of almonds and alfalfa are exported to Asia. Trickle-down?

It is not clear how more urban sacrifice -- sponge baths, landscaping ripped out — will change what these farmers know full well is a race to the bottom: reckless and irreversible depletion of groundwater. It reminds me more of massive food exports to England during the height of the Irish Potato Famine — only with water.

The Times had a rosy quote about subsidence reversibility from USGS hydrologist and INSAR expert Michelle Sneed. Not believing Sneed was a denier, I chased down her scientific publications, soon finding she had said the exact opposite: "As groundwater levels drop, clay deposits move closer together and space for groundwater is lost. You can never get the deposits to go back." http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5142 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5142)

It all depends on the basin; CA has some 575 of them with varying degrees of characterization. The situation here is a  water table perched over Corcoran clay. Shallow wells (remember them?) access that groundwater. These can be replenished by irrigation with surface water, the more wasteful the better, if you don’t mind a whole lot of selenium, sea salt and farm chemicals.

Deeper wells access a second pool of deeper groundwater, not an underground lake but rather water filling pores in silt and clay. [This is the exact opposite of Glen Canyon dam where the Navajo sandstone pores are being massively and irreversibly hydrated.] Once removed, the weight of ground overhead causes pore compaction.

The resulting subsidence — an astonishing half meter per year in places -- is irreversible: the groundwater reservoir cannot be renewed by pumping or infiltration, it has been strip-mined by one generation of unsustainable agriculture.

The Times ran a most excellent map of regional subsidence. USGS provides extensive resources explaining how the map was made from satellite insar; we use interferometry quite a bit on the Greenland forum for ice sheet velocity and thinning. See methodology section of http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2007/5251/index.html (http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2007/5251/index.html)

The article offers a great quote from “Mr.” Famiglietti (a Princeton Ph.D in engineering and full professor, not worthy of the same respect as the Times’ Dr. Kissinger):

“California passed stronger regulations last year but the rules won’t have any real effect for 25 years or more, says Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at the NASA JPL. “You drill a well on your property, you draw it out, even if it means you draw from under your neighbor’s property,” he says. “You’re drawing water from every direction.” In a normal year, Mr. Famiglietti says, 33 percent of California’s water comes from underground, but this year it is expected to approach 75 percent. Since 2011, he says, the state has lost eight trillion gallons from its overall water reserves, two-thirds of that from its underground aquifers.

We can’t keep doing this,” Mr. Famiglietti says. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/business/energy-environment/california-farmers-dig-deeper-for-water-sipping-their-neighbors-dry.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/business/energy-environment/california-farmers-dig-deeper-for-water-sipping-their-neighbors-dry.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: oren on June 08, 2015, 09:07:00 PM
Excellent article. Everyone's racing to the bottom and will not stop until all underground water is sucked dry.

And so it goes. Unmitigated growth, overshoot, collapse, with no one able to prevent it, and leaving a much worse situation for posterity.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: icefest on June 09, 2015, 08:40:54 AM
Do you have any other information on the saturated Navajo sandstone ateam? I've had a look around but couldn't find anything about permanent damage due to saturation.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 09, 2015, 08:46:55 PM
Thousands lose power in California in temperatures above 100°F, due to overheated equipment -- and a squirrel.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/09/squirrel-power-outage-san-francisco_n_7541184.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/09/squirrel-power-outage-san-francisco_n_7541184.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 13, 2015, 01:55:33 AM
Drought-ravaged California orders record water cuts on farmers
- Order affects Sacramento, San Joaquin and delta watersheds
- Thousands of senior water rights holders will be affected
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/12/california-orders-largest-water-cuts-farmers (http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/12/california-orders-largest-water-cuts-farmers)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 13, 2015, 02:32:01 AM
Quote
Skip Showers For Beef, a new grassroots project born of the California drought, acknowledges that giving up beef — a product that uses huge amounts of water — is hard. So the campaign’s creators have come up with a creative way for Californians to keep eating meat while reducing their water use: Just stop showering.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/06/12/3668126/skip-showers-for-beef/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/06/12/3668126/skip-showers-for-beef/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 15, 2015, 12:16:31 AM
Rich Californians balk at limits: ‘We’re not all equal when it comes to water’
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/rich-californians-youll-have-to-pry-the-hoses-from-our-cold-dead-hands/2015/06/13/fac6f998-0e39-11e5-9726-49d6fa26a8c6_story.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/rich-californians-youll-have-to-pry-the-hoses-from-our-cold-dead-hands/2015/06/13/fac6f998-0e39-11e5-9726-49d6fa26a8c6_story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: A-Team on June 15, 2015, 06:23:25 AM
Quote
Do you have  information on the saturated Navajo sandstone a-team? I've  couldn't find anything about permanent damage due to saturation.

There are two papers, free full text, by consulting hydrologist Dr. Thomas Myers, on this topic. I am not aware of anything controversial about his conclusions, which have been out for two years now. 380,000 acre-feet is a lot of water to lose every year, comparable if not more than evaporative losses (recently quantitated at Lake Mead by eddy covariance).

The physics of it is very simple: Navajo sandstone has a lot of pore space, Glen Canyon Dam is 471 feet deep as of today, that's been enough pressure water to force water about a mile into the rock since the reservoir was filled,. If the lake were drained it would take thousands of years for it to seep out and not all of it would. It is non-recoverable groundwater at this point, a different mechanism from that in clay subsidence but same bottom line.

Lake Mead has relatively non-porous bedrock; the idea is to consolidate the reservoirs to lessen both evaporation and seepage.

http://water.nv.gov/hearings/past/springetal/browseabledocs/exhibits%5CCTGR%20Exhibits/CTGR_EXH_006%20Statement%20of%20Qualifications%20of%20Tom%20Myers,%20Ph.D..PDF (http://water.nv.gov/hearings/past/springetal/browseabledocs/exhibits%5CCTGR%20Exhibits/CTGR_EXH_006%20Statement%20of%20Qualifications%20of%20Tom%20Myers,%20Ph.D..PDF)

http://www.riversimulator.org/Resources/Hydrology/TomMyers.pdf (http://www.riversimulator.org/Resources/Hydrology/TomMyers.pdf)

http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5229/ (http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2013/5229/)

"Lake Powell, which is upstream of the Grand Canyon, is losing more water to seepage than Nevada’s annual Colorado River allotment.

About 380,000 acre-feet every year seeps into the porous Navajo sandstone, according to hydrologist Thomas Myers who studied the water loss and just published a paper about it in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association.

"You lose almost no water to seepage at Lake Mead," Myers said. "It’s a lot less fractured. It just doesn’t allow the water to flow miles and miles away from the reservoir like it does at Lake Powell."

The Glen Canyon Institute commissioned the study. It’s agenda is to restore Glen Canyon and a free flowing river. The institute would like to see more water stored in Lake Mead, which has a less porous foundation."

Loss Rates from Lake Powell and Their Impact on Management of the Colorado River†
Tom Myers Hydrologic Consultant
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 49, Issue 5, Article first published online: 21 JUN 2013
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on June 15, 2015, 07:31:25 PM
Thanks for that A-Team interesting stuff.  Maybe it is not a good idea for Utah to try to hoard the water up in Lake Powell and should send it down to lake mead for storage?  Probably wouldn't help the loss rates by very much, plus I believe that mead has a higher evaporation rate.

Lake Mead is going below stage 1 rationing regime for the first time since filling in the next week or so.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fgraphs.water-data.com%2Flakemead%2Fgraphingengine.php%3Fgraphing%3D1&hash=b8fa69381ae6019f260af19aee14b963)


compare the historical trend:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.arachnoid.com%2FNaturalResources%2Fimage.php%3Fmead&hash=f2cf013e08b17cd7ec43a0dc89f6c083)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: icefest on June 16, 2015, 12:29:39 AM
Thanks ateam.

Quote
  Groundwater flowing toward the river likely no longer reaches it due to backwater caused by the rising reservoir because of backwater into the sediments above the reservoir level (Blanchard, 1986; Thomas,
1986), as seen in rising groundwater levels near the reservoir (Figures 8 and 9). Thomas’ (1986) groundwater model simulations found that a long-term equilibrium would result in about 400 years with
half of the total bank storage having occurred by 1983. He projected that 36 and 57 percent of the second half of the equilibrium storage would be reached within 50 and 100 years, respectively, although his estimates do not account for fluctuation in the reservoir level. This suggests that another 14.8 Gm3 will  accumulate in the banks over the next 400 years. Because the groundwater levels near the reservoir have  already risen to the level of equilibrium storage, most of the future bank storage will be from groundwater  inflow.


It does suggest most of the harm is already done, but that some water may be recoverable by draining the reservoir.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: A-Team on June 16, 2015, 07:58:00 PM
Quote
Lake Mead is going below stage 1 rationing regime for the first time

Under the byzantine rules, the key document is the August 2015 24-month-report, which will appear on Aug 15th. They go by its prediction for Lake Mead for 1 Jan 16. If that predicted level is less than 1075, only then comes the declaration of a Lower Colorado River Basin shortage in 2016, with Arizona CAP ag users to take a partial cut (no effect on California etc).

I don't believe they take things such as el nino or jet stream persistent ridges into account for these predictions. El Nino at predominantly makes the southern areas wetter (eg Tucson) and not so much the Rockies (historically).

The June 15 report, http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/24mo/2015/JUN15.pdf, (http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/24mo/2015/JUN15.pdf,) says:

"Observed unregulated inflow into Lake Powell for the month of  May was  1.61  maf or 69 percent of the 30 year average from 1981 to 2010.  he forecast for June unregulated inflow into Lake Powell is 2.15 maf or 81 percent of the 30 - year average. The  forecasted 201 5 April through July unregulated inflow is 5.00 maf or 70 percent of average.

In this study, the calendar year 2015 diversion for Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) is  projected to be 0.961 maf. The calendar year 2015 diversion for the Central Arizona Project (CAP) is projected to be  1.48 maf. Consumptive use for Nevada above Hoover (SNWP Use) is projected to be 0.226 maf for calendar year 2015."

A shortage declaration doesn't happen simply when Mead hits 1,075, but rather when it starts a new year at 1,075. The latest forecast calls for Mead to be at 1,081.6 on Jan. 1, 2016, and 1,077.6 on Jan. 1, 2017.

Lake Powell will end the year 15 feet higher and 1.3 million acre feet fuller than forecast a month ago because of bizarre May snowfall in the upper watershed.

They are very exercised to keep Lake Mead high as the cost of its electricity -- a giant subsidy to pumpers -- soars as the lake level drops. The US does not sell its electricity at fair market value but simply at a price sufficient to pay BuRec (fixed) overhead at Hoover Dam. It's doubtful that much non-gravity irrigated ag (notably alfala) would occur without this and dozens of other govt subsidies.

UC Santa Barbara did an excellent analysis of power generation costs at Hoover Dam at various lake levels. Their full report is here. http://thebathtubring.weebly.com/ (http://thebathtubring.weebly.com/)

John Fleck continues his dedicated coverage of the overall issue at http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/2015/06/as-lake-mead-drops-who-is-really-vulnerable/ (http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/2015/06/as-lake-mead-drops-who-is-really-vulnerable/) and associated pages.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: A-Team on June 16, 2015, 08:08:46 PM
Here is the govt shoveling taxpayer money to perpetuate the root cause of metropolitan water shortages:

"Meanwhile, USDA's Livestock Forage Program, which provides compensation to farmers and ranchers who experience grazing losses because of drought or fire, is aiming to provide at least $1.2 billion in assistance to livestock producers this fiscal year.

For farmers and ranchers worried about keeping their businesses in the black, the Department of Agriculture is expanding its Risk Management Agency program that allows farmers to exclude their exceptionally bad production years from their calculations of crop insurance coverage. The White House said this is aimed at ensuring that a bad year or two caused by drought does not dramatically reduce crop insurance coverage."

http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/livestock-forage/index (http://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/livestock-forage/index)
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/Disaster-Assist/LFP-Maps/native_pasture_2015.pdf (http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Assets/USDA-FSA-Public/usdafiles/Disaster-Assist/LFP-Maps/native_pasture_2015.pdf)

Meanwhile Gov Brown announced the real solution: 'eat a veggie burger'.
 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on June 16, 2015, 10:19:35 PM
http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/06/15/lake-mead-water-level-improves/28786057/ (http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2015/06/15/lake-mead-water-level-improves/28786057/)

Quote
A shortage would be declared in August if managers expect Lake Mead's levels to hit 1,075 feet at the beginning of next year.

so, yes it is based on the new year, I did not realize that.  Well an El Nino may help (A LOT)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on June 16, 2015, 10:29:56 PM
Wow! great Stuff A-Team!

What I learned:
http://thebathtubring.weebly.com/uploads/2/8/4/1/28410607/the_bathtub_ring_poster.pdf (http://thebathtubring.weebly.com/uploads/2/8/4/1/28410607/the_bathtub_ring_poster.pdf)

Quote
Hydropower generaton will decline as Lake Mead shrinks, increasing energy costs. Costs paid by contractors for hydropower and spot market power will roughly double at 1075’, triple at 1050, quadruple at 1025’ and quintuple at 1000’. Though hydropower rates will surpass spot market rates at lower elevations, Hoover customers are contractually bound to purchase Hoover power untl 2067.   

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_Dam#Power_distribution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoover_Dam#Power_distribution)

The Bureau of Reclamation reports that the energy generated is allocated as follows:[2]

Area   Percentage
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California   28.53%
State of Nevada   23.37%
State of Arizona   18.95%
Los Angeles, California   15.42%
Southern California Edison   5.54%
Boulder City, Nevada   1.77%
Glendale, California   1.59%
Pasadena, California   1.36%
Anaheim, California   1.15%
Riverside, California   0.86%
Vernon, California   0.62%
Burbank, California   0.59%
Azusa, California   0.11%
Colton, California   0.09%
Banning, California   0.05%


Looks like solar is going to get a lot more cost effective in southern california. . .
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: A-Team on June 17, 2015, 04:33:09 PM
Quote
Looks like solar is going to get a lot more cost effective in southern california.


Arizona utilities are fighting solar tooth and nail. $50 per month penalties for homeowners putting energy into the grid from Salt River Project. Even little Trico, an electric cooperative in Tucson, has gone punitive on its members.

Arizona households are entirely nuclear and coal, other than on the margin. I recall all electricity from the Lake Powell dam, Page Generating Station (now down to two smokestacks) plus Arizona's 18.95% share of Lake Mead's subsidizes special interests at way below fair market value, notably pumping water over the mountains from Parker Dam. The 273 miles (439 km) coal slurry pipeline to the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin NV is no longer operational.

The California mandate for 33% renewables by 2020 for retail electric is having a huge effect regionally (in conjunction with cheap natural gas) because coal facilities become uneconomic as CA utilities opt out of their share. The Four Corners plant is currently hanging in the balance. This is also having a huge impact on companies like Peabody as their coal mines have to shut without market demand and cheap 'self-bonding' mine remediation is becoming problematic with the company on the ropes.

Arizona is very well suited for solar, having a million acres or more of abandoned, uninhabited and ecologically devastated ag land like the Avra Valley and a good chunk of the Tucson/Phoenix corridor. It is a very backwards state however and will be very late to the solar game. [Disclosure: our house is on Trico; our well is in Avra Valley, separate from but connected to the CAP recharge aquifer.]
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on June 17, 2015, 05:01:23 PM
Quote
Looks like solar is going to get a lot more cost effective in southern california.

Arizona is very well suited for solar.

Yeah, no kidding!

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.joewein.net%2Fimg%2Fblog%2Finsolation-kwh-forbes.jpg&hash=3c77e76598f66ee450550d5d740a98f0)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: A-Team on June 17, 2015, 07:34:45 PM
According to this, very little of the world's surface would be needed to meet the world's power demand. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec

A walk down memory lane on the miracle of desalination (from J Fleck):

'Living near the ocean in terms of water supply is a blessing, but maybe an expensive one? The Santa Barbara city council voted on 16 Jun 15 to spend megabucks to restart its old desalination project: $3.7 million in the design phase. Restarting the desalination plant will cost approximately $55 million, and more than $4 million a year to operate it.
 
Ocean water desalination in affluent coastal communities is a bit of a yo-yo: build plant in drought, don't need it on the wet side of the cycle. Lather, rinse, repeat, as the Pacific Institute's Amanda Pebler explained last summer:

The idea of building seawater desalination plants during a drought is not a new one. In 1991, a desalination plant in Santa Barbara was constructed in response to the 1987-1992 drought. Once the plant was completed, abundant rainfall rendered the plant cost-inefficient, and it shut down in 1992. Currently, costs to restart the plant are being assessed as the technology and infrastructure are dated and would incur new capital investment.

Likewise, six seawater desalination plants were built in Australia in response to the Millennium Drought. Today, four out of the six plants are idle due to the availability of cheaper alternatives. These examples should serve as cautionary tales.'
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on June 26, 2015, 03:48:00 PM
The State of California's Fire Service has declared this to be the worst fire season ever.

http://www.krcrtv.com/news/local/cal-fire-were-in-the-worst-fire-season-on-record/33768540 (http://www.krcrtv.com/news/local/cal-fire-were-in-the-worst-fire-season-on-record/33768540)

Quote
Officials are calling this year the worst season for fires on record. CAL FIRE has responded to around 1,100 fires in the first six months. The average number of fires for an entire year is around 600 fires.

Firefighters say the high temperatures combined with the four-year drought are creating the perfect conditions for devastating wildfires.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on June 26, 2015, 07:59:57 PM
The State of California's Fire Service has declared this to be the worst fire season ever.

Historically speaking, fire season has only just begun. I was at a presentation last summer (California Climate Adaptation Forum) where Ken Pimlott (Calfire director) noted that fire season has been year-round in California the last few years. It's only going to get worse as climatic water deficit increases. Fun times.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on June 26, 2015, 09:38:47 PM
Fun times.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKnXO3ffITI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKnXO3ffITI)

the west will burn, we have already locked that in.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 01, 2015, 09:51:26 PM
Quote
@billmckibben: Groundwater wells in CA have to go so deep now that the water they bring up is 20,000 years old. https://t.co/NAsGSCtiCU (https://t.co/NAsGSCtiCU)

Quote
@D_Cassandra_D: @billmckibben Our well coupled w/ 1 other has to provide water for 25 homes -it had to be re-drilled at 400+ ft! The farms r out of control.

9 sobering facts about California’s groundwater problem
https://www.revealnews.org/article/9-sobering-facts-about-californias-groundwater-problem/ (https://www.revealnews.org/article/9-sobering-facts-about-californias-groundwater-problem/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: oren on July 02, 2015, 07:26:25 AM
Quote
@billmckibben: Groundwater wells in CA have to go so deep now that the water they bring up is 20,000 years old. https://t.co/NAsGSCtiCU (https://t.co/NAsGSCtiCU)

Quote
@D_Cassandra_D: @billmckibben Our well coupled w/ 1 other has to provide water for 25 homes -it had to be re-drilled at 400+ ft! The farms r out of control.

9 sobering facts about California’s groundwater problem
https://www.revealnews.org/article/9-sobering-facts-about-californias-groundwater-problem/ (https://www.revealnews.org/article/9-sobering-facts-about-californias-groundwater-problem/)

Here's another article linked from this one.

What California can learn from Saudi Arabia’s water mystery
https://www.revealnews.org/article/what-california-can-learn-from-saudi-arabias-water-mystery/ (https://www.revealnews.org/article/what-california-can-learn-from-saudi-arabias-water-mystery/)

Quote
A decade ago, reports began emerging of a strange occurrence in the Saudi Arabian desert. Ancient desert springs were drying up.

Quote
The government announced next year’s wheat harvest will be the country’s last. The Saudis are drinking desalinated water from the ocean – a process too expensive to irrigate farmland.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 03, 2015, 12:51:47 AM
California’s Drought Is Part of a Much Bigger Water Crisis. Here’s What You Need to Know
Quote
A half-decade of torrential rains might bail California out of its crisis, but the larger West's problems are more structural and systemic.  "Killing the Colorado" has shown that people are entitled to more water from the Colorado than has flowed through it, on average, over the last 110 years. Meanwhile much of the water is lost, overused or wasted, stressing both the Colorado system, and trickling down to California, which depends on the Colorado for a big chunk of its own supply. Explosive urban growth matched with the steady planting of water-thirsty crops – which use the majority of the water – don't help. Arcane laws actually encourage farmers to take even more water from the Colorado River and from California's rivers than they actually need, and federal subsidies encourage farmers to plant some of the crops that use the most water. And, as ProPublica has reported, it seems that "the engineering that made settling the West possible may have reached the bounds of its potential" — meaning that even the big dams and canals we built to ferry all this water may now be causing more harm than good.
http://www.propublica.org/article/california-drought-colorado-river-water-crisis-explained (http://www.propublica.org/article/california-drought-colorado-river-water-crisis-explained)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 09, 2015, 12:14:57 AM
The former "Magnum, P.I." actor could end up paying the fees of an investigator for the water district....

Tom Selleck Charged With Stealing Water in California
http://www.newsmax.com/US/tom-selleck-water-california-truck/2015/07/08/id/654043/ (http://www.newsmax.com/US/tom-selleck-water-california-truck/2015/07/08/id/654043/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 11, 2015, 08:48:14 PM
Quote
@passantino: Here’s how much rain California needs to make up the 4-yr drought deficit: 30+ inches in LA/SF http://t.co/8NXYmIxH5c (http://t.co/8NXYmIxH5c) http://t.co/Uixm2xSXBT (http://t.co/Uixm2xSXBT)
https://twitter.com/passantino/status/619936360170807296
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 12, 2015, 08:30:50 PM
Quote
@pauliniguez: Heat continues in CA, 2015 likely top be a Top 5 hottest year (2014 was #1). #cawx http://t.co/6BkWfPYitr (http://t.co/6BkWfPYitr)
https://twitter.com/pauliniguez/status/620272751803170816
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 13, 2015, 11:16:19 PM
Don't Blame Fish for California's Water Shortage
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-07-13/don-t-blame-the-fish-for-california-s-water-shortage (http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-07-13/don-t-blame-the-fish-for-california-s-water-shortage)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 14, 2015, 01:38:43 PM
Video: Saving water at the California State Fair.  Included: soil-free farming.
http://www.nbcnews.com/video/drought-hits-california-state-fair-483384899604 (http://www.nbcnews.com/video/drought-hits-california-state-fair-483384899604)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 14, 2015, 08:59:21 PM
“Water Deeply” is a new website covering the California drought:
http://www.waterdeeply.org (http://www.waterdeeply.org)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Chuck Yokota on July 16, 2015, 07:48:12 PM
Wildfires in California made more extreme by drought.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/15/us/california-fire-season-drought.html (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/15/us/california-fire-season-drought.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on July 17, 2015, 11:12:27 AM
California Orders Farmers To Stop Pumping Water
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-orders-farmers-to-stop-pumping-water_55a83edfe4b04740a3df8f7e?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green&section=green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-orders-farmers-to-stop-pumping-water_55a83edfe4b04740a3df8f7e?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green&section=green)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 18, 2015, 04:34:07 PM
Now you need to check up-to-the-moment wildfire extent, not just traffic, when you drive in California.  :o

Cars Catch Fire After California Wildfire Jumps Freeway
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/cars-catch-fire-after-california-brush-fire-jumps-freeway-n394241 (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/cars-catch-fire-after-california-brush-fire-jumps-freeway-n394241)

The "On-Scene" video that plays after the intial one better shows what happened and the extent of the damage.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 20, 2015, 02:07:31 AM
Record-breaking July storms sweep into drought-stricken California
http://mashable.com/2015/07/19/california-record-storms/ (http://mashable.com/2015/07/19/california-record-storms/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 20, 2015, 01:10:55 PM
"It never rains in Southern California" —– until it does.  Remnants of Tropical Storm Dolores wash out a major highway, and postpone an Angels baseball game for the first time in 20 years.

Flooding, Bridge Collapse Shut Down 10 Freeway East of Coachella
http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/Thunderstorms-Continue-Through-Weekend-317323541.html# (http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/Thunderstorms-Continue-Through-Weekend-317323541.html#)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on July 21, 2015, 05:41:25 PM
Quote
................Here’s what’s more likely, using the example of the case we’ve been examining, the case of California and the American Southwest:

Any attempt to have (consumer) “growth” and a climate solution means we’ll have neither. Put differently, all fast, effective climate solutions will involve some sacrifice of the consumer economy. The only way to guarantee “growth” in the consumer economy is to have a slow and ineffective solution — until it all comes apart.
Note that the “consumer economy” is not the whole economy, meaning aggregate GDP. Did the World War II economy involve “growth” in a consumer goods sense? Obviously not, yet we survived and even thrived. The country cleared all the debris of the Great Depression in one swoop. All it took was willingness to sacrifice, something the American people were happy to do, given the alternative.

So too with the climate solutions war. To win that will take sacrifice. Something people will be willing to do once climate awareness reaches critical mass.

Great article.  But that last bolded bit about folks being willing to sacrifice?  Might be best said that they will be quite willing to have 'you' sacrifice for them.  No one is going to give up anything willingly if there is someone with less money and power they can put it off on.



http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/07/gaius-publius-california-drought-the-bigger-water-crisis-the-consumer-economy%E2%80%8B.html (http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/07/gaius-publius-california-drought-the-bigger-water-crisis-the-consumer-economy%E2%80%8B.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on July 21, 2015, 05:46:38 PM
And here we go.

Quote
Regulators proposed a record $1.5-million fine Monday against a Northern California irrigation district after it allegedly diverted more than 670 million gallons of water illegally — a rare enforcement action that escalates the legal battle between Gov. Jerry Brown and the state’s oldest water rights holders.

In issuing its draft complaint against the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District, the State Water Resources Control Board signaled a new willingness to confront the state’s senior agricultural water suppliers, many of whom insist that their water rights from 1914 and before are beyond government reach....


http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-drought-enforcement-20150720-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-drought-enforcement-20150720-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 23, 2015, 05:34:59 PM
Solar desalination will soon help with California's drought:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/23/3682598/first-commercial-solar-desalination-plant-in-california/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/23/3682598/first-commercial-solar-desalination-plant-in-california/)

Extract: "WaterFX, a San Francisco-based water producer for agricultural and commercial users, recently announced that its California subsidiary, HydroRevolution, plans to build the state’s first commercial solar desalination plant. To be located in the agriculture-intensive Central Valley, the plant will ultimately generate up to 5,000 acre-feet, or 1.6 billion gallons, of clean water per year — enough water for 10,000 homes or 2,000 acres of cropland. It will be built on 35 acres of land currently used to grow salt-tolerant crops, and will recycle unusable irrigation water from a 7,000-acre drainage area into a new and much-needed source of freshwater for nearby water districts by removing unwanted mineral and salts."
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 23, 2015, 06:37:00 PM
All that record-breaking rain in California still isn’t enough to dent the drought
Quote
These rainfall totals might not seem like much — all of San Diego’s rainfall so far this month could fall in any number of garden-variety thunderstorms east of the Rockies today — but for Southern California, this is epic summer rain. Mashable’s Andrew Freedman pointed out that San Diego’s weekend rains were more than what they saw in all of January this year. January is typically San Diego’s second-wettest month in the year, with winter being the rainy season and summer being the dry season.

As National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sirard said, “Really, this is super historic.”

However, even when California gets epic, super historic, rarely-seen rainfall, it’s not enough to to bring any kind of drought relief to a region that is quite literally running out of water. It won’t even come close.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/07/20/all-that-record-breaking-rain-in-california-still-isnt-enough-to-dent-the-drought/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/07/20/all-that-record-breaking-rain-in-california-still-isnt-enough-to-dent-the-drought/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 25, 2015, 01:25:32 AM
Solar desalination will soon help with California's drought:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/23/3682598/first-commercial-solar-desalination-plant-in-california/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/07/23/3682598/first-commercial-solar-desalination-plant-in-california/)

Extract: "WaterFX, a San Francisco-based water producer for agricultural and commercial users, recently announced that its California subsidiary, HydroRevolution, plans to build the state’s first commercial solar desalination plant. To be located in the agriculture-intensive Central Valley, the plant will ultimately generate up to 5,000 acre-feet, or 1.6 billion gallons, of clean water per year — enough water for 10,000 homes or 2,000 acres of cropland. It will be built on 35 acres of land currently used to grow salt-tolerant crops, and will recycle unusable irrigation water from a 7,000-acre drainage area into a new and much-needed source of freshwater for nearby water districts by removing unwanted mineral and salts."
And this, from same article:
Quote
Using something called Aqua4 technology, the desalination process creates zero excess discharge and produces only freshwater and solid salt as co-products. This differs from traditional desalination where up to half the discharge ends up as brine back in the ocean.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on July 28, 2015, 08:19:57 PM
And this, from same article:
Quote
Using something called Aqua4 technology, the desalination process creates zero excess discharge and produces only freshwater and solid salt as co-products. This differs from traditional desalination where up to half the discharge ends up as brine back in the ocean.

Whatever other contaminants are in that "unusable irrigation water" are contained in that solid salt product. What is done with the salts? What is the cost? I am extremely skeptical that desal is the answer when considering the scale of the question.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: A-Team on July 30, 2015, 05:03:50 AM
Quote
Whatever other contaminants are in that "unusable irrigation water" are contained in that solid salt product.
Aqua4 sounds like nothing more than ordinary multi-stage steam distillation using heat from a massive solar collector. I don't see how it is possible to claim the water is pure: anything volatile would distill over and be co-condensed with the water, for example some pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fungicides, diesel, VOCs, methanol, formaldehyde, ammonia, on and on. Some of these like ethanol form azeotropes where it is not possible to alter the volume fractions by distillation. There would not be a membrane step (reverse osmosis) because of its water pressure demand (pumping).

On the flip sides, salts and ionic components -- in California ag wastewater that means arsenic, nitrites, nitrates, borates, phosphates and selenate -- would not distill over, along with whatever virus, bacteria and fungal spores survived the drying.

I could see an extremely concentrated brine being produced but the very last stages would waste a very large amount of their solar energy to bring this to a fully anhydrous (dry) product. However by volume, the waste would not represent much of a disposal problem, given what is currently legal to put in a landfill and would not be classified as hazardous waste.

What struck me is the large land area needed for the solar collector, the small volume of water produced relative to a crop like alfalfa using perhaps 10 acre feet over a year (only to be exported to China), the small acreage of farming gained (0.1 farms) and the cost to the farm for water that cannot be produced to match seasonal need without expensive storage.  However I could see an exciting application in cleaning up really contaminated sites, for example Kesterson Refuge, Hanford or leaking fuel tank diesel floating on groundwater as in Ontario, Oregon.

http://waterfx.co/aqua4/ (http://waterfx.co/aqua4/)

[I added tile-water borate to the list of Central Valley salts that would not be in the distillate. This is sometimes alluded to as boron but like selenium, the element is not encountered outside of labs, only the oxidized form. Selenium is an essential vertebrate nutrient at sub-micromolar levels but causes bird deformities at the higher levels in Central Valley evaporative sumps.]
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on July 30, 2015, 06:11:30 PM
A-Team,

Thank you for much more thoroughly (and precisely) making my point!  :)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 30, 2015, 06:12:25 PM
And a little farther up the West Coast:

Quote
@JimCantore: Washington jumps >33% into D3-D4 #drought in one week! http://t.co/joZv0G7OUJ (http://t.co/joZv0G7OUJ)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 30, 2015, 08:41:17 PM
Quote
@EricHolthaus: Drought intensifies as lack of winter snowpack catches up with the Northwest's blazing summer
http://t.co/DwmRcZHXRm (http://t.co/DwmRcZHXRm)
http://t.co/5Swtq7NM2p (http://t.co/5Swtq7NM2p)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 30, 2015, 08:48:30 PM
It's not just the rain.  It's the people.

Why Asking ‘How Much Rain Will End the Drought?’ Is the Wrong Question
http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/california-drought/why-asking-how-much-rain-will-end-the-drought-is-the-wrong-question/ (http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/california-drought/why-asking-how-much-rain-will-end-the-drought-is-the-wrong-question/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 31, 2015, 07:46:44 PM
California's Drought Is So Bad That Thousands Are Living Without Running Water
"This is an ever-expanding, invisible disaster."
http://m.motherjones.com/environment/2015/07/drought-5000-californians-dont-have-running-water (http://m.motherjones.com/environment/2015/07/drought-5000-californians-dont-have-running-water)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 01, 2015, 02:06:45 AM
Quote
@BreakingNews: California Gov. Jerry Brown declares state of emergency due to wildfires - @KTVU. 
http://t.co/iJFGabQVq5 (http://t.co/iJFGabQVq5) 
More than 7,000 firefighters continue to fight the Rocky Fire, which has spread to over 15,000 acres and is only 5% contained.
http://abc7news.com/news/rocky-fire-near-clear-lake-spreads-to-15000-acres/895416/ (http://abc7news.com/news/rocky-fire-near-clear-lake-spreads-to-15000-acres/895416/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 01, 2015, 02:35:19 AM
The difference between knowing something and seeing something
Quote
The lake is at 33% capacity, and photos of Oroville’s drop have been published for years. But, still, that first glimpse: My eyes traveled from the treeline down-down-down burnt-orange cliffs and finally to the water. The houseboats crowded on the narrowed lake looked like they were cars in a choo-choo train.

“Oh God,” we both said.
http://drylandsca.latimes.com/post/125528199917/the-difference-between-knowing-something-and (http://drylandsca.latimes.com/post/125528199917/the-difference-between-knowing-something-and)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JER on August 02, 2015, 03:19:49 AM
A-Team, thanks for all the very interesting and important information you provided about the limitations of the Aqua4 system. I'm especially interested in your discussion of the various things that would not distill over. As you indicated, there are a lot of exciting potential applications for a process that gets those things out of water. I'm working on a book about California's Salton Sea, and what you've explained certainly has important relevance there.

Because I'm doing a lot of work on CA water and agriculture issues, I want to clarify some things regarding this comment:

"...a crop like alfalfa using perhaps 10 acre feet over a year (only to be exported to China)."

During the drought, a lot of people and media outlets have been complaining about alfalfa (and, more recently, almonds). A lot of what is being said isn't correct. Yet it's constantly repeated. In California state-wide, alfalfa actually uses 4.9 acre-feet of water annually. (CA Dept. of Water Resources data.) Of course the figure is a little lower or a little higher depending on the specific location in the state where the crop is being grown. Also, it's important to keep in mind that alfalfa yields multiple cuttings per year. That means there are, say, 4 to 6 or even more harvests of the crop annually for that 4.9 acre-feet of water. That's true of very few crops, and it's a fact that's not reflected in charts that compare the water requirements of different crops.

Regarding complaints in various media outlets and elsewhere that CA farmers are "sending most of our water to China" in the form of alfalfa: Actually, a relatively small portion of the alfalfa grown in CA is exported, and only a fraction of what's exported goes to China. (I can't provide exact figures, but I'm in the process of trying to figure out what they are for my project. So far, based on my research in Imperial Valley, my best guess would be that a maximum of 30% of CA's alfalfa is exported. It goes to several countries, including Japan, Saudi Arabia, and China.) Most of the alfalfa grown in California actually remains in California to support the state's multi-billion-dollar dairy industry. California is America's leading producer of most dairy products. The state's renowned production of yogurt, ice-cream, milk, cheese, butter, etc. would not be possible without immense quantities of alfalfa. It has unique nutritional value for dairy cows. And some alfalfa is used to support beef cattle as well. Also, when alfalfa crops fail in other states - due to drought, flooding, etc. - alfalfa grown in California supports the dairy cows (and cattle to a lesser extent) in those states too.

So, yes, alfalfa uses a lot of water in California, but when yield is considered it's not the extravagant amount of water that most people think it is. And yes, there's a lot of alfalfa grown in California, but there's a giant dairy industry that requires it and couldn't exist without it.

If everyone were vegan, we could stop growing most of the alfalfa that's currently produced. But we know that's not going to happen.

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: A-Team on August 02, 2015, 05:41:35 AM
I'm recalling 80% of alfalfa is now exported, primarily to China. Same as almonds. Sudangrass and bermudagrass from the Imperial Valley go mainly to Japan. Chinese have actually been buying up water rights, land and alfalfa operations -- a giant example being outside of Vernal, UT. This is Green River water, so Colorado River water.

The Pacific Institute is by far the best source of facts on the many issues with desert alfalfa, not the whole owned industry advocacy group called the State Dept of Ag. The acre-feet depends on how many cuttings (monthly in some places), how hard they water in the hottest summer months, whether they deliberately over-water to flush out salts (and cut dust in the Salton Sea) or deliberately waste it just to hold on to beneficial use rights. Even UC Davis came out against summer alfalfa.

Wisconsin for many decades was the Dairy State but was crushed by agricultural subsidies in California (which are too numerous to list but you could start by looking up the millions your hosts receive at http://farm.ewg.org/ (http://farm.ewg.org/)). Wisconsin family farmers are perfectly capable of replacing these awful dairy feedlots in California which have no, and I do mean zero, pasture.

Imperial Valley generational farmers? How could the Bass Brothers possibly purchase 15% of the land in 2-3 years (with the idea of flipping the water to San Diego, which is the destiny of all the water wasted there as dairy shifts to cheaper corn).

In terms of top global methane emitters seen by satellite, consider Coalinga, CA where 100,000+ head of cattle are ‘pastured’ on 800 acres, which by anybody's reckoning is a Confined Animal Feeding Operation or CAFO just like almost all 2100 SoCa dairies. (The other hotspot is San Juan County abandoned coal methane infrastructure dating back to the 1920's.)

However the incredible carbon and especially methane footprint of cattle and dairy -- considering the whole production chain, the dead zone in the Gulf, on and on -- has been the subject of many articles, such as the UN's Long Shadow of the Cow.

Meatless Mondays is a beginning but by far the easiest and most quantitatively impactful way to abruptly arrest global greenhouse gas increase is a vegetarian diet. Stopping the rubbish about calcium supplementation preventing osteoporosais would be helpful as well.

Nobody 'needs' any beef or dairy product -- it's all Cecil the Lion stuff: high impact 'wants' of terribly selfish people oblivious to their planetary footprint. Beef and dairy are not foods, they are anti-foods that takes 7-8 lbs of grain off someone else's plate. Not to mention freaking amounts of Colorado river water.

All of this was already implicit in Diet for a Small Planet (1971 bestseller of Frances Moore Lappé) the first major book to ridicule beef and dairy 'protein' (the 9 essential amino acids are provided better by bean mixes) and thoroughly document the environmental impact of meat production as a wasteful contributor to global food scarcity.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on August 02, 2015, 06:24:55 AM
"If everyone were vegan ... But we know that's not going to happen."

First, it's not necessary for everyone to go completely vegan.

Second, why is it impossible that lots of people would eat a lot less meat and dairy? My daughter, wife and myself have recently gone vegan, and I personally know of probably dozens of other people who have done so just in the last year.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on August 02, 2015, 08:00:08 AM
JER, I appreciate your info on Calif. alfalfa. I don't want to get into a fight with my friends who have made the switch to vegan diets . Somehow , and I don't mean to insult anyone, it seems facts about sea ice need scientific rigor that food issues lack.
 To really get at how concerned individuals discuss these issues I believe we need to reduce our discussions to a common metric. Since energy and specifically fossil fuel energy is responsible for sea ice loss and potentially cataclysmic weather related changes that will devastate farming and food production I try to keep my focus on energy and calories. Both can be converted to common denominators. Apples to apples as it were. Wether we ship ag products to Japan, China or Saudia Arabia and import products supported by low waged labor and lax environmental standards  isn't a moral issue , it is an energy issue. If you can figure out how to feed yourself with meat and avoid the fossil fuel inputs that typically support them then meat ( or cheese ) is just as righteous as veggies. I have produced both and commercially fished also. It ain't religion or morals it is energy and energy inputs of refrigeration , transport, food waste, and yes food production ( both fishing and farming ) that will bring down billions of humans and countless trillions of other lifeforms as we wander haplessly into the future. If bright minds like those that frequent this forum can't at least talk in a language that is quantifiable then I am afraid all is lost.  Maybe I think that all to often these days. 
 Don't wanta fight no more. I am tired, but I will fight as long as I have breath. 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JER on August 02, 2015, 11:21:51 AM
I think some of you may have misunderstood where I'm coming from. I'm simply trying to understand the facts concerning a couple of narrow issues and state them.

A-Team, you may be surprised by this, but I agree with much of what you've said. But I think some of the things you've said aren't correct. For example, based on the data with which I'm familiar, it is not correct that 80% of CA alfalfa is exported, mostly to China. (BTW, I also don’t think it’s correct that 80% of CA almonds are exported, but I haven’t examined the raw data myself so I can’t say for sure. I gather that CA provides 80% of the world’s almonds (though, again, I haven’t examined the raw data myself), but that’s not the same as shipping 80% of CA’s almonds overseas. The two things conceivably could both be 80%, but I haven’t seen reliable information saying that.)  If you're sure that you've seen a reliable source for the alfalfa figure (80% shipped overseas), please do give me the reference. I'm interested, it's important, and I genuinely want to know the facts. I'd also appreciate it if you could give me the reference you mentioned in which "UC Davis came out against summer alfalfa." Again, I want to understand the facts and the science.

Regarding the figure of 4.9 acre-feet for alfalfa that I mentioned, I did not get that from the CA Dept. of Agriculture as you seem to think. It is in the Pacific Institute's 2015 report on agricultural water usage. Pacific Institute cites, as I did, the CA Dept. of Water Resources as the source.

A-Team, you said, "...you could start by looking up the millions your hosts receive." You seem to be implying that my work is being sponsored by the dairy industry or the agricultural industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. I receive zero funding or support of any kind from those industries, and none from any other industries. I actually receive some funding via the Pacific Institute; they are my 501(c)(3) pass-through agent ("fiscal sponsor") for some grant funding. I, like they, focus on fact-based, science-based analysis. I am, as they are, concerned about the fate of the Salton Sea and the impacts on wildlife and people that will occur if it continues to be deprived of water and allowed to desiccate. And yes, Imperial Valley agriculture is potentially at risk as well (and so is Coachella Valley agriculture). That's simply a fact. If the entire region turns into a giant toxic dustbowl because the Salton Sea has been allowed to desiccate and turn into a much larger source of PM10 and PM2.5 than the dry playa of Owens Lake, then one of the casualties will be an agricultural region that produces a lot of crops that are part of America’s food supply system. America will have to figure out where those food resources are going to come from if they can't come from the Imperial and Coachella Valleys anymore. I'm researching every issue relevant to the past, present, and future of the Salton Sea and surrounding region, including, e.g., geology, seismology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, wildlife biology and ecology, meteorology, the history and politics and allocation of Colorado River water, agricultural subjects, a variety of climate change issues, and more. I'm trying to understand every aspect of the relevant facts and science. Trying to sort out the details and facts related to alfalfa – rather than relying on anyone’s dogma or sound bites – happens to be one of the countless efforts I’m undertaking so that I can present all of the issues and facts and science in an accurate and readily understandable way.

I am certainly not an advocate on behalf of the dairy and beef industries. If you knew me, you’d laugh uncontrollably at the very suggestion of that. I'm extremely disturbed by the process and consequences of industrial-scale meat and dairy production. I'm a near-vegan vegetarian. I'm strongly in favor of everyone reducing meat in their diets. Wili, I certainly do think some reduction, maybe even significant reduction in meat and dairy consumption is possible on a national and international basis. But I think it’s wishful thinking to believe that it's going to be feasible to get the world (especially America) off of meat completely. So, if that’s the case, the world needs to figure out how to produce meat and dairy (hopefully much less meat and dairy) in much better ways than we’re currently using.

Bruce, I absolutely agree that when evaluating our food choices it’s the total “footprint” that’s crucial, and that includes energy consumption and carbon emissions, plus water consumption, waste, and many other things. But I was simply addressing the very narrow question of how much water is actually used to grow alfalfa in CA, and how much of the crop remains in CA or is shipped abroad. And, as I said, with regard to water the answer is that on a field-by-field basis it uses less than most people think it does, but because CA grows a huge quantity of it, the total amount of water ends up being very large. My other point was simply that the reason it’s large is in part because the CA dairy industry relies heavily on alfalfa because it’s nutritionally important for milk production, and America wants a lot of dairy products. I wasn’t making a value judgement of any kind about any of those things. I wasn’t saying CA should be growing all of that alfalfa or that we should be sending any of it overseas or that CA should have a big dairy industry. I was simply stating what I believe to be the current facts. I’m certainly eager to be corrected if I’ve got the facts wrong. And I would hope that other people who care about making a reasoned analysis of important issues would also want to be corrected if they’ve got some facts wrong.

Many people – on all sides of a variety of issues – are so influenced by ideology (and often by self-interest as well) that they don't base what they say on facts. This is an immense problem with regard to CA water issues. There's so much fighting and blaming going on -- much of which has nothing to do with the facts -- that it often seems we'll never be able to solve the very real problems involved. (In the American West, as Mark Twain is said to have pointed out, “Whiskey’s for drinking, water’s for fighting.”)  And with regard to where one obtains facts, unfortunately the media are sometimes not reliable sources of information. Solid, reliable journalism is much harder to find these days than it should be, and frankly it seems to be getting harder all the time. There’s a lot of misinformation out there parading around as fact. The problems we face are immensely complex and difficult, and there are no easy solutions. We’re certainly not going to make progress solving the problems if the arguments on all sides are dogmatic and misinformed. But it’s an uphill battle trying to get people to leave their ingrained misconceptions and biases at the door and engage in reasonable, responsible, fact-based, science-based discussion with the common goal of actually developing viable solutions.

EDIT: Just want to clarify one thing. Although there may be a few small exceptions that I'm not familiar with, dairy cows in CA don't eat alfalfa as pasture; they eat it as hay. Same for beef cattle (although they're fed a lot less alfalfa than dairy cows are, because it's not nutritionally important for them in the same ways).
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: TerryM on August 03, 2015, 01:55:15 AM
I attended a lecture a few decades back on the damage free range cattle had done to the San Juan River in Arizona. I extrapolated from that to the damage I'd witnessed around Overton in Nevada & decided to basically forgo beef. Not wishing to attempt a vegan or even a vegetarian diet I've been happily munching on lots of pork products, chicken and fish.
While feasting on BBQ ribs as opposed to a T-Bone steak may not seem much of a sacrifice, many of us are far more likely to be able to sustain a meat substitution regime rather than the elimination of all animal foods.
My choice was based on the destruction that cattle do in barely riparian, semi desert terrain.  I hope that pork and poultry are in fact better for the  planet as a whole.
Terry
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on August 03, 2015, 03:48:31 AM
As a geology student 40 years ago, I "learned" that (something like) a century's worth of volcanos (or was it Krakatoa by itself?) produced more air pollution (maybe it was specifically SO2 or particulate matter) than humankind had produced in 10,000 years.  Until 6 or 8 years ago when I started looking into climate change issues, I presumed my "facts" were true.  That my memory of what I was taught wasn't clear didn't bother me until I read websites including WUWT and Skeptical Science and figured out in what direction truth lay.  Some (many?) of the details I learned are actually not true (science moves forward), or my memory of the details have been corrupted.  (I now know that what I recall having been taught is not useful, and is probably not true.)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 03, 2015, 02:55:51 PM
California Wildfires: 12,000 Evacuated as Rocky Fire Rages, Grows
Quote
Described as "unprecendented" by authorities, the largest blaze — which is known as the Rocky Fire — tore across the Lower Lake area north of San Francisco. It almost tripled in size to 84 square miles over the weekend.

The scale of the blaze has prompted officials to order 12,000 people to evacuate their homes, according to The Sacramento Bee newspaper. Several roads were also closed.

The fire has already destroyed 24 homes and 26 outbuildings and was threatening 6,300 homes, officials said.
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/western-wildfires/california-wildfires-12-000-evacuated-rocky-fire-rages-grows-n402916 (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/western-wildfires/california-wildfires-12-000-evacuated-rocky-fire-rages-grows-n402916)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 11, 2015, 08:45:18 PM
Quote
@voxdotcom: Shade balls are California's most mesmerizing water-saving trick: http://t.co/amc0cs6GCC (http://t.co/amc0cs6GCC)
http://t.co/yjwJKTI6Is (http://t.co/yjwJKTI6Is)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 13, 2015, 12:51:45 AM
More Than Half of San Jose's Guadalupe River Is Gone
http://www.weather.com/climate-weather/drought/news/dry-guadalupe-river-san-jose-california (http://www.weather.com/climate-weather/drought/news/dry-guadalupe-river-san-jose-california)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 13, 2015, 01:57:30 AM
More Than 11,000 Firefighters Now Battling 18 Wildfires In California
http://www.buzzfeed.com/salvadorhernandez/more-than-11000-firefighters-now-battling-18-wildfires-in-ca (http://www.buzzfeed.com/salvadorhernandez/more-than-11000-firefighters-now-battling-18-wildfires-in-ca)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Yuha on August 24, 2015, 02:19:51 AM
A new paper on the role of AGW in California drought:

Williams & al.: Contribution of anthropogenic warming to California drought during 2012–2014. Geophysical Research Letters, 20 August 2015.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL064924/full
 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL064924/full)

Quote
Precipitation is the primary driver of drought variability but anthropogenic warming is estimated to have accounted for 8–27% of the observed drought anomaly in 2012–2014 and 5–18% in 2014. Although natural variability dominates, anthropogenic warming has substantially increased the overall likelihood of extreme California droughts.

The paper is paywalled but an LA Times story has this summary:
http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-climate-change-drought-20150820-story.html
 (http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-climate-change-drought-20150820-story.html)

Quote
Williams and his colleagues made their forecast after conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the annual variations of drought and weather conditions at 23,955 locations throughout California. In each of those seven-square-mile plots, the team assessed the precipitation, temperature, wind, humidity and solar radiation for each month over the last 120 years.

All those measurements were plugged into a computer simulation and used to determine the rate of evaporation at each site, Williams said. By comparing changes over time and modeling a range of scenarios, the team calculated that at least 8% of the drought could be attributed to global climate change. The upper limit, they found, was no more than 27%.

"If it turns out that the real contribution is closer to 8%, it means the global warming process is underway and may take a few more years before it becomes a dominant player in California drought conditions," he said. "If, however, it is closer to 27%, it means we have already reached [that] point."

The team's best guess is that the true range "is about 15% to 20% — smack dab in the middle," Williams said.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 25, 2015, 05:16:01 PM
Also blasts Carly Fiorina for blaming enviromentalists, Dems and dams for the drought.

Jerry Brown says California’s groundwater management ‘not aggressive enough’
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article31965159.html (http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article31965159.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on August 25, 2015, 06:59:07 PM
Jerry Brown says California’s groundwater management ‘not aggressive enough’
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article31965159.html (http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article31965159.html)

What groundwater management?  ;)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 27, 2015, 09:51:48 PM
California Water Usage Down
Officials: California cities cut water use by combined 31 percent in July, exceeding mandate.
http://www.usnews.com/news/science/news/articles/2015/08/27/california-cut-water-use-by-31-percent-in-july-amid-drought (http://www.usnews.com/news/science/news/articles/2015/08/27/california-cut-water-use-by-31-percent-in-july-amid-drought)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 06, 2015, 02:20:54 AM
Quote
@EricHolthaus: Brother-in-law in town from SF/Oakland: Talk about the drought is "constant", water rates doubled, water from tap starting to taste "dirty"

https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/640247318080458752 (https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/640247318080458752)
Quote
@EricHolthaus: @libbybrittain to clarify, I think he was talking about Berkeley water. He said SF water still tastes fine.

https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/640249142959169537 (https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/640249142959169537)
Quote
@drewfinke: @EricHolthaus @libbybrittain water being sourced from different location in reservoir to reserve cool H20 for salmon http://t.co/WnoRamL01V (http://t.co/WnoRamL01V)

https://twitter.com/drewfinke/status/640255699075731456 (https://twitter.com/drewfinke/status/640255699075731456)
East Bay Municipal Utility District Blames Drought for Pungent Taste of Tap Water
http://ww2.kqed.org/news/2015/03/31/ebmud-blames-drought-for-pungent-taste-of-tap-water (http://ww2.kqed.org/news/2015/03/31/ebmud-blames-drought-for-pungent-taste-of-tap-water)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 08, 2015, 03:31:45 AM
Quote
@Weather_West: Prolonged heatwave across all of California over the coming week, including coastal areas. #CAwx #CAfire #CAdrought http://t.co/WcmpchR4S2 (http://t.co/WcmpchR4S2)

https://twitter.com/weather_west/status/640784186450706432 (https://twitter.com/weather_west/status/640784186450706432)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on September 08, 2015, 07:26:33 PM
Quote
@Weather_West: Prolonged heatwave across all of California over the coming week, including coastal areas. #CAwx #CAfire #CAdrought http://t.co/WcmpchR4S2 (http://t.co/WcmpchR4S2)

https://twitter.com/weather_west/status/640784186450706432 (https://twitter.com/weather_west/status/640784186450706432)

We're projected to be 20* above average for the week. That means high 90s to low 100s for me. Yuck.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 16, 2015, 01:43:21 AM
Study Finds Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada to Be Lowest in 500 Years
Quote
The snow that blanketed the Sierra Nevada in California last winter, and that was supposed to serve as an essential source of fresh water for the drought-stricken state, was at its lowest levels in the last 500 years, according to a new study.

The paper, published on Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, used tree-ring data from centuries-old blue oaks to provide historical context for the mountain range’s diminished snowfall. As of April 1, the snowpack levels were just 5 percent of their 50-year historical average.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/science/california-snow-report.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/15/science/california-snow-report.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 16, 2015, 08:06:54 PM
RAIN!  In SoCal!  Hysteria ensues?   ;D

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/09/16/buzzfeeds-l-a-rain-video-is-so-accurate-its-not-even-funny/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/09/16/buzzfeeds-l-a-rain-video-is-so-accurate-its-not-even-funny/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on September 16, 2015, 11:09:51 PM
RAIN!  In SoCal!  Hysteria ensues?   ;D

Not quite a drought buster, but nice to feel on the face. Here's hoping it helps with the Valley Fire.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 25, 2015, 09:08:30 PM
Watchdog panel calls for immediate action to avoid 'disaster' at Salton Sea
Quote
As the Salton Sea shrinks, toxic dust storms will increase, harming public health in the Imperial and Coachella valleys, the report warned. The region's economy will suffer and migratory birds will die or be forced to go elsewhere.
...
A similar call has come from officials in Imperial and Riverside counties. The Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based environmental think tank, issued a report last year predicting an environmental catastrophe unless swift and substantial action is taken.
...
To be replenished, the Salton Sea, 35 miles long and an average 15 miles wide, is largely dependent on agricultural runoff. Its salt level exceeds that of the ocean and fish die-offs are common.

As runoff decreases, due to more efficient irrigation and a 2003 water sales pact between the Imperial Irrigation District and the San Diego County Water Authority, the sea continues to shrink, with more pesticide-laden sea bottom exposed to the desert air and frequent wind storms.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-salton-sea-disaster-20150924-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-salton-sea-disaster-20150924-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 26, 2015, 09:55:36 PM
Quote
@SavIsSavvy: This is how real the CA drought is, I used to swim in Lopez Lake as a kid @weatherchannel http://t.co/6h7iTzgwyd (http://t.co/6h7iTzgwyd)

https://twitter.com/savissavvy/status/647810733179314177 (https://twitter.com/savissavvy/status/647810733179314177)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 30, 2015, 04:32:24 AM
40-second time-lapse video shows dramatic water drop in Folsom lake
http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/09/29/dramatic-water-drop-california-drought-folsom-lake/73037274/ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/09/29/dramatic-water-drop-california-drought-folsom-lake/73037274/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 03, 2015, 03:31:47 AM
Climate Change in California Passes a Tipping Point
Quote
...for the first time in 120 years of record keeping, the winter average minimum temperature in the Sierra Nevada was above freezing.  And across the state, the last 12 months were the warmest on record. This explains why the Sierra Nevada snow pack that provides nearly 30% of the state's water stood at its lowest level in at least 500 years this last winter despite precipitation levels that, while low, still came in above recent record lows. The few winter storms of the past two years were warmer than average and tended to produce rain, not snow. And what snow fell melted away almost immediately. 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hunter-cutting/climate-change-in-california-passes-a-tipping-point_b_8223556.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hunter-cutting/climate-change-in-california-passes-a-tipping-point_b_8223556.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 14, 2015, 12:19:49 AM
Becoming just another part of life....

A Culture of Nagging Helps California Save Water
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/13/science/a-culture-of-nagging-helps-california-save-water.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/13/science/a-culture-of-nagging-helps-california-save-water.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 15, 2015, 04:45:31 PM
The total amount of water is relatively small.  But....

The Feds Just Got Sued for Letting Nestlé Bottle Water in California’s Drought Country
Quote
A group of environmental organizations sued the US Forest Service on Tuesday, claiming that it allowed Nestlé to illegally divert millions of gallons of water from California's San Bernadino National Forest to use for Arrowhead brand bottled water while the state struggles through a historic drought.
http://m.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/10/nestle-lawsuit-arrowhead (http://m.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/10/nestle-lawsuit-arrowhead)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on October 15, 2015, 06:17:43 PM
The total amount of water is relatively small.  But....

The Feds Just Got Sued for Letting Nestlé Bottle Water in California’s Drought Country
Quote
A group of environmental organizations sued the US Forest Service on Tuesday, claiming that it allowed Nestlé to illegally divert millions of gallons of water from California's San Bernadino National Forest to use for Arrowhead brand bottled water while the state struggles through a historic drought.
http://m.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/10/nestle-lawsuit-arrowhead (http://m.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/10/nestle-lawsuit-arrowhead)

Bottled water is one of the dumbest things we've ever done, both environmentally and as consumers.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Buddy on October 15, 2015, 06:38:37 PM
Quote
Bottled water is one of the dumbest things we've ever done, both environmentally and as consumers.

I thought it was stupid enough when people bought Perrier bottled water.  But noooooooo....we had to go WAY BEYOND STUPID....and bottle regular water.  It STILL amazes me that people (like my girlfriend) still buy it.

Check out the following two videos if you want a GOOD LAUGH.  We humans can be SOOOO STUPIDO:)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFKT4jvN4OE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFKT4jvN4OE)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_d1i5lt7zQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_d1i5lt7zQ)



 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 17, 2015, 12:31:36 AM
Heavy rains in southern California create floods and mudslides from hills barren due to drought and wildfires.

Mud covers highways, strands drivers in Southern California
Quote
National Weather Service meteorologist Robbie Munroe said it's too early to say whether Thursday's storm was connected to the El Nino phenomenon that experts say has formed in the Pacific Ocean.

Historically, he said, an El Nino brought on by a warming of Pacific Ocean waters doesn't usually bring heavy rain to Southern California before November. This El Nino has been forecast to bring above-average precipitation to Southern California during January, February and March.
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/oct/16/key-southern-california-interstate-blocked-in/ (http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/oct/16/key-southern-california-interstate-blocked-in/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: GeoffBeacon on October 19, 2015, 04:00:48 PM
Buddy

I would normally agree that bottled water is a bad call but I'm drinking silica rich bottled water as a precaution against accumulating aluminium in my brain.

Look at "You can call me Al" by Prof Chris Exley. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrYxIVb3qPs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrYxIVb3qPs)

Is it plausible?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: SteveMDFP on October 19, 2015, 09:38:23 PM
Buddy

I would normally agree that bottled water is a bad call but I'm drinking silica rich bottled water as a precaution against accumulating aluminium in my brain.

Look at "You can call me Al" by Prof Chris Exley. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrYxIVb3qPs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrYxIVb3qPs)

Is it plausible?

Interesting talk.  I have a medical background.  It seems soluble silicate enhances aluminum excretion in the urine.  That would be an oral chelation therapy, it seems.  I note early in his talk he states that tap water is usually quite low in aluminum.    I don't think you'd need special water in particular.  Sodium silicate suitable for use in food is readily available.  That's only fair, as alum (aluminum sulfate) is also widely used as a food additive.

As this has nothing to do with arctic sea ice or climate change, wed  best stop here, I think.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 02, 2015, 12:11:29 AM
Could Solar Energy Be California's Next Cash Crop?
Strapped by drought, farmers are increasingly sowing solar panels rather than seeds.
Quote
In Fresno and Kings Counties, the Westlands Solar Park sits on 24,000 acres that once produced lettuce, beans, garlic, and other crops. That land is now unfarmable, and the park's developers say its salt-contaminated grounds could eventually provide 5 gigawatts of solar energy—a quarter of the whole country's current capacity.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2015/10/151030-farmland-agriculture-solar-energy-conversion/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/energy/2015/10/151030-farmland-agriculture-solar-energy-conversion/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 08, 2015, 06:16:14 PM
A Few California Farmers Have Lots of Water. Can They Keep It?
Irrigation canals still flow full in the Imperial Valley, and the farmers know California’s thirsty cities will someday come to claim that treasure.
http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-imperial-valley-water-barons/ (http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-imperial-valley-water-barons/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 09, 2015, 02:33:42 AM
Quote
@EricHolthaus: California's snowpack is currently running 41% below normal with ~1/8th of season completed.
No #ElNino effect yet. https://t.co/xTjtb61Zg4

https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/674324056200515592
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Okono on December 09, 2015, 09:40:50 AM
The 00z GFS has latched on to the re-emergence of a North American dipole that I got laughed off the Weather West blog by the moderator, Daniel Swain, for even suggesting("you couldn't be more wrong", effectively).

http://ggweather.com/loops/gfs_00z_ten_all.htm (http://ggweather.com/loops/gfs_00z_ten_all.htm)

He is (was?) planning on doing a post on the 18z GFS operational run, even though it hinged entirely on a low being positioned juuust right and an atmospheric river somehow penetrating a ridge, two ideas that were not supported by ensemble members or the ECMWF. I didn't find that very credible even in concept, much less with the strong model disagreement.

http://ggweather.com/loops/gfs_18z_ten_all.htm (http://ggweather.com/loops/gfs_18z_ten_all.htm)

As chronicled so well here, El Nino lost much of its atmospheric support in November, partially due to an unfavorable phase of the MJO and IOD. The downwelling phase of the last EKW was already fading around 150W, and total equatorial oceanic heat content had already long ago peaked.

As also noted here, this year's El Nino isn't actually nearly as large as everyone says: in terms of temperatures(e.g. ONI, MEI) it is very intense, but the volume of warm water moved as recorded by TAO/TRITON was only half of that moved in 1997. The high ONI and MEI readings could very well just be global warming at work.

You can see the persistent heat in the Gulf of Alaska, which I believe is an artifact of reduced upwelling in the North Pacific(see Thermohaline Circulation thread), rebuilding, and the diminishing El Nino failing to flare out along the coastline of the Americas. Combine that with the massive slowdown in the AMOC and the slower and less accurate uptake of oceanic data into GCM's and I felt comfortable making the below calls even without model support. Slowing thermohaline circulation is an overwhelming force and a much less fickle beast than ENSO, though still not stable, obviously.

I apologize for airing "someone on the Internet was wrong" laundry, but if they hadn't gone so far as mocking me for my autism, I wouldn't feel the need.  I'm on the record as of a long while ago predicting a rebound of the ridging in the Pacific, all before any of the models or any professional(except the ECMWF did hint about the dipole in the last frame of one run, which was all I needed to see). You can see all of this in the comments on the thread linked(hi, I'm Nate).

http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/3607#disqus_thread (http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/3607#disqus_thread)

The human mind is capable of incredible information assimilation, pattern recognition, and selective ignorance(not just bug, but also feature). This can all be judiciously used or not: if you get into a tactical slugfest with a chess program, you're going to lose, but if you strategically see a general theme or favorable endgame evolving that you can draw the computer into, you may well win(I always lose anyway). This is even more applicable to a vastly more complex system like global circulation as rendered by a GCM.

I fear that we're applying the same tactical thinking to climate change modeling and policy as well.  Perhaps the impacts on the global climate from e.g. a slowing thermohaline circulation are so overwhelmingly massive that they are much more pressing issues than climate sensitivity or ocean acidification's effects on coccolithophores.

Last but not least, the re-emergence of this festering pattern dramatically reduces the chance that California will get any meaningful precipitation this year, and I fear that planners and public agencies will have listened to the monotonic chants, and California is going to be in actual, serious water trouble next autumn.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on December 09, 2015, 06:18:45 PM
it sounds like you have a good indication of some pertinent information,  However, current storm tracks indicate that the blocking ridge does not exist.  for example, at last years Iditrad dog sled race in alaska they had to shorten the course due to lack of snow.  At this time in both 2014 and 2013 there was hardly any snow in Alaska and fairbanks temperatures were unseasonably warm.

we are currently at normal snow cover anomalies throughout the western north (image below)

http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_vis.php?ui_year=2015&ui_month=11&ui_set=1 (http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_vis.php?ui_year=2015&ui_month=11&ui_set=1)

Fairbanks AK temperatures are tracking right along the normal average

http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/fairbanks-ak/99701/december-weather/346836 (http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/fairbanks-ak/99701/december-weather/346836)

you may be right, but current weather patterns indicate that the ridge is not in effect. 

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: jai mitchell on December 09, 2015, 07:04:53 PM
Also

the best indicator I have found for evidence of the ridge is the Pacific-North America Index which, when strong negative indicates the blocking ridge in effect, look at the graph below and you will see similar blocking patterns during the late 1970s calfornia drought as well.

climate change is likely exacerbating this effect, the earlier drought period had a much stronger PNA negative value.  So it is likely that this pattern will continue to grow in strength and intensity in the coming years.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov%2Fdata%2Fteledoc%2Fpna.timeseries.gif&hash=4258fe6737c786741b2e5f96fe467afd)

data here:  http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/teledoc/pna_ts.shtml (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/data/teledoc/pna_ts.shtml)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 31, 2015, 12:19:30 AM
Quote
– The largest seawater desalination plant in the United States, with 50 MGD capacity, officially opened on December 14, 2015. Located in Carlsbad, in San Diego county, the plant can meet 7 to 10 percent of the region’s demands if operated at full capacity. This $1 billion project is expected to increase potable water bills for an average customer by about $5 per month. Due to the technology’s high energy use, plant officials plan to spend about $200,000 a year to buy carbon offsets. The plan also includes the San Diego Bay environmental mitigation program, but further study is required to understand and quantify long-term environmental impacts (e.g., effects on marine life from the plant’s seawater intake and brine disposal) of desalination.
http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/ (http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/)


Southern California desalination plant will help ease water crunch, but price is steep
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article49638835.html (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article49638835.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 31, 2015, 12:28:19 AM
30 December 2015: California snow pack water equivalent is 105% of normal for the date after recent storms.

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action (http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action)

Statewide, California’s major reservoirs (representing 27.3 million acre-feet of storage) are at 24% of capacity and 43% of group average.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 02, 2016, 04:15:35 PM
Parade of East Pacific storms to affect all of California as subtropical jet strengthens
Quote
...  But the screaming message, at this point, is that quite a few storms will affect California over the next 2-3 weeks. Not all of them will be strong, but some of them probably will be. Some may preferentially affect the northern part of the state; others will focus on the far southern region. But it seems very likely at this point that virtually all of California will experience significant, perhaps heavy, precipitation. Some of these systems may also bring strong winds and even some vigorous convective activity (thunderstorms), but these details are even harder to ascertain more than a few days in advance.
http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/3754 (http://www.weatherwest.com/archives/3754)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Okono on February 05, 2016, 09:08:20 PM
All the GFS runs for at least a full day's cycle show the emergence of the persistent West Coast blocking ridge that I had worried about.

A crude visual analysis shows the Blob being stronger than the CFSv2 had forecast.  Persistent anti-cyclonic flow should help diminishing WWB and other flows associated with the 2015/2016 ENSO+ phase and good old insolation to strengthen the North Pacific Gyre, all of which ought to bolster the anomalous warmth presently visible along the northern Pacific Coast of North America.

I will be the first to admit that my prediction was too soon, which rhymes with "wrong", but this is not the color that anyone wanted to see over California for the heart of February.

Cumulative precipitation for the water year still looks decent, but that should change over the next month if the forecast verifies as climatology rapidly diverges.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 05, 2016, 09:34:16 PM
Ridiculously Resilient Ridge Redux?

Quote
A ridge is coming back to California and it might be ridiculous....  We'll see about resilient

https://twitter.com/wxshift/status/695697210265174022 (https://twitter.com/wxshift/status/695697210265174022)

Hot, Dry Weather is About to Return to California. That’s Bad News For Snowpack
Quote
A ridge of high pressure is coming to the state, harkening back to the ridiculously resilient ridge of the past few years and butting into California’s burgeoning love affair with El Niño. It could set back California’s snowpack and break heat records.
http://wxshift.com/news/heat-and-dry-weather-are-about-to-return-to-california (http://wxshift.com/news/heat-and-dry-weather-are-about-to-return-to-california)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 10, 2016, 12:22:17 AM
Impacts of California’s Ongoing Drought: Hydroelectricity Generation 2015 Update
Author:  Peter Gleick
Quote
Under normal conditions, electricity for the state’s millions of users is produced from a blend of many sources, with natural gas and hydropower being the top two. Since the drought has reduced the state’s river flows that power hundreds of hydropower stations, natural gas has become a more prominent player in the mix. This is an expensive change. According to the Institute’s new report, the four years of drought led to an increase in electricity costs of more than $2.0 billion. The additional combustion of fossil fuels for electric generation also led to a 10 percent increase in the release of carbon dioxide from California power plants.
http://pacinst.org/publication/impacts-of-californias-ongoing-drought-hydroelectricity-generation-2015-update/ (http://pacinst.org/publication/impacts-of-californias-ongoing-drought-hydroelectricity-generation-2015-update/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2016, 07:07:20 PM
Eric Hothaus: "Statewide CA snowpack now below normal, despite record strong El Niño. That’s what happens when it’s >80F in Feb."
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/699643074088009728
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2016, 09:31:24 PM
Bill McKibben:  "Effects of CA's record drought may eventually kill 60-120 million trees; 29 million already gone. That's a lot. ..."
https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status/699643855893831680 (https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status/699643855893831680)

Drought’s Alarming Toll on California Forests
Quote
Four dry summers and four winters with a dramatically reduced snowpack have taken a toll throughout the Golden State, and will likely kill 58 million trees due to severe water loss, said Greg Asner, a Carnegie Institution biologist who published his results online on December 28 in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences. As many as 120 million trees statewide are in jeopardy from loss of water in their canopies, he said.

The higher temperatures and reduced precipitation that contributed to the die-off are widely predicted to continue, leaving California's forests poised for radical transformation.
http://www.waterdeeply.org/articles/2016/02/9616/droughts-alarming-toll-california-forests/ (http://www.waterdeeply.org/articles/2016/02/9616/droughts-alarming-toll-california-forests/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on February 16, 2016, 10:42:50 PM
Sig: Look (not so) forward to your updates. Have a sister who lives in San Diego area.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2016, 06:06:18 PM
Sig: Look (not so) forward to your updates. Have a sister who lives in San Diego area.

I've visited San Diego.  Loved the ocean -- although I must admit, staying in a house only steps from the edge of a cliff -- made from hard-packed sand -- gave me pause.  :o  On the other hand, perhaps that's why it was a rental property....  ;)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on February 18, 2016, 06:38:44 PM
Maybe we should just rent all over because in this period of time where nothing seems to be working as normal, almost everywhere has its major drawbacks.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2016, 06:47:54 PM
Maybe we should just rent all over because in this period of time where nothing seems to be working as normal, almost everywhere has its major drawbacks.

"Land ownership" is indeed an oxymoron. And that may point to a major cause of our current predicament. The land/water/air is not ours to do whatever we wish with.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 19, 2016, 09:56:44 PM
As California enters a 'new era' on water, cities seek their own solutions
Quote
Conservation continues to play a vital role. But it's also an era where the hunt for sustainable water sources increasingly focuses on finding ways to husband local supplies, rather than tapping ever more distant ones.

Some urban areas, such as San Diego, are turning to the Pacific Ocean and desalination to help ensure supplies. Others, such as Los Angeles, are forgoing desalination, at least for now. Instead, they are placing a heavier emphasis on various forms of water recycling, as well as capturing rainfall to recharge groundwater supplies.

The changes are taking place not only in response to the state's history of recurring droughts. They also are occurring in anticipation of the additional stress climate change is expected to bring to California's water resources.

For a state with a tumultuous water history, the transition in water management is significant, specialists say.

“As late as the early 1980s, which isn’t very long ago in the water world, the belief was that you would just go to the next river” to meet growing water needs, says Jonas Minton, water-policy adviser to the Planning and Conservation League, an environmental group based in Sacramento, Calif.

“Now we appreciate that there are not more rivers to go to,” says Mr. Minton, who also has served as a county water manager and later as deputy director of the state's Department of Water Resources. “You can’t just sink more groundwater wells, because that’s a decreasing source of supply. So you have to better manage what you have.”
http://m.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0218/As-California-enters-a-new-era-on-water-cities-seek-their-own-solutions (http://m.csmonitor.com/Environment/2016/0218/As-California-enters-a-new-era-on-water-cities-seek-their-own-solutions)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 23, 2016, 08:33:40 PM
Without a 'March miracle,' drought-like conditions will continue in Southern California
Quote
That’s because a high-pressure system hovering over the Eureka, Calif., area has deflected most of the moisture and cooler temperatures that would flow south to Los Angeles and beyond, Sweet said. To emphasize his point, Sweet pointed out that downtown L.A. has receive only 4.99 inches of rain since Oct. 1. The historical average by the end of February is 10 inches, he said.

This February has also been more than eight degrees warmer than its historical average, Sweet said.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-la-rain-february-heat-20160222-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-la-rain-february-heat-20160222-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 25, 2016, 09:23:37 PM
NWS Sacramento:  "Since Feb 1, California has lost snowpack at lower elevations while higher elevations see gains."
https://twitter.com/nwssacramento/status/702942271029706752
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 28, 2016, 04:11:31 AM
Poisonous 'Death Cap' Mushrooms Sustained by El Niño Rain Spread in California
https://weather.com/news/news/california-death-cap-mushroom-amanita-phalloides-el-nino
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on February 28, 2016, 09:29:43 AM
Although mushrooms are problematic for humans if poisonous, for forests they are very good. They only grow where trees are week and dying. In drought conditions these trees are prime fuel for fires, but if the mushrooms can brake them down fast enough with the help of insects and other things then the fuel for the most part is gone before fire comes.
Mushrooms for the most part are not killers of trees, but help clean up forests of trees that are dying or dead.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on February 28, 2016, 10:44:25 AM
Something is going on ? http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/chem/surface/level/overlay=cosc/orthographic=-121.47,41.67,504 (http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/chem/surface/level/overlay=cosc/orthographic=-121.47,41.67,504)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Okono on February 28, 2016, 01:58:16 PM
Cumulative precipitation for the water year no longer looks decent.  Intermediate range model runs keep trying to break through the ridge, but do so consistently at 180hr when I suppose the GFS flips into a lower resolution mode and goes a little emo.  That gives me little confidence in any frames beyond 180hr, but it's effectively dry through the first week of March.

I'm curious to see what comes of research between teleconnections in Arctic heating leading to weaker jet streams leading to a more northerly storm track.  Francis may prove first to have been focused on the right questions.  I think between that, and the increasingly warm waters(also attached) of The Blob, it's going to be difficult for California to establish much of a consistent storm track for the rest of the water year.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: bbr2314 on February 29, 2016, 08:53:26 AM
i cannot tell if this was sensor related but if it wasn't there was a very significant event that occurred on 2/25 starting at 17:30 UTC and continuing for about a day, with local CO2 concentrations approaching 1000PPM!

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 02, 2016, 12:26:55 AM
i cannot tell if this was sensor related but if it wasn't there was a very significant event that occurred on 2/25 starting at 17:30 UTC and continuing for about a day, with local CO2 concentrations approaching 1000PPM!

You guessed it!  Sensor malfunction on the GOES-5 satellite.
Quote
Dr. Gavin Schmidt, head of GISS NASA, has confirmed the glitch in his twitter feed which you can read here. He notes:

The Elevated Carbon Monoxide concentrations in the GEOS 5 products since February 25 of 2016 are incorrect. They are the consequence of unrealistic CO emissions computed by our biomass burning algorithm, which is based on satellite observation of fires… GMAO is working to correct this problem.
http://robertscribbler.com/2016/02/29/carbon-monoxide-spikes-to-34000-parts-per-billion-over-california-on-february-26-what-the-heck-is-going-on/ (http://robertscribbler.com/2016/02/29/carbon-monoxide-spikes-to-34000-parts-per-billion-over-california-on-february-26-what-the-heck-is-going-on/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Okono on March 02, 2016, 03:03:26 PM
Tempt fate juuust a little bit and you too can save California.

Current model projections indicate a number of strong storms to impact California over the next several weeks.  Most of it lies beyond that 180hr window right now, so beyond a storm that's three or four days out, it's still up in the air -- forgive the pun -- but it looks better than it has in a long time.

The temperature differential between the equator and the Arctic remains intense but lessened, while some more "bright spots" have broken through the Blob off the coast of the PNW.  I hope we get some valuable data that helps to disambiguate theories here as a result, because whatever *is* happening, looks like a longer term challenge that needs to be better understood.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: LRC1962 on March 03, 2016, 07:49:38 AM
I can not see drought changing its hold by too much for the following reasons.
1) Prolonged drought kills the below ground biomass compacting the soil so that when rains do come it tends to run off instead of draining into the ground.
2) Man puts in place systems to move water off in controlled directions to prevent flooding with a higher priority than retaining water where it falls with the idea adding moisture levels to deep underground.
3)Man tends to grow plants with shallow root systems instead of deep root systems. The deeper the roots the more the soil gets broken up the more the water can penetrate the soil.
4) These systems bring rain are going to bring a lot of rain. Desert climates are not capable of handling large amounts of rain in a short time span. The Uk is much more suited for it, but even they have trouble handling too large a volume in a short time span.
In the end once these storms have come through, some of the lakes maybe full, but for the most part the snow that falls will melt very fast, the land will dry very fast, the landslides will make a bad situation even worse and in a very few months you will never know that you had all that rain in March as there will be no evidence left of it.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 05, 2016, 01:43:24 AM
QPF (in inches) for next 7 days.  Over a foot of rain (or snow equivalent) in some places!  NOT good.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 05, 2016, 02:20:00 AM
Study: Atmospheric river storms can reduce Sierra snow
Quote
A new study by NASA and several partners has found that in California's Sierra Nevada, atmospheric river storms are two-and-a-half times more likely than other types of winter storms to result in destructive “rain-on-snow” events, where rain falls on existing snowpack. Those events increase flood risks in winter and reduce water availability the following summer.
http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2409/ (http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2409/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: A-Team on March 06, 2016, 04:34:17 PM
Several things to notice in this map. First, a lot of what they are showing is offshore; rain on the ocean obviously is not going to affect drought on land.

Second, a lot of precip predicted lies in largely uninhabited coastal drainage basis. For example, Crescent City and the Six Rivers complex in northernmost California have zero storage. Del Norte county is 96% public land, no ag. It rains there all the time (except summer) irrespective of El Nono, La Nada, whatever. That water goes straight out to sea. It's great for the redwoods and salmon but does not support even 0.05% of CA ag or population.

Third, yes they're looking at quite a wet streak in upper N Ca and especially western Oregon but that is the exact opposite of what we've been told for decades is assuredly associated with El Nino years.

Fourth, the map isn't normalized to the local average rainfall. It's one thing to have 10" in a week in Mapleton, Oregon but the average rainfall there is something like 105" (2.7 m) to begin with. So in terms of percentage change, the storm train no big deal. It's another to have 10" of rain in Phoenix (0.1" to date) where that would catastrophically double the average precip.

Overall, this is the first Pacific storm series in a month. Like the others anomalously off-track to the north, it cannot be attributed to El Nino -- but you just know it will be -- as the storm track affecting portion of that dissipated six weeks ago. It cannot be termed a pineapple express nor a warm subtropical atmospheric river -- but you just know it will be -- as it seems to be the usual cold rain off the north central Pacific.

The week will bring non-zero but negligible rain to southern California, a few clouds but zero rain to the southwestern corridor whose soil moisture is rapidly approaching total crisis (eg Tucson), some snow to the northern and central Sierras and possibly precip to CA's water in the upper Colorado basin.

This year really makes me wonder whether the end-Pleistocene extinctions of the larger mammals in the southwest is really all that mysterious. It does not take more than a few really bad years to decimate the plant base though extreme drought and wildfire, and with it the large herbivores, and with them the large carnivores. And the early Holocene had several totally disruptive climate reversals.

This year it seems quite unlikely that the desert here will see rain between mid-Feb and mid-July monsoon. Surface temperature highs have been running 15-25ºF (not exaggerating) above the 20 year mean for a month. June will be all triple digit temperatures and not a drop.

Even for cactus, there are limits to how much they can take. A die-off won't be followed by a wet year recovery because seedlings can't establish without a nurse plant providing shade in the early years, and they'd be all gone too. The last plant standing will be sparsely distributed creosote bush. How many species can live on that?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 06, 2016, 04:59:44 PM
A-Team,
Thanks for that analysis!  I will only add that it looks like considerable warmth will return to the Sierra next week, so we'll need to watch the Snow Pack numbers and see how they hold up.

(Edit: 79% of normal for the date as of March 4.)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Xulonn on March 06, 2016, 05:43:45 PM
Looking at NOAA's California Nevada River Forecast Center interactive map [http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/ (http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/)], the only red dot (indicating flooding) I see in the entire included region is near the mouth of the Navarro River at the central Mendocino County coast.  This is one of those local, short north coast redwood/douglas fir forest rivers in rugged terrain that is not dammed, and not important with respect to the state's drought.  Most other NorCal rivers are predicted to rise significantly, but remain well below flood levels. 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 08, 2016, 02:53:11 AM
NWS Sacremento:  Some very impressive snowfall totals since Friday!  More storms expected later this week! #cawx
https://twitter.com/nwssacramento/status/707017393948663808
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 16, 2016, 02:31:12 PM
A month and many storms later, yet the California mountain snowpack is barely hanging on, especially in the warm south.

Compare with Feb 16:
https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,729.msg70121.html#msg70121 (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,729.msg70121.html#msg70121)

Or choose your own dates at: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action (http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 17, 2016, 09:12:11 PM
Pacific Institute:  The California Drought:  Current Conditions
Quote
A recent snow survey showed statewide snowpack at 83% of the March 1st average. Unless California receives heavy rain as much as it did during the “March Miracles” of 1991 and 1995, drought conditions will persist for another year.

-The California and Oregon Departments of Fish and Wildlife estimated that the population of the fall run Chinook salmon in the Klamath River is about a third of last year’s estimate and the second lowest predicted since 1996. The low prediction number is based on the combined effects of climate change and the ongoing California drought. Meanwhile, delta smelt count has hit the lowest level ever recorded for January and February.
...
-A new study by NASA, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, and other partners found that atmospheric river storms in California’s Sierra Nevada are 2.5 times more likely than other types of storms to accelerate the melting of snow, with warmer rain falling on snowpack and causing it to melt.

-LA County is using cloud seeding technology to increase the amount of rainfall from existing clouds. Under the right atmospheric conditions, the method can produce 10-15% more rainfall, according to a county estimate.
...
–A proposed ballot initiative to support the construction of new reservoirs and water storage projects in California has sparked a new debate on the state’s priorities. The ballot initiative would shift $8 billion from the high-speed rail project to a newly created agency, the State Water Storage and Groundwater Storage Facilities Authority. It would also shift $2.7 billion from the water bond approved in November 2014 to the new authority to improve water supplies.
http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/ (http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Laurent on March 21, 2016, 02:14:52 PM
The Terrifying Beauty Of California’s Wildfires Captured In Stunning New Time-Lapse Video
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-wildfire-time-lapse-video_us_56ef8f7de4b084c67220b57b?ir=Green&section=us_green&utm_hp_ref=green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/california-wildfire-time-lapse-video_us_56ef8f7de4b084c67220b57b?ir=Green&section=us_green&utm_hp_ref=green)
Quote

California’s five-year drought created the perfect conditions for massive wildfires, which have left behind stunning and heartbreaking images of devastation.

Filmmaker Jeff Frost has been documenting these fires, and just released a time-lapse video that reveals the raw power of nature at its hottest.

“I wanted to show what we are up against right now, let alone down the road when global warming intensifies heat and drought which will further exacerbate wildfires,” Frost told National Geographic.

Last year, Frost documented his escape from a wildfire in a HuffPost blog, and included a time-lapse video of his drive out of the area after the worst of the blaze had passed.

“It felt like I was taking a drive through Dante’s Inferno,” he wrote.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 01, 2016, 07:45:47 PM
April 1 (the start of the water year) Sierra Snow Pack data is out.
% of April 1 average:  86%

Southern Sierra:  73%.

So much for the El Niño rebound everyone was hoping for.  :'(

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ghoti on April 03, 2016, 02:34:19 AM
Well it is less below average than it was before  :P
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 08, 2016, 09:44:24 PM
Quote
Eric Holthaus: Latest NMME shows all-in on La Niña. Most certainty I've seen so far, despite current low-predictability window.
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/718506175310868480
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 08, 2016, 09:45:42 PM
Quote
Eric Holthaus: All 7 components of latest NMME show a dry start to the 2016-17 rainy season in California, thanks to La Niña.
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/718505369119498240
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 08, 2016, 09:57:14 PM
Quote
Eric Holthaus: Still looking like this summer is going to be a hot one (coast to coast) as El Niño transitions to La Niña.
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/718507680717873153
Quote
Eric Holthaus: Atlantic & Gulf temperatures during the peak of this year's hurricane season (Aug-Sep-Oct) looking toasty warm.
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/718521490971308032
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 08, 2016, 10:20:37 PM
Quote
Eric Holthaus: Here's Aug-Sep-Oct ocean temperatures during the peak of this year's Atlantic hurricane season....
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/718526988294553600
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 22, 2016, 08:04:39 PM
U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook - May-June-July
Quote
Latest Seasonal Assessment - As the wet season nears its end in the West, coincident with the waning El Niño, a return to climatologically dry conditions is favored across the region. Though the final drought-related statistics for California are still being determined, it appears that northern portions of the state fared well this past winter season in such areas as precipitation, snowpack, and reservoir levels.

Southern California did not fare as well, despite the presence of one of the strongest El Niño's on record. Late season precipitation was indeed welcome in southern California, but unfortunately, significant moisture deficits remain. Much of the Desert Southwest also missed out on anticipated El-Niño related precipitation this past winter. During the next two weeks, above-median precipitation is favored across portions of California, the Great Basin, and the Southwest. However, the heaviest precipitation is expected to occur outside the ongoing drought areas. For the upcoming May-June-July (MJJ) season, drought persistence is forecast for most areas west of the Continental Divide....
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.php (http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/sdo_summary.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 11, 2016, 02:00:31 AM
Update on the California Drought – May 10, 2016
 
This week in… Water Conservation Continues, But With a Twist
Quote
The State Water Resources Control Board (the State Board) recently released a proposal to amend the extended emergency water conservation regulations (adopted February 2, 2016) due to improvements in water supply conditions throughout the state. Significant proposed changes include replacing statewide standards with locally developed conservation targets. Individual urban water suppliers would be required to self-certify that they have sufficient water supplies and to reduce potable water use in a percentage equal to their projected shortfall, assuming three additional years of drought....
...
— The US Forest Service estimated that 27.6 million tree deaths in 2015, up from 3.3 million in 2014. Drought and the spread of bark beetles are the main causes of these tree deaths.
http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/ (http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: abbottisgone on May 12, 2016, 09:07:15 AM
April 1 (the start of the water year) Sierra Snow Pack data is out.
% of April 1 average:  86%

Southern Sierra:  73%.

So much for the El Niño rebound everyone was hoping for.  :'(
Is this not a major improvement over the last few years?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 12, 2016, 04:07:13 PM
April 1 (the start of the water year) Sierra Snow Pack data is out.
% of April 1 average:  86%

Southern Sierra:  73%.

So much for the El Niño rebound everyone was hoping for.  :'(
Is this not a major improvement over the last few years?

Indeed it is: Last year at this time the numbers were 1% of April 1 average and 2% of normal for the date. But everyone was hoping for an above average season this year, to really help things out.

After an encouraging start to 2016, snow levels have decreased to 32% of April 1 and 51% of normal for the date.   The good news: current reservoir storage is up from recent storms and melting snow.

Unfortunately, too much water all at once brings other problems:
California's largest reservoir filling too fast thanks to El Niño, must release more water
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-reservoir-too-full-el-nino-20160325-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-reservoir-too-full-el-nino-20160325-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 13, 2016, 01:39:22 AM
Quote
@Weather_West: #LaNina does NOT always bring dry CA winters. However, models hint at increased risk this yr. #CAwx #CAdrought
https://twitter.com/weather_west/status/730891265617731584
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 15, 2016, 04:22:22 PM
Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season Begins May 15; How the Storms Can Threaten the U.S.
Quote
Why are tropical storm and hurricane landfalls such a rare event in Southern California? The primary reason is the very cool ocean temperatures in the path of a tropical system trying to make the journey to the Pacific coast of the United States. As in 1858, the hurricane must be moving fast enough, over waters just warm enough, to maintain its intensity on the way north to California.
https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/eastern-pacific-hurricane-season-forecast-us-threat-2016
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 20, 2016, 03:22:35 AM
Quote
Eric Holthaus:  A threat to snowpack: Jan-Apr temperatures on the rise in California.
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/733338298098155520

Current California snowpack has melted down to 20% of April 1 average, 36% of normal for May 16.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: solartim27 on May 20, 2016, 08:18:26 AM
Current California snowpack has melted down to 20% of April 1 average, 36% of normal for May 16.
So this should be filed under the Human Stupidity thread?  I'm sure it will work out fine.  My son chose a college out of CA, and I did not try to stop him.

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-poised-to-end-unprecedented-water-7654512.php (http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-poised-to-end-unprecedented-water-7654512.php)
Quote
State officials, in a policy shift that reflects California’s easing drought conditions, decided Wednesday to scrap the emergency conservation mandates that have forced cities and towns to cut water use as much as 36 percent, often by hitting residents with unprecedented restrictions and fines.

Instead, the State Water Resources Control Board will allow urban water providers to set their own water-reduction targets based on their own customers’ wants and needs.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 20, 2016, 09:06:14 PM
We’re in Year Five of California’s Drought
Quote
...For Southern California especially, the drought is still just as bad as ever. In much of the Sierra Nevada and Southern California, there’s still two or three entire years of rain missing since this drought began five years ago.
...
This winter’s chaos has caused Cohen to lose a bit of confidence in using past El Niño patterns to predict future El Niño patterns, he says. Even though this El Niño was one of the strongest on record, “impacts-wise, this winter was classical La Niña.” Cohen thinks he’s found a big reason why: This winter featured sharply fluctuating strength of the polar vortex, which in its strong phase tends to pull the Pacific jet stream northward. That, combined with the steady pressure of a gradually warming tropics, might have done the trick.

Whatever the reason for the weird El Niño on the West Coast, the result is Southern California remains locked into its worst drought on record. Going into the state’s six-month dry season, for the near-term at least, fire conditions there are only going to get worse.
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2016/05/lackluster_el_ni_o_has_set_california_up_for_terrible_forest_fires_this.html (http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2016/05/lackluster_el_ni_o_has_set_california_up_for_terrible_forest_fires_this.html)


Edit:
Quote
Eric Holthaus:  Since I drafted this article two days ago, California snowpack is down from 35% of normal to just 27%.
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/733736565877268480 (https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/733736565877268480)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on May 20, 2016, 09:56:56 PM
Lake Cachuma is the main reservoir that supplies Santa Barbara, Goleta and all the south county cities of Santa Barbara county. It also supplies the downstream cites of Solvang, Santa Ynez ,Lompoc and Buellton as well as the downstream riparian agricultural water rights holders. Lake Cachuma will shrink to dead pool status within the next six months. Although Montecito has mandatory water restrictions in place there aren't any other mandatory water restrictions to deal with the loss of the major water source for hundreds of thousands of county residents. There are wells drilled into deep aquifers and also connections into the state water system for some cities and Santa Barbara is constructing a desalinization plant but considering the gravity of the situation you would think there might be public meetings or warnings about our impending disaster in paradise. Not so!  Those of us who pull
riparian water from shallow wells into the Santa Ynez river will have to deal with a river that hasn't gone dry in sixty years. There are thousands of acres of grapes and agricultural crops that were not there sixty years ago . There are thousands of houses with lawns and swimming pools that are going to have to adjust to the rather dire water conditions soon to be upon us. You might think regulators might conserve some of the water remaining in the reservoir but I am an agricultural user and there haven't even been requests to conserve issued . There aren't even meters required on our wells.
 I look at the prospects of my wells going dry and the value of my farm falling to values dry land might bring. It will rain again someday but hauling water to supply my small household is going to be a challenge. My farm animals will be culled or moved and anyone with millions invested in vineyards is going to loose their ass. The whole situation reminds me of how we as a society are currently dealing
with climate change. Three monkeys with eyes , ears and mouth covered . Government is not capable of dealing with reality here in the land of milk and honey.       
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 22, 2016, 03:06:55 AM
Click on the other pages at the bottom of the linked article for details on the specific counties.

Counties Most Battered by the Drought
Quote
Currently nine counties have at least 60% of their total area in a state of exceptional drought. During periods of exceptional drought, losses of crop or pasture as well as water shortages and restrictions are widespread.

In an interview with 24/7 Wall St., Brad Rippey, agricultural meteorologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, explained that the California winter was indeed a boon for the northern part of the state. “Now, you go to the southern end of the state and it’s like a whole different world. They did not get any sustained precipitation there, and so roughly from the San Joaquin Valley southward there are still major issues in California with reservoirs and rivers.”

As the hottest, driest months approach, Southern California braces for further worsening of already historically poor conditions. Most of these counties have been in a state of exceptional drought for almost 30 straight months. The prolonged drought has dried the lakes and wells around the state, and municipal water reservoirs are at just a fraction of their capacity.

Several of these counties are located in California’s San Joaquin Valley, which is one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, and these county economies disproportionately rely on farming. While just 2% of the nation’s workforce is employed in agriculture, at least 10% of the workforce is employed in agriculture in four of these counties.
http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/05/21/counties-most-battered-by-the-drought/ (http://247wallst.com/special-report/2016/05/21/counties-most-battered-by-the-drought/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 29, 2016, 07:49:17 PM
Aerial Images Show Decades of Foothill Forest Growth Erased Due to California’s Extreme Drought
Quote
"NASA's satellite record offers abundant evidence that extensive tree die-back from the historically low water years of 2013 to 2015, combined with numerous large stand-replacing wildfires in the Sierra region, has essentially reversed the impressive accumulation of live tree density state-wide that we were tracking since the early 1980s,” said the study's lead author, Christopher Potter of Ames.

Three decades of forest growth was erased by the drought's impacts over much of the lower-elevation Sierra Nevada mountain region in the past couple years.
http://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/aerial-images-show-decades-of-foothill-forest-growth-erased-due-to-california-s-extreme (http://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/aerial-images-show-decades-of-foothill-forest-growth-erased-due-to-california-s-extreme)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 01, 2016, 10:04:49 PM
June 1:  Snowpack is 23% of normal for the date.  7% of April 1 average.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on June 01, 2016, 11:24:47 PM
June 1:  Snowpack is 23% of normal for the date.  7% of April 1 average.

Well, that's still a whole lot better than last year, dismal as it is.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 09, 2016, 01:02:09 PM
In just the past week, snowpack has melted to 2% of the April average, 9% of normal for the date.
The Southern Sierra is essentially bare.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 09, 2016, 09:49:38 PM
El Niño is dead, leaving behind legacy of a heated planet, devastated corals and monster storms
Quote
While El Niño can be implicated in weather and climate extremes all over the world, it did not deliver in the one place which perhaps needed it to the most.  While it was forecast by many to deliver heavy rainfall in Southern California — mired in a multi-year drought — the rain really never came.

“Instead of torrential rain in Southern California (and the mudslides that came along with it), the region ended winter with well-below average precipitation,” wrote The Post’s Angela Fritz. “Even worse, California statewide snowpack was just 87 percent of average at its peak. It’s true that this year’s snowfall was a huge improvement over the previous winter, but the amount of water stored in the snow has fallen short of what was hoped for, and even expected, due to a very strong El Niño.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/06/09/el-nino-is-dead-leaving-behind-legacy-of-a-heated-planet-devastated-corals-and-monster-storms/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/06/09/el-nino-is-dead-leaving-behind-legacy-of-a-heated-planet-devastated-corals-and-monster-storms/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 17, 2016, 01:36:11 PM
Central and Southern Sierra snowpack are now toast.  1% of April 1 Average, and 25% of the Average for the date, is left.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Archimid on June 17, 2016, 05:03:27 PM

Quote
While El Niño can be implicated in weather and climate extremes all over the world, it did not deliver in the one place which perhaps needed it to the most.  While it was forecast by many to deliver heavy rainfall in Southern California — mired in a multi-year drought — the rain really never came.



I think it did deliver. Snow pack was very high back in April, but the hotter than average temperatures melted it.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 18, 2016, 06:18:24 PM

Quote
While El Niño can be implicated in weather and climate extremes all over the world, it did not deliver in the one place which perhaps needed it to the most.  While it was forecast by many to deliver heavy rainfall in Southern California — mired in a multi-year drought — the rain really never came.



I think it did deliver. Snow pack was very high back in April, but the hotter than average temperatures melted it.

The precipitation data at: http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/monthly_precip.php (http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/monthly_precip.php)
seems to show that while a few areas received above-average precipitation, most places received only about average -- and the central and southern coastal areas had quite a deficit.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 24, 2016, 10:21:36 PM
California's drought isn't over. Why are so many water agencies ending mandatory conservation?
Quote
Coachella Valley residents have slashed their water use nearly 25 percent over the past year in response to California's historic drought. Now they face a new conservation mandate: zero percent.

No, the drought isn't over: The entire state is abnormally dry and 43 percent of it suffers from "extreme" or "exceptional" drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. But with California's reservoirs and snowpack in better shape than last year after a moderately wet winter, Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the state water board to relax the strict conservation targets it imposed last June.

The water board had previously required parts of the Coachella Valley to cut back by as much as 36 percent, compared to 2013 levels. But last month, the board told urban water suppliers to calculate their own targets, based on local water conditions. All six Coachella Valley water suppliers sent their calculations to the state this week, and they reached the same conclusion: The valley's underground aquifer has more than enough water to withstand several more years of drought, so no mandatory conservation is necessary under the state's formula.

That also means golf courses — which have been responsible for a quarter of the Coachella Valley's groundwater pumping in recent years — are no longer legally obligated to use less groundwater.

"This isn’t OK," said Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, a water think tank in Oakland. "I just think all of this is the wrong message to be sending.”
http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2016/06/23/californias-drought-isnt-over-so-why-so-many-water-agencies-ending-mandatory-conservation/86244464/ (http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2016/06/23/californias-drought-isnt-over-so-why-so-many-water-agencies-ending-mandatory-conservation/86244464/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 11, 2016, 03:49:59 AM
33 new dry wells in Tulare County, California, this week. 638 total.
http://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/index.cfm/drought/drought-effects-status-updates/2016/august/week-of-august-8-2016/ (http://tularecounty.ca.gov/emergencies/index.cfm/drought/drought-effects-status-updates/2016/august/week-of-august-8-2016/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 11, 2016, 01:33:03 AM
Quote
Bill McKibben:  As El Nino concludes, 100% of California is in drought, which is a fairly substantial percentage
https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status/774273051630247936
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: solartim27 on September 11, 2016, 08:22:02 AM
Don't be such a worry-wart.  Everything is fine here in CA, this winter will be really wet, I promise.  Oh, and there isn't any zika in FL either.
(http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article100939277.html (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article100939277.html))

(Where's that damn sarcasm font button?)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Jester Fish on September 12, 2016, 09:16:03 PM
Son of Blob/Return (Continuation!) of Drought
http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-blob-is-back.html (http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2016/09/the-blob-is-back.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: JimD on September 16, 2016, 02:56:21 PM
The long term prognosis is that CA and the southwest will remain in drought for the duration of the Anthropocene.

Quote
Pacific Ocean's response to greenhouse gases could extend California drought for centuries

Clues from prehistoric droughts and arid periods in California show that today's increasing greenhouse gas levels could lock the state into drought for centuries, according to a study led by UCLA professor Glen MacDonald.

The study, published today in the Nature.com journal Scientific Reports, looked at how natural climatic forces contributed to centuries-long and even millennia-long periods of dryness in California during the past 10,000 years. These phenomena—sun spots, a slightly different earth orbit, a decrease in volcanic activity—intermittently warmed the region through a process called radiative forcing, and recently have been joined by a new force: greenhouse gases.
As long as warming forces like greenhouse gases are present, the resulting radiative forcing can extend drought-like conditions more or less indefinitely, said MacDonald, a distinguished professor of geography and of ecology and evolutionary biology.

"Radiative forcing in the past appears to have had catastrophic effects in extending droughts," said MacDonald, an international authority on drought and climate change. "When you have arid periods that persist for 60 years, as we did in the 12th century, or for millennia, as we did from 6,000 to 1,000 B.C., that's not really a 'drought.' That aridity is the new normal."
.....

The point will come in the not to distant future where the amount of food producible in CA will plummet. 

http://phys.org/news/2016-09-pacific-ocean-response-greenhouse-gases.html (http://phys.org/news/2016-09-pacific-ocean-response-greenhouse-gases.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 11, 2016, 04:14:56 PM
Mount Wilson Observatory has completely run out of water
Drought causes shutdown of fountains and restrooms
http://la.curbed.com/2016/10/9/13203068/mount-wilson-observatory-has-completely-run-out-of-water (http://la.curbed.com/2016/10/9/13203068/mount-wilson-observatory-has-completely-run-out-of-water)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 12, 2016, 10:05:34 PM
State on 'yellow alert' as savings drop
Quote
Two months after most water providers were allowed to ditch their mandatory conservation targets, California’s efforts to save water appear to be heading in the wrong direction.

Water conservation tapered off again in San Joaquin County and across the state in August, prompting state officials to warn that the targets could be put back in place beginning next year.
http://www.recordnet.com/news/20161005/state-on-yellow-alert-as-savings-drop (http://www.recordnet.com/news/20161005/state-on-yellow-alert-as-savings-drop)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 27, 2016, 07:08:53 PM
Eric Holthaus:  After 181% of normal precip this rainy season, most big California reservoirs are full—BUT—warm weather means snowpack just ~61% of normal.
https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/813781444652859393
(Graphs and maps at the link.)


Daniel Swain:  Greatly reduced snowpack, especially at lower elevations in Sierra Nevada, becoming a staple of California's increasingly warm winters.#CAwx
https://twitter.com/EricHolthaus/status/813782383619166208

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on December 29, 2016, 05:54:52 AM
Those not familiar with California hydrology, snowpack represents our largest reservoir to get us through the summer.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 29, 2016, 10:11:35 PM
California releases report on disputed twin tunnels water plan
Quote
It takes a while to get to the point, but an 80,000-page environmental opus released Thursday makes the case that Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15.7 billion twin tunnels project is the best way to fix California’s water woes.
...
The report analyzed the environmental impacts of 18 ideas — including doing nothing — to fix the sprawling state and federal water system that delivers supplies to 25 million people across California and irrigates some 3 million acres of farmland.
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-releases-80-000-page-report-on-10814395.php (http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-releases-80-000-page-report-on-10814395.php)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 05, 2017, 09:44:07 PM
Dangerous atmospheric river event will impact California this weekend.

Eric Holthaus:   Mudslides, debris flows possible in recent burn scars in the Sierras due to heavy rain & rain-induced snowmelt this weekend.
#climatechangeD

NWS Hanford:  Video weather briefing has been published for this weekend's high-impact #AtmosphericRiver event. ... #CAwx

Video:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3u7hPB4D_5Q&feature=youtu.be

https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/817090713439629312


Eric Holthaus:  This is a huge issue. Some parts of the Sierras will actually *lose* snowpack during this storm, adding to the already severe flood threat.

Daniel Swain:  Very high 850mb temps during most intense precip could lead to dramatic snowmelt in Sierra Nevada. Major flood concerns. #CAwx #CAflood

https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/817086389472940032
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 08, 2017, 03:01:44 PM
“Today we have building codes for earthquake safety, but millions of new westerners are not aware of the region’s calamitous climate history. Most have never even heard of the 1861–62 floods, and those may not have been the worst that nature can regularly dish out to the region.”

California Megaflood: Lessons from a Forgotten Catastrophe
A 43-day storm that began in December 1861 put central and southern California underwater for up to six months, and it could happen again
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atmospheric-rivers-california-megaflood-lessons-from-forgotten-catastrophe/ (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atmospheric-rivers-california-megaflood-lessons-from-forgotten-catastrophe/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 08, 2017, 03:07:34 PM
NWS Reno:  Atmospheric River has arrived. Heavy rain & flood impacts expected Satellite/radar show deep tropical moisture with this storm.  #NVFlood17
https://twitter.com/nwsreno/status/817999031104311296

Radar clip at the link.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 22, 2017, 07:49:03 PM
Flooding in southern California burn scars leads to mudslides.

Southern California storms raise fears of mudslides, trigger evacuations
Quote
LOS ANGELES -- California residents evacuated neighborhoods below hillsides scarred by wildfires as the third - and largest - in the latest series of storms brought powerful rain Sunday and warnings about flash flooding and possible mudslides.

The National Weather Service warned that the system was expected to gain strength throughout the day and could be the strongest in at least seven years. Flash flood watches and warnings were in effect for swaths of greater Los Angeles, where mountain areas could see more than 2 inches of rain.

Authorities ordered evacuations near wildfire burn areas in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Orange counties. Officials said potential debris flows could restrict access for emergency responders. ...
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/southern-california-storm-fears-of-mudslides-triggers-evacuations/ (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/southern-california-storm-fears-of-mudslides-triggers-evacuations/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 02, 2017, 09:29:47 PM
More than half of California still experiencing moderate to extreme drought conditions, according to U.S. Drought Monitor.
http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/ (http://www.californiadrought.org/drought/current-conditions/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 03, 2017, 03:04:10 PM
It is still a dramatic improvement. Hopefully this does not cause the state and its residents to relax. California must still address its long term problems regarding water.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 08, 2017, 05:41:21 PM
Why Is the Drought Not Over Yet?
Quote
Experts say groundwater needs to be replenished and that this could take one or two more seasons of equivalent rains.
...
The only areas with extreme to exceptional drought conditions in the state are in northern L.A. County and parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

"The drought has been so severe here that it takes a long time to replenish the groundwater system," says David L. Feldman, a UC Irvine professor of planning, policy and design. "A lot of the water runs off into the ocean."
http://www.laweekly.com/news/why-is-the-drought-not-over-yet-7903506 (http://www.laweekly.com/news/why-is-the-drought-not-over-yet-7903506)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 10, 2017, 11:17:21 PM
Lake Oroville nearly full from ongoing storms; normal spillway is massively eroded.

DWR: Less likely Oroville emergency spillway will be used
Quote
OROVILLE, Calif. (KCRA) —
California Department of Water Resources announced Friday that it does not anticipate needing to use the emergency spillway at Lake Oroville as water flows into the reservoir have decreased and outflows by way of the normal erosion-damaged spillway have been increased.

A team of project geologists, engineers and dam experts assessed the situation and conducted a test of the damaged Oroville Dam Spillway and decided it was the best option to release water through that as the lake was filling up.

"They knew there would still be some erosion, but it was still a usable structure and they could continue to use the spillway," DWR spokesperson Eric See said in a Friday news conference.

On Thursday evening, water officials announced that it was looking more likely that they would need to use the emergency spillway, but with inflows decreasing and outflows increasing, they pulled back on that. However, they are still preparing the area in case the emergency spillway would need to be used....
http://www.kcra.com/article/oroville-spillway-outflows-increase-as-damage-continues/8701837 (http://www.kcra.com/article/oroville-spillway-outflows-increase-as-damage-continues/8701837)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 12, 2017, 12:16:45 AM
Oroville Dam's emergency spillway used for first time amid rising waters; officials say public safe
Quote
Capping days of tense planning at the nation’s tallest dam, water flowed down an emergency spillway Saturday at the Oroville Dam for the first time after the dam’s main spillway suffered significant damage.

Water started flowing down the spillway into the Feather River early Saturday, with officials continuing to emphasize there was no imminent threat to the public or to the integrity of the dam.

The state Department of Water Resources said Lake Oroville — the linchpin of the state’s water system that sends water from the Sierra Nevada south to cities and farms — was rising to the point where water would flow down the emergency spillway. At 8 a.m., the agency said the spillway was now in operation.

Eric See, a department public information officer said it was the first time the auxiliary spillway was used to drain water from the lake since the dam opened in 1948.
...
At 770 feet high, Oroville is the tallest dam in the U.S. It was completed during the administration of Gov. Ronald Reagan and serves as the keystone for the State Water Project, which sends Northern California supplies south to the southern San Joaquin Valley and the urban Southland.

In January 1997, downstream towns were evacuated when the reservoir came within a foot of pouring down the emergency spillway into the swollen Feather River.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-oroville-spillway-20170211-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-oroville-spillway-20170211-story.html)

Brief video view: https://twitter.com/derekkcra/status/830459840229101568 (https://twitter.com/derekkcra/status/830459840229101568)


Edit: State says repairs to crippled Oroville Dam could run as high as $200 million
Quote
...Throughout Saturday morning, helicopters flew back and forth over the dam area, as Pacific Gas and Electric crews worked to dismantle cables and electrical components from electrical towers on a hillside adjacent to the main spillway, concerned they, too, could be dragged into the channel below by the crashing flows.

Denny Boyles, a spokesman for PG&E, said the work was being done in “an abundance of caution” to minimize materials that might get sucked into the river if the land around the towers is eroded by the unusual flows.

Unlike the main spillway, which is lined in concrete, the emergency spillway dumps water onto a open hillside. DWR officials had worked feverishly in recent days to try to lower reservoir levels enough to avoid overtopping the emergency structure, concerned that the outflows would scour the hillside, dumping additional trees, mud and debris into the Feather River. Work crews spent Thursday and Friday removing some of the trees from the ravine below the emergency spillway as a contingency....
http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article132154774.html (http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article132154774.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: nowayout on February 12, 2017, 09:22:53 PM
I'm afraid it is much too early to sum up the damage costs. It could get worse - big time.

This is the latest report I found on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQxVmKnBgvc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQxVmKnBgvc)

Bottom line: the amount of water spilling over has increased significantly, and threatens not reinforced parts of the dam. Additionally, more rain is forecast next week.

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: TerryM on February 13, 2017, 01:09:50 AM
Great, if scary video above.


If the spillway was undercut by leakage through the dam, what does the future hold?


Terry
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ghoti on February 13, 2017, 01:40:03 AM
The spillway was undercut by the maxed out (intentional) flow released down it not leakage.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Martin Gisser on February 13, 2017, 02:15:24 AM
Things might get bad in ca. 30 min:

http://fox40.com/2017/02/12/evacuations-ordered-for-parts-of-oroville-due-to-hazardous-situation-developing-at-emergency-spillway/ (http://fox40.com/2017/02/12/evacuations-ordered-for-parts-of-oroville-due-to-hazardous-situation-developing-at-emergency-spillway/)
Quote
Officials say a hazardous situation is developing with the Oroville Dam auxiliary spillway. The operation of the auxiliary spillway has led to severe erosion that could lead to a failure of the auxiliary spillway.

Officials are anticipating a failure of the auxiliary spillway at Oroville Dam within the next 60 minutes.

Failure will result in an uncontrolled release of flood waters from Lake Oroville.

The DWR is increasing water released to 100,000 cubic feet per second.

Immediate evacuation from the low levels of Oroville and areas downstream have been ordered.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 13, 2017, 02:36:07 AM
http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article132332499.html (http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article132332499.html)

I looked through more than one article before I could believe this wasn't a hoax. I however I still am struggling with the total lack of news on the T.V. ? I live in Southern Calif. any nary a word? If there is a potential release of the top thirty feet of Oroville Dam this is deadly serious.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Martin Gisser on February 13, 2017, 02:46:07 AM
Hi Bruce, I've been thinking of you. Didn't you tell you live in a flood plain? How is the situation in your place?

Oroville "dam" has even the parking place flooded, so water seems to be running beyond the concrete enforced emergency spillway. This might cut away the dam quickly. Perhaps there could also be a landslip at the broken and eroding main spillway?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Martin Gisser on February 13, 2017, 03:18:52 AM
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.lakana.com%2Fbmg-krcrtv-media-us-east-1%2Fphoto%2F2017%2F02%2F12%2F16709311_1373935719339675_1981520619_o_1486936092518_5841034_ver1.0_640_360.jpg&hash=f3a7334fe8dbb414eb3e9c3b933c9229)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: TerryM on February 13, 2017, 04:51:29 AM
Live coverage at
]
http://www.kcra.com/article/evacuation-orders-issued-for-low-levels-of-oroville/8735215 (http://www.kcra.com/article/evacuation-orders-issued-for-low-levels-of-oroville/8735215)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on February 13, 2017, 04:52:28 AM
Impending failure of California dam spillway prompts evacuations (http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/12/us/california-oroville-dam-failure/)
CNN report at 10:52 Eastern Time (seconds before first posting)
Quote
Damage to a spillway on California's Oroville Dam -- which prompted an urgent call for residents downstream to evacuate to higher ground -- may not be as bad as previously thought, the Butte County sheriff said Sunday.
Still, the evacuation orders for cities and counties near Lake Oroville remain in effect.
...
See also TerryM's link just above.

FOX News (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/02/12/officials-order-evacuations-areas-near-damaged-california-dam.html) has some coverage (page 1, but not at the top) that is not as current as CNN.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 13, 2017, 05:09:50 AM
Martin, Yes I live an a floodplain but we are still in a drought with the upstream reservoir at only 13%.
I would prefer more rain although it is pretty muddy of late.  We are to some degree dependent on heavy rains to fill our reservoir. The problem with the latest storm was it was very warm and it rained at high altitudes in the Sierra with snowmelt adding to flows. There are rains predicted to begin again Thursday and continue through next Monday. The predications are for colder conditions but any more snowmelt will be very bad for the Oroville. There is a lot of rain season still to come. There are plans to drop bags of rock into the growing hole in the emergency spillway but it is dark for the next few hours.
They will have two days to try to contain the growing hole before the next rains begin.
 I saw the Sierra from Fresno the other day and the snowpack was at a strangely high altitude. There is some very deep snowpack in some places with Mammoth lakes holding over twenty feet.
 It is a bad situation and morning should be interesting . Still not a word on anything but the internet, Facebook or Twitter. Strange
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on February 13, 2017, 05:24:45 AM
Mark Finan ‏@kcraFinan (https://twitter.com/kcraFinan?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Enews%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor) 7m7 minutes ago
Quote
At 8pm, Lake Oroville was at 901.02'. Flow is now ending over the emergency spillway
8 pm Pacific Time = 11 pm Eastern.  Sounds like the immediate emergency may have diminished, but with rain expected, then snow melt, this will likely be be a continuing saga.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: oren on February 13, 2017, 06:58:52 AM
5 years of drought and then this. Higher probability of extreme weather events indeed.
Must say the helicopter footage is quite scary.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: wili on February 13, 2017, 01:39:55 PM
They're evacuating Yuba City now and other locations further down stream. Will they have to evacuate Sacramento!?

Nearly 200,000 have already been ordered to evacuate already. How can this not hit at least parts of Sacramento?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 13, 2017, 02:00:44 PM
NBC news: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/potentially-catastrophic-tens-thousands-evacuated-amid-dam-spillway-failure-n720051 (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/potentially-catastrophic-tens-thousands-evacuated-amid-dam-spillway-failure-n720051)


Edit: live updates here: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-live-updates-oroville-dam-watch-officials-breif-media-on-1486986349-htmlstory.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-live-updates-oroville-dam-watch-officials-breif-media-on-1486986349-htmlstory.html)


NWS Sacremento:  6:08pm: #OrovilleDam itself is not compromised at current time. Failure would be on auxiliary spillway. See graphic for details.
https://twitter.com/nwssacramento/status/830961883708608513 (https://twitter.com/nwssacramento/status/830961883708608513)

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 13, 2017, 02:18:37 PM
Update:

Quote
...Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said officials made the decision to nearly double the volume of water being released from the dam to 100,000 cubic feet per second to drain the lake quickly and stop erosion at the top of the auxiliary spillway.

"Hopefully, that will release pressure on the emergency spillway and they’ll find a repair to prevent a complete failure," Honea said Sunday. "[The] situation is dynamic and could change anytime."

The lake had been lowered to 2 feet below the top of the emergency spillway thanks to the increased volume of water being released through the dam's main spillway, Oroville Mayor Linda Dahlmeier told ABC News.

The lake level is being lowered at a rate of about 4 inches per hour, the mayor said, adding that the erosion area has stopped progressing and stabilized.
...
http://abcnews.go.com/US/thousands-evacuated-calif-dam-danger-failure/story?id=45450195 (http://abcnews.go.com/US/thousands-evacuated-calif-dam-danger-failure/story?id=45450195)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on February 13, 2017, 08:13:26 PM
I presume the damage that caused the evacuations downstream of the OrovilleDam is the erosion identified below. (From KCRA (http://www.kcra.com/article/download-the-kcra-app-to-get-oroville-spillway-updates/8748779) with added arrows) - that if it continued to the concrete wall, it could undermine this piece of dam structure and allow several meters of lake water to flood.  See also Dr. Dave Petley's Landslide blog (http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/) (two articles on the Oroville Dam - 1st (http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2017/02/10/oroville-dam-1/) & 2nd (http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2017/02/13/oroville-dam-spillways/)).

I'm curious what that bluish-white-ribbon-looking feature is.  On the image on the Landslide Blog, this looks like a feathered-platform-like structure as part of the concrete wall (attached below)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: oren on February 13, 2017, 10:28:45 PM
In the Landslide blog he says
Quote
It is clear that the flow has exceeded the emergency spillway and has flowed over unprotected ground adjacent to it, which inevitably was vulnerable to erosion.  To me this seems quite extraordinary – how did the design allow that to occur – but that is a question for another day.  The response of the authorities was first to almost double the flow down the main spillway (from 55,000 to 100,000 cubic feet per second), which will have accumulated more damage as a result, and second to start the evacuation of 130,000 people downstream.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Iceismylife on February 14, 2017, 01:20:04 AM
<snip

I'm curious what that bluish-white-ribbon-looking feature is.  On the image on the Landslide Blog, this looks like a feathered-platform-like structure as part of the concrete wall (attached below)<snip>

It looks like a gray scale error data compression error. To me.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: TerryM on February 14, 2017, 03:13:50 AM
I believe that the first two photo's show the stripe in full color.
http://www.latimes.com/visuals/photography/la-me-lake-oroville-spillway-pictures-photogallery.html (http://www.latimes.com/visuals/photography/la-me-lake-oroville-spillway-pictures-photogallery.html)


Terry
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 14, 2017, 03:49:48 AM
I think they are having a major new problem emerging with the main spillway that, while not an immediate crisis, could be a long term disaster in the making. The reason they reduced the flow on the main spillway in the 1st place was the damage being done to the structure. Increasing flow has accelerated the damage and, unless I am mistaken, the structural damage to the main spillway is now moving uphill and edging towards the sluice gates. I have no idea how you will be able to do the kinds of repairs needed to prevent this total destruction of the hillside continuing. The soil under the spillway is being undermined and then the leading sections of the remaining undamaged portion is crashing into the growing hole.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 14, 2017, 07:00:41 AM
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?zoneid=CAZ069 (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?zoneid=CAZ069)

Weather forecast have snow above 8,000 ft. with warm conditions and heavy rain Thursday. Theire is a need to maintain water releases at current rates for at least 8-10 more days or more. I agree with
Shared Humanity that it looks like there is continued erosion on the main spillway . Repairs being attempted are on the emergency spillway I believe and I can't see how repairs on the main spillway can be done with current release rates. I also don't think fixing the hole in the emergency spillway will prevent other holes forming if the emergency spillway over tops again. A nasty situation.
 I haven't seen any mention of what portion of Southern Calif . water reserves are threatened but there is a risk to portions of the State Water Project pumps and canals . Breached Levys will not be quickly repaired should they fail.
I believe ASLR is a bit of an expert on the associated risks?  What happens to the State Water project should Oroville actually breach?


 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: aslan on February 14, 2017, 12:03:47 PM
5 years of drought and then this. Higher probability of extreme weather events indeed.
Must say the helicopter footage is quite scary.

Yep, hydrological cycle on steroids. Oroville storage went from 35-40% of its capacity to more than 100% in less than two months. Speak of a whiplash effect...

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg11.hostingpics.net%2Fpics%2F818942getResGraphOiginalaction.png&hash=d7ddc7fb262d9bb1a6c7b2c3b84eefbf)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 14, 2017, 05:20:57 PM
Updated article, mostly on the evacuation, which continues.

A race against the weather to avoid disaster at California dam
Quote
... The main spillway, which is lined, or paved, has a hole almost the size of a football field and at least 40 feet deep to form in the lower part of the channel. It can't be fixed immediately and needs to be used through March, which marks the end of what's been a very heavy rainy season.

It's being used to drain the lake at a rate of 100,000 cubic feet per second in an effort to reduce the water level. Normal flows down the main spillway are about 55,000 cubic feet per second.

The emergency spillway, which is an embankment covered with trees, is a last resort and was used for the first time in its 48-year history on Saturday. Lake water began washing into it this weekend and prompted the evacuation order when officials noticed damage on the spillway. ...
Current flooding caused by the huge outflow, reported by one resident:
Quote
"...at Feather River, the water level nearly reached the treetops. Surrounding playgrounds, gazebos and sports fields were completely submerged...
  http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/us/california-oroville-dam-spillway-failure/index.html (http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/us/california-oroville-dam-spillway-failure/index.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: TerryM on February 14, 2017, 05:50:17 PM
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?zoneid=CAZ069 (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?zoneid=CAZ069)

Weather forecast have snow above 8,000 ft. with warm conditions and heavy rain Thursday. Theire is a need to maintain water releases at current rates for at least 8-10 more days or more. I agree with
Shared Humanity that it looks like there is continued erosion on the main spillway . Repairs being attempted are on the emergency spillway I believe and I can't see how repairs on the main spillway can be done with current release rates. I also don't think fixing the hole in the emergency spillway will prevent other holes forming if the emergency spillway over tops again. A nasty situation.
 I haven't seen any mention of what portion of Southern Calif . water reserves are threatened but there is a risk to portions of the State Water Project pumps and canals . Breached Levys will not be quickly repaired should they fail.
I believe ASLR is a bit of an expert on the associated risks?  What happens to the State Water project should Oroville actually breach?


The following gives a very superficial overview of California's water system(s) and Oroville's place in it.


http://www.kcbd.com/story/34493089/lake-oroville-critical-to-californias-complex-water-system (http://www.kcbd.com/story/34493089/lake-oroville-critical-to-californias-complex-water-system)


Terry

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on February 14, 2017, 05:59:12 PM
Here, finally, is a good photo of the erosion, and clues to how serious it would be if water continued to flow over the emergency spillway.  From LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-live-updates-oroville-dam-view-from-1487016427-htmlstory.html) with credit to the Sacramento Bee.  This potential problem has been a know deficiency for a long time. (https://qz.com/909917/authorities-were-warned-that-the-oroville-dam-was-at-risk-of-collapse-16-years-ago/)

By-the-way, you can see the concrete lip near the bottom of the spillway wall that looked odd in previous photos reproduced yesterday.

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on February 14, 2017, 06:47:54 PM
Boy am I surprised:  NBC (http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Oroville-Dam-Water-Level-Drops-After-188K-Evacuated-413594893.html) has a video showing a helicopter depositing large bags of rock associated with "fixing" the emergency spillway.  I expected to see the bags filling the erosion by the red arrow (my addition), but the bags are being stacked in a hole by the purple arrow (my addition).  I presume erosion in this 'new' area could reach the reservoir while bypassing all concrete barriers.  2nd 'still' is a close-up of the hole where the bags are going (during the filming yesterday) with one bag on its way down.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on February 14, 2017, 07:04:57 PM
I appreciate this graphic showing why it is unlikely for the Oroville dam (itself) to collapse associated with the current challenges.  Don't, however, think that I trust everything published by the associated article (http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/02/why-the-oroville-dam-wont-fail/)'s author.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Martin Gisser on February 14, 2017, 07:28:08 PM
Tor, this parking place edge is exactly what I thought about. Beyond that minor weak point it seems the dam and the spillways pose no danger: They are now stress-tested. And I bet the emergency spillway is on solid rock foundation, and also the upper part of the main spillway, which seems to not erode upwards.

So, the danger seems lurking downstream: Soggy dams breaking or overflowing, but no tsunami.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: TerryM on February 14, 2017, 07:32:03 PM
Tor


I'd watched white water coming from beneath the parking area with alarm as the emergency overflow was being breached. As you mention, concrete barriers may have been skirted. If bedrock is deep beneath the surface here a blowout could be disastrous.


Terry
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 14, 2017, 09:19:22 PM
Terry, Exactly! Why did water flood the parking area at the same time it topped the emergency spillway? If I was to give some advice it would be to quickly build some kinda wall around the parking area so the water is forced to go down emergency spillway and not over the parking lot and the section of hill with what appears to be zero concrete. Was the parking area an afterthought? Who would design a parking structure at the same level as the spillway.
 It really doesn't matter if the dam holds but the whole mountain it was attached to crumbles... 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Iceismylife on February 14, 2017, 10:53:07 PM
That end of the parking lot looks to have been built up over a ravine.  Car jersey barriers would've been useful at keeping the water out of the parking lot. Or something.  It looks like some redesign work is called for.  The dodged a bullet with this one.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 14, 2017, 11:12:11 PM
Here's a good shot of the concrete lip of the emergency spillway, from the dam side.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: ritter on February 14, 2017, 11:48:46 PM
The dodged a bullet with this one.
I don't know if it's been dodged or not. We've still got to get through March for the rain season to subside (although there's no certainty about that with the weather weirding going on). Then it's on to the snow melt season. We have a substantial snow pack this year. An early heatwave could wreak havoc on the reservoir in its current situation. Fingers crossed for those with homes below.

Downstream of that emergency spillway should have been hardened at original construction.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 15, 2017, 01:13:31 AM
Evacuation order has been lifted; residents and businesses may return, but are advised to remain "situationally aware" in case another evacuation is needed.

Authorities lift mandatory evacuation orders for Oroville Dam emergency
Quote
Authorities lifted a three-day mandatory evacuation order in Northern California that had sent nearly 200,000 residents away following fears Oroville Dam's damaged emergency spillway might fail.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea was the first to announce the order was lifted at a press conference Tuesday afternoon in Oroville. "We have concluded that it is safe to return," said Honea.

The sheriff said he had received assurances from state and federal experts that the situation was now deemed safe. He said there's still "an evacuation warning" that considers the possibility that there could be future changes in the situation.
...
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/14/authorities-lift-mandatory-evacuation-orders-for-oroville-dam-emergency.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/14/authorities-lift-mandatory-evacuation-orders-for-oroville-dam-emergency.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Iceismylife on February 15, 2017, 02:04:33 AM
The dodged a bullet with this one.
I don't know if it's been dodged or not. We've still got to get through March for the rain season to subside (although there's no certainty about that with the weather weirding going on). Then it's on to the snow melt season. We have a substantial snow pack this year. An early heatwave could wreak havoc on the reservoir in its current situation. Fingers crossed for those with homes below.

Downstream of that emergency spillway should have been hardened at original construction.
If they don't draw that thing down at the maximum safe rate then they get what they deserve.

Quote
(although there's no certainty about that with the weather weirding going on)

I'd had enough of the drought etc.  I gathered as much energy as I could and wrapped it around the Arctic.  Two weeks later we had two GACs as big as 2012 in one week.  I'm done putting effort into it.  We may get that Arctic high to form and let the sunlight in.  Perfect melt year on the way?

Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 15, 2017, 02:47:32 AM
I was watching live broadcast on KCRA on Sunday and the person talking said the parking lot is the weakest point. The lot itself is on soil and that gully at the lip of the parking lot would have grown rapidly, washing the parking lot out just like the road had been washed away. Once that gully reaches back to the lake, it is game over. That rapid stream of water would rip that hillside apart and there would be no way of stopping it.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: aslan on February 15, 2017, 11:28:45 AM
An NYT article with some good scientific references :

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/opinion/what-californias-dam-crisis-says-about-the-changing-climate.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/opinion/what-californias-dam-crisis-says-about-the-changing-climate.html)

The "funniest" part is about the reference in the 80s, warning of both drier and wetter conditions, especially for Cali. Thirty years later, this prediction is showing to be quite accurate...
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Tor Bejnar on February 15, 2017, 05:57:30 PM
Informative blogging about the Oroville Dam issues at metabunk.org (https://www.metabunk.org/oroville-dam-spillway-failure.t8381/):
YouTube video of repair work (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahOEdiYj8z8#t=18m0s) (reversed left for right - see comments in blog) and what the conspiracy theorists are saying, water flow charts and more.  (15 pages of comments and counting, plus a spin-off thread focusing on the main spillway "waterfall").
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: EthanOConnor on February 15, 2017, 11:01:14 PM
The 2000Z NWS 168h QPF (7 day quantitative precipitation forecast) just out does not paint a good picture:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov%2Fqpf%2Fp168i.gif%3F1487194380&hash=1c35c99ab48ddca67ae8ee32462858ee)

The 14.5" bullseye and the 10-15" contour are lined up right over the Lake Oroville / Upper Feather drainage. This actually looks worse than the setup that led to the overtopping of the emergency spillway last week:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov%2Farchives%2Fqpf%2F20170205%2Fp168i_2017020500_fill.gif&hash=bc45def9ea741d51c6a8a9fd0311d7ff)

Slightly lower snow levels will likely moderate some of the impact, unless the later storms come in warm and melt the newly-fallen marginal/low-elevation snow.


In terms of hydrologic state now versus at the start of the precipitation that led to the overflow event:

-Inflows are about the same (~20kcfs)
-There is less than half the storage available: (24' / 352000af    vs. 52' / 738000af)
-Releases are more constrained by the state of rest of the flood control system (Shasta Dam level/releases/etc)
-The powerplant discharge capacity is not available

In terms of structural stability - the Oroville Dam section of this document: http://www.archive.org/stream/zh9californiastatew2003calirich/zh9californiastatew2003calirich_djvu.txt (http://www.archive.org/stream/zh9californiastatew2003calirich/zh9californiastatew2003calirich_djvu.txt)
is as good a source as I've found online regarding the design and construction of the spillway facilities.

Two items in stood out to me:

-The original design called for an unlined primary/flood-control spillway in the same channel as the current lined channel, but the bedrock was found to be unsuitable due to the amount of eroded material that would be washed into the outflow pool, potentially interfering with power plant operations as has happened during this event

-While the bedrock in the spillway area is mostly quite resistant, there are multiple shear zones steeply dipping and striking roughly normal to the plane of the dam. These zones are extensively weathered from the surface to depths of at least 100'. This could account for the extremely rapid erosion into bedrock in the channels just below the emergency spillway. Headwall cutting of these channels could easily lead to undermining of the emergency spillway, which sits on top of a grout curtain but not on a structural foundation.

Failure of the dam embankment itself seems very far-fetched (well-nigh impossible, in fact), but a problem in the emergency spillway weir coupled with erosion of 10s-100s of feet into weathered bedrock could lead to loss of control over the top 30-100 feet of the pool, which would be an enormous problem during the initial outflow and during runoff management during this extremely snowy and wet season.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: DrTskoul on February 15, 2017, 11:28:11 PM
Thanks for the update Ethan. Keeping fingers crossed...
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 15, 2017, 11:48:08 PM
"Northern California (incl #LakeOroville) is >1 month ahead of the previous rainiest rainy season on record. 221% of normal. Stunning pace."
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/831995960238632960
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 16, 2017, 05:49:07 AM
Tor Bejnar, Thanks for the  metabunk.org link. Lot's to take in but the description of the 4' weir that parallels the parking lot seems a very weak link. The thirty foot high concrete emergency spillway ends and a little four foot wall extends to the hill at the edge of the parking lot. It was overtopped during last weeks 902' high water event. You gotta be kidding me.
 
 
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: EthanOConnor on February 16, 2017, 07:34:51 AM
"Northern California (incl #LakeOroville) is >1 month ahead of the previous rainiest rainy season on record. 221% of normal. Stunning pace."
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/831995960238632960

That's an incredible departure for a multi-station index!! I knew it had been wet but I didn't realize how extreme the pace was - 50% more season-to-date than the previous record wettest year.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: TerryM on February 16, 2017, 10:19:13 AM
Informative blogging about the Oroville Dam issues at metabunk.org (https://www.metabunk.org/oroville-dam-spillway-failure.t8381/):
YouTube video of repair work (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahOEdiYj8z8#t=18m0s) (reversed left for right - see comments in blog) and what the conspiracy theorists are saying, water flow charts and more.  (15 pages of comments and counting, plus a spin-off thread focusing on the main spillway "waterfall").


By far the most informative site re. Oroville Dam


Worst of problems are probably behind us. (as long as the broken spillway doesn't start eroding uphill again) :(


Terry
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2017, 03:46:40 PM
Property damage at risk IF the dam were to fail completely:

Oroville Dam Damage May Reach $13 Billion, 50,000 Homes at Risk
Quote
Now that residents of areas that could be hit by a breach of the Oroville Dam have been evacuated out of harm’s way, one of the largest challenges of a disaster would be property destruction. A new study claims as many as 50,000 homes are at risk and that the damages could cost $13.3 billion.

That is the reconstruction cost value (RCV) of 50,047 single-family and multifamily residential homes that would be obliterated if the dam fails completely, and they are in Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. ...
http://247wallst.com/housing/2017/02/16/oroville-dam-damage-may-reach-13-billion-50000-homes-at-risk/ (http://247wallst.com/housing/2017/02/16/oroville-dam-damage-may-reach-13-billion-50000-homes-at-risk/)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2017, 03:48:59 PM
Eric Holthaus:  Update: Latest (00Z) GFS showing more rain/snow inbound over the next 7 days. The >12" region has expanded vs. previous runs.
#OrovilleDam
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/832239820957118464
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2017, 05:04:23 PM
An interview with Peter Gleick, chief scientist at the Pacific Institute and a frequent visitor to Lake Oroville, concerning what the possible disruption of Lake Oroville water would mean to California.

An interview with Peter Gleick about what might lie ahead for America’s tallest dam — and the people living in its shadow.
https://psmag.com/heres-the-worst-case-scenario-at-lake-oroville-ac8e4b93fce3
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2017, 06:10:00 PM
CHP Quincy:  Heavy equipment working to fill the eroded areas at #OrovilleSpillway #OrovilleDam

2 minute raw video.

https://twitter.com/chp_quincy/status/831344066335961090
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2017, 07:49:39 PM
Learning from Oroville Dam Disaster: State Water Board Proposes Climate Change Resolution
Quote
Earlier this week, while areas downstream of Oroville Dam were still under an evacuation order, California’s State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) released a draft resolution for a comprehensive response to climate change. It resolves that the agency will embed climate science into all of its existing work, both to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and to build resilience to the impacts of climate change. In doing so, the State Water Board demonstrates how public agencies can respond more proactively to the very real challenges that global warming is bringing our way. ...
http://blog.ucsusa.org/juliet-christian-smith/learning-from-oroville-dam-disaster-state-water-board-proposes-climate-change-resolution (http://blog.ucsusa.org/juliet-christian-smith/learning-from-oroville-dam-disaster-state-water-board-proposes-climate-change-resolution)

It's not just Oroville: Record rain is straining California's whole flood control network
Quote
...Hoping to avoid the situation faced by Lake Oroville, officials are planning large releases of water from reservoirs. But that could further strain the hundreds of miles of levees that line the Central Valley’s vast river networks, built to protect homes, businesses and farms from floods. The series of storms that slammed the area in December 1996 and lasted for a week caused numerous levees to collapse. Widespread flooding that inundated 300 square miles led to extensive damage and evacuations of 120,000 people, as well as nine deaths.

While the state’s reservoirs are built to release water slowly, officials are forced to quicken the pace of releases when they are at capacity. Water from brimming reservoirs is guided into nearby rivers. If those rivers are full, water can seep over and under levees, or through hidden cracks, leading to erosion....
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-oroville-floods-norcal-20170216-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-oroville-floods-norcal-20170216-story.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2017, 07:53:18 PM
 Potential flooding in Southern California:

Tom Dang: GFS model projecting rainfall Return Intervals of 10-25 years across portions of #SoCal tomorrow. Flooding seems likely #CAStorm #cawx
https://twitter.com/dangwx/status/832265592535121920
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 17, 2017, 01:07:16 PM
Powerful Friday storm in Southern California; Warm & wet atmospheric river to affect Oroville Dam watershed Monday
Quote
Quick overview of current meteorological context

California is currently experiencing one of its wettest winters on record. Precipitation has been especially remarkable across the Northern Sierra watersheds, where liquid equivalent (rain+melted snow) is presently above 200% of average. Widespread flooding has already occurred across Northern California in recent weeks, and supersaturated soils are now leading to slope failures (mudslides and landslides) across much of the state. In additional to the “typical” flooding of regional rivers and streams that one might expect with prolonged heavy precipitation, California’s vast water storage and conveyance infrastructure is starting to crack under the strain–in some cases, quite literally.
...

Potentially strong, warm & wet atmospheric river headed for Oroville Dam watershed

Unfortunately, the forecast for the Feather River watershed upstream of the Oroville Dam has become somewhat more ominous over the past 24 hours. Instead of a series of moderate, cold, and relatively manageable storms as had originally been depicted by the models, a rather strong atmospheric river is now expected to develop and slowly move across Northern California on Monday. The GFS and ECMWF agree that this storm will tap into subtropical moisture, bringing a warm and moist airmass into the region. Mountain peaks in the vicinity of Oroville Dam are not as tall as those further south along the Sierra Nevada mountain chain, so it’s easier for warm storms to produce exclusively rain (as opposed to snow) in that part of the state. The Monday storm may indeed be warm enough for most/all of the precipitation in that watershed to fall as heavy rain, which is not good news for current mitigation operations at Oroville Dam. Recent forecasts show a high likelihood of greater than 10 inches of precipitation over the next 5 days, with parts of the basin expected to approach 15 inches over the next 7 days. It is unclear at this point exactly what impacts this expected heavy rainfall will have on dam operations, but it’s clear this is not the forecast that DWR officials and emergency managers were hoping for....
http://weatherwest.com/archives/5582 (http://weatherwest.com/archives/5582)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 17, 2017, 07:47:09 PM
 Satellite animation at the link.

Greg Diamond:  Not often we see a rapidly deepening low of this magnitude off the coast of Cali. Could be strongest in Feb on record #StormWatch #LARain
https://twitter.com/gdimeweather/status/832583232113799168
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: TerryM on February 18, 2017, 12:01:39 AM
WOW


Hope Bruce and his squealers can find high ground. The storm just behind this one might have the knock out punch.


Terry
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 18, 2017, 12:52:20 AM
Terry, Everything is fine around here. Kinda muddy for chores , we have had 5 inches rain in the last 12 hours.
 I have been mesmerized by metabunk.org for a couple days. Will be watching lake levels for the next several days.

https://apps.axibase.com/chartlab/dee79515/11/#fullscreen

If levels begin to rise again things will get sketchy. Monday will be a big test.

I think our yearly rain total was only about 5 inches two years ago .  I am hoping these storms are something that can bust the drought. So I would be the last one to complain right now. Rain some more , I can always buy taller boots !
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2017, 12:58:39 AM
See the GIFs at the links.

"YO THIS RAIN IS FOR REAL IN LOS ANGELES TODAY!! It's turning parking garages into water parks #raininla #LA"
https://twitter.com/christynroyce/status/832718297065885697

“Landslide caught on camera in San Bernardino National Forest. "Oh my gosh...the whole bottom is sliding!" ”
https://twitter.com/abc/status/832701178517483522
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: TerryM on February 18, 2017, 01:33:41 AM
Yea, Metabunk & it's sister are wonderful. Reminiscent of Neven's creations.


My house is probably 50 miles from Forest Falls where the landslide is shown, although mine is on flat ground well up from the river.


Glad that 5 inches was no problem, that's a bunch of water!


Stay Safe
Terry
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2017, 09:01:04 PM
Historic storm pounds Southern California with damaging winds and record rain
Quote
Residents all across Southern California are waking up this morning to an unfamiliar scene. Downed power lines, flooded interstates and car-sized sinkholes are what’s left in the wake of what is being called the strongest storm to hit the region since 1995. Historic rainfall and powerful hurricane-force winds caused widespread damage, resulting in at least two storm-related deaths....
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/02/18/historic-storm-pounds-southern-california-with-high-winds-and-record-rain/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/02/18/historic-storm-pounds-southern-california-with-high-winds-and-record-rain/)

There is a larger and more powerful storm behind the storm affecting California right now -- this next one will hit the central and northern parts of the state.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 19, 2017, 02:09:35 PM
"Another >12 inches (>30cm) of rain by Tuesday for some parts of northern California.
Inbound storm is the real deal. Be safe, everyone."
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/833281975788015618

"Due to exceptionally wet winter, Monday storm could bring flood impacts not seen in many years. Central Valley levees at risk.#CAwx #CAflood"
NWS Sacremento: PLEASE PREPARE NOW! Serious flood & wind impacts expected early next week. #cawx #CAstorm #CAflood
https://twitter.com/weather_west/status/833082120016785408
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 19, 2017, 02:13:25 PM
Several maps and charts at the link:

How full are Northern California reservoirs and rivers?
http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article133224899.html (http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article133224899.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 19, 2017, 09:53:41 PM
Next storm(s):

Strong atmospheric river likely to bring widespread, perhaps severe flooding to Northern California on Monday
Quote
...As the offshore low lifts northeastward, the moist plume associated with the warm front will make slow progress northward during the day on Monday before reversing direction and moving more rapidly southeastward as the cold front approaches. The I-80 corridor (including the Bay Area and Sacramento regions) will be near the classic “triple point” of the warm, cold, and occluded fronts–which is a recipe for major flooding, since the atmospheric river can effectively “pivot” over a relatively narrow region. It’s still hard to pinpoint exactly which region will be most severely impacted, but I expect some serious flooding later Monday in a relatively narrow region somewhere within about 100 miles of the I-80 corridor. Even outside of this band of potentially dangerous rainfall accumulation, widespread heavy precipitation will still occur and lead to considerable flooding, mudslides, and other issues.

While the warm and wet precipitation will slowly taper off on Tuesday, it now appears that an active pattern will continue thereafter (albeit a much colder one). Additional precipitation accumulations may add to already considerable flooding later in the week, although at least snow levels should be drastically lower by Wednesday, reducing overall runoff.
...
But given the magnitude of the incoming Monday storm and the precariousness of the present situation, it’s becoming increasingly likely that problems will arise this week. As others have pointed out, the present situation is very similar to those which have historically resulted in major levee failures in the Central Valley and Delta regions. Undoubtedly, this week’s weather will be a serious stress test for California’s aging water infrastructure. Indeed, the potential exists this week for severe flood-related impacts of a magnitude not seen in many years. This is a storm to take seriously!
http://weatherwest.com/archives/5595 (http://weatherwest.com/archives/5595)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 19, 2017, 10:07:55 PM
"Still some uncertainty with Monday's #CAStorm. But Hi-Res models depicting historically rare rain rates across a swath of #NorCal #cawx"
https://twitter.com/dangwx/status/833397640024965124
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 20, 2017, 01:49:24 AM
Overflowing Glory Hole Spillway at Lake Berryessa In Napa County, California from a drone yesterday

Video here:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NxOOnKL265I
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 20, 2017, 02:05:17 AM
NWS Sacremento: Many mainstem rivers across #NorCal expected to be in flood or danger stage in the upcoming days. #CAStorm #CAFlood #cawx
https://twitter.com/nwssacramento/status/833422185050025984
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 20, 2017, 02:07:42 AM
NWS asking public to be prepared to evacuate with less than 15 min notice in event of flood emergency in NorCal.

"Text from latest @NWSSacramento forecast discussion highlighting potential for widespread,perhaps dangerous flooding.#CAwx #CAflood #CAstorm"
https://twitter.com/weather_west/status/833462984554852352
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 20, 2017, 03:40:22 AM
I-5 & CA 20 in Williams, Colusa County CA today #caflood #castorm #CAwx
https://twitter.com/yubasupbradford/status/833165041935409153
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: be cause on February 20, 2017, 03:58:20 AM
it's beginning to look like 1861 again .. I hope responses are better than in New Orleans

and just as Europe begins importing salad crops from California .. oops ! weather ?
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Martin Gisser on February 20, 2017, 06:22:42 AM
Forget the salad. Drought-flood double whammy = soil erosion big time... Dry, rinse, repeat: agriculture gone.
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 20, 2017, 10:02:30 PM
This was written in 2011:

Robert Bea, professor of engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, warns: “In terms of damage, deaths and long-term cost, a rupture in the delta levees would be far more destructive than what happened in Hurricane Katrina. This is a ticking bomb.”

California’s Next Nightmare
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/magazine/sacramento-levees-pose-risk-to-california-and-the-country.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/magazine/sacramento-levees-pose-risk-to-california-and-the-country.html)
Title: Re: CA Drought Emergency Declared
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2017, 01:04:10 AM
"Yes, that's a waterfall behind the house. Anderson dam spillway in full force now."
https://mobile.twitter.com/lenramirez/status/833791163190505472

Second image:
Don Pedro Controlled Spillway Gate has been opened. #DonPedroSpill
First time since 1997.
Back then, the water from the spillway caused flooding in Modesto.
Brief video at the link: https://twitter.com/turlockid/status/833818231894794244

Article:
Atmospheric River Brings Historic Flood Risk to California
California is now experiencing its worst storm yet — with the potential to reshape its history.
https://psmag.com/california-braces-for-historic-floods-2f38774515e8
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Tigertown on February 21, 2017, 11:13:09 AM
Very intermittent tv coverage on all this compared to what it should be.

If I am counting right, this is the second time in one day they have plugged a breach on this same levee.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/latest-heavy-downpours-hit-soggy-california-45614103

Also, more here on the situation that sigmetnow mentioned about Don Pedro Resovoir.
https://weather.com/news/weather/news/california-flooding-impacts (https://weather.com/news/weather/news/california-flooding-impacts)
(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F&hash=35d7d5d7526c9897dfb55501e320295a)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2017, 02:06:14 PM
Expect to see more emergencies like Oroville Dam in a hotter world
Scientists predicted decades ago that climate change would add stress to water management systems like Oroville Dam
  Dams in the US were built 50 years ago, on average.
Quote
Our infrastructure was designed for yesterday’s climate, not today’s or tomorrow’s. We know the climate is changing and we need to be prepared.

Gleick warned 30 years ago that this increased runoff would add stress to California’s water infrastructure, also noting that in a hotter world, more precipitation would fall as rain and less as snow.

California will get the worst of all possible worlds – more flooding in the winter, less available water in the summer.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/feb/20/expect-to-see-more-emergencies-like-oroville-dam-in-a-hotter-world (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2017/feb/20/expect-to-see-more-emergencies-like-oroville-dam-in-a-hotter-world)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2017, 04:08:29 PM
When rivers near Sacramento reach flood stage, water is allowed to flow naturally into the Yolo Bypass.  Article has an animated map of how it spreads.

Yolo Bypass: the inland sea of Sacramento
Quote
Land or Sea? The recent rains early this year brought much needed relief from the five-year drought in California. Reservoirs are full, mountains are covered with snow, and flood control structures are being used, some for the first time since 2006. Interstate 80 causeway commuters frequently, though perhaps unknowingly, witness one of the most important floodplains in California – the Yolo Bypass is now filled with water as far as the eye can see.

The recent events at Oroville Dam help highlight the Yolo Bypass’ vital role in flood protection for the Sacramento area. Despite the risk of flooding from the potential failure of Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway last week, flood control managers and experts emphasized the limited risk to the Sacramento area. The Bypass was a big reason why communities near Sacramento didn’t experience the same risk as those closer to the dam. Understanding the Bypass helps explain why it functions so well in our regional flood control strategy. But it also emphasizes the scale of protection needed for a low-lying area like Sacramento. ...
https://californiawaterblog.com/2017/02/20/yolo-bypass-the-inland-sea-of-sacramento/
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2017, 09:31:19 PM
This is what the 101 freeway looks like right now in Morgan Hill. Not an optical illusion. Flooding from Coyote Creek has closed both directions
https://twitter.com/samnbcbayarea/status/834125871959023616
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2017, 09:37:08 PM
NWS Bay Area: Here is a map showing locations of rock/mud slides & debris flows.  To see current road closures http://511.org/ (http://511.org/) #cawx #CAflood
https://twitter.com/nwsbayarea/status/834116592409706496 (https://twitter.com/nwsbayarea/status/834116592409706496)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2017, 09:54:13 PM
More Floods and Evacuations in California--Plus Wind Gusts Topping 190 MPH
Quote
Even if the rains of the last week haven’t lived up to model-based expectations, they have caused plenty of havoc (see Figures 1 through 3). Power was knocked out to more than 100,000 people in the Los Angeles area on Friday, with several fatalities reported. More than two dozen debris flows had been recorded in nine counties as a result of the Sunday/Monday storm, according to a comprehensive roundup of the last week’s storms from weather.com. One levee breach on Monday night in San Joaquin County was quickly repaired after some 500 people had been ordered to evacuate. Residents of the town of Wilton in southern Sacramento County were under a voluntary evacuation on Monday night, but the Cosumnes River ended up peaking at 12.06 feet, less than an inch above the 12-foot flood stage and more than 3 feet below predictions from earlier Monday.
...
A truly wild night in the high Sierra
Two high-elevation weather stations at California’s Squaw Valley resort experienced incredible winds on Monday night as the core of the jet stream associated with the atmospheric river came through, together with localized wind acceleration from a low-level jet encountering the Sierra crest. (Thanks to WU member BayFog for pointing out the multiscale interactions.] Between 10:45 pm and 11:00 pm PST, the Siberia (Sierra Crest)-Squaw station, or SIBSV--located at an elevation of 8700 feet near the top of Squaw Peak--recorded a peak wind gust of 193 mph [310 kph], with sustained winds reported at 123 mph. During the same interval, only about two miles to the southeast, the Summit (Ward Mt)-Alpine station, or SUMAM--perched atop Mt. Ward at 8643 feet--recorded a gust to 199 mph, with sustained winds of 148 mph. ...
https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/more-floods-and-evacuations-in-californiaplus-wind-gusts-topping-190 (https://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/more-floods-and-evacuations-in-californiaplus-wind-gusts-topping-190)

Another storm is forecast to arrive Sunday-Monday.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 23, 2017, 02:19:05 AM
Hit by worst floods in a century, San Jose got little warning of impending disaster
Quote
Over the last two weeks, heavy rains pushed water levels at Santa Clara County’s largest reservoir into the danger zone, with officials warning it could overflow.

That happened over the weekend, sending massive amounts of water into the Coyote Creek, which runs through the heart of San Jose.

By Tuesday, the creek was overflowing at numerous locations, inundating neighborhoods, flooding hundreds of homes and forcing the frantic evacuations of more than 14,000 residents, who remained out of their homes Wednesday.

The worst flooding to hit Silicon Valley in a century left San Jose reeling and residents angry about why they were not given more warning that a disaster was imminent. Even city officials on Wednesday conceded they were caught off guard by the severity of the flooding and vowed a full investigation into what went wrong....
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-jose-floods-20170222-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-jose-floods-20170222-story.html)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 23, 2017, 08:30:27 PM
From 2015:
Overpumping of Central Valley groundwater creating a crisis, experts say
http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-groundwater-20150318-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-groundwater-20150318-story.html)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 27, 2017, 01:12:29 AM
"A winter of closures to scenic Highway 1 compounded by a catastrophic bridge failure is hammering businesses in the Big Sur area and could damage tourism on the North Coast as well.

Highway 1 closures, Big Sur bridge failure taking a toll on tourism
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article135046339.html (http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article135046339.html)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: TerryM on February 27, 2017, 02:16:38 AM
"A winter of closures to scenic Highway 1 compounded by a catastrophic bridge failure is hammering businesses in the Big Sur area and could damage tourism on the North Coast as well.

Highway 1 closures, Big Sur bridge failure taking a toll on tourism
http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article135046339.html (http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article135046339.html)
That's some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. What a shame.
 A friend here in Canada was the owner of the Esalen Institute back in the day, and I'm the only one around here familiar with the place. She tells some wonderful stories.


Terry
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: jai mitchell on February 27, 2017, 07:58:23 PM
This is a good presentation about the paleoclimate evidence and observational record of abrupt climate change.  he correctly attributes these rapid and long-term changes to atmospheric circulation changes.  he also verifies Francis & Vavrus obs. of weaking westerlies due to a reduced NH temperature gradient.  What he does not consider is the increase in NH water vapor expansion due to the reduction in SE Asian aerosols.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NtU8Nydlk4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NtU8Nydlk4)

Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 28, 2017, 12:47:09 AM
"Our first view of the damaged Lake Oroville spillway without the water flowing"
https://twitter.com/kcrafinan/status/836320349209808897
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: ritter on February 28, 2017, 01:24:05 AM
"Our first view of the damaged Lake Oroville spillway without the water flowing"
https://twitter.com/kcrafinan/status/836320349209808897

What spillway?  :o
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 28, 2017, 07:02:38 PM
Another view: 

Butte County History tweeted:  Friend and awesome photographer Greg Reeves took both of these shots of the #OrovilleSpillway #OrovilleDam.
https://twitter.com/buttecohistory/status/836624050680020992
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: magnamentis on February 28, 2017, 07:19:33 PM
"Our first view of the damaged Lake Oroville spillway without the water flowing"
https://twitter.com/kcrafinan/status/836320349209808897

What spillway?  :o

it's an interruptus LOL
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: jai mitchell on March 01, 2017, 12:19:39 AM
Atmospheric River total

Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: solartim27 on March 01, 2017, 06:01:23 AM
Mt Palomar had 9" of rain yesterday.  I probably had close to 5 eyeballing a bucket that was outside.  SD airport had just over 2.  It was a hell of a storm.
http://fox5sandiego.com/2017/02/28/san-diego-looks-to-dry-out-following-record-rainfall/ (http://fox5sandiego.com/2017/02/28/san-diego-looks-to-dry-out-following-record-rainfall/)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 01, 2017, 09:21:42 PM
Wettest water year to date in California (1895-present, prelim data)
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/monitor/cal-mon/ (http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/monitor/cal-mon/)

https://twitter.com/climate_guy/status/836951777144496128 (https://twitter.com/climate_guy/status/836951777144496128)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 08, 2017, 03:28:22 PM
'A Tragedy': Hundreds of Thousands of California Residents Exposed to Contaminated Water
Nearly 1 million people don't have access to safe, reliable drinking water according to new data from California's State Water Resources Control Board
Quote
The latest data from California’s Water Resources Control Board show 700,000 Californians are currently being exposed to contaminated water at home or at school.

Because the state data doesn’t account for the nearly 2 million Californians still relying on private wells or factor in contamination from Chromium-6, experts say the number of people with toxic water is likely even higher.

In addition to those with contaminated water, another 3,511 California households reported having wells that are still dry according to state data released in January, 2017.

The vast majority of those wells are located in California’s Central Valley, in places like Tulare County, Madera County, and Stanislaus County....
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/A-Tragedy-Hundreds-of-Thousands-of-California-Residents-Exposed-to-Contaminated-Water-415136393.html (http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/A-Tragedy-Hundreds-of-Thousands-of-California-Residents-Exposed-to-Contaminated-Water-415136393.html)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Tor Bejnar on March 08, 2017, 07:05:36 PM
The unintended consequences...
Oroville dam: multiple riverbank failures on the Feather River after the flow was abruptly stopped  (http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2017/03/07/feather-river-1/)

Quote
The San Francisco Chronicle has an excellent article about what happened next on the Feather River when the flow down the Oroville Spillway was abruptly stopped last week to remove debris from the channel:
Quote
When state water officials scaled back their mass dumping of water from the damaged Oroville Dam this week, they knew the riverbed below would dry up enough to allow the removal of vast piles of debris from the fractured main spillway.  But they apparently did not anticipate a side effect of their decision to stop feeding the gushing Feather River — a rapid drop in river level that, according to downstream landowners, caused miles of embankment to come crashing down.  With high water no longer propping up the shores, the still-wet soil crashed under its own weight, sometimes dragging in trees, rural roads and farmland, they said.

“The damage is catastrophic,” said Brad Foster, who has waterfront property in Marysville (Yuba County), about 25 miles south of Lake Oroville.

The farmer not only saw 25-foot bluffs collapse, but also lost irrigation lines to his almonds. “When the bank pulled in,” he said, “it pulled the pumps in with it. It busted the steel pipes.”
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 13, 2017, 12:58:08 AM
From award winning filmmakers, Marina Zenovich and Alex Gibney, #WaterAndPower is the story of California's most precious resource: water

Premieres Tuesday, March 14, 9 PM. National Geographic Channel.

https://twitter.com/natgeochannel/status/839868410196459523
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 05, 2017, 03:24:28 AM
California's mountains currently have a massive snow pack from the heavy storms this winter (which caused flooding at lower elevations).  Need to watch as the season progresses.

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action (http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowapp/sweq.action)

Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: jai mitchell on May 05, 2017, 05:44:42 PM
My favorite chart, End-April volume, not even remarkable. A simple continuation of what looks like a linear trend, past a "plateau" that may have been random variability in hindsight.

This is good, however, it must also be suggested that the 2013 & 2014 'recovery' years were black swan events and are pushing the trend anomalously higher (straighter).  If these years effects did not occur and the volume gain during those years was removed then the trend would fall well below the long-term linear trend.

I believe for several reasons that these years events were a statistical outlier over 4 sig.

"Black Swan" seems a bit too extreme.  The paleontological evidence seems to indicate a bit of stuttering before the actual climate switch.  This is also consistent with how natural systems generally tend to undergo a change of state in General Systems Theory.  Most of the time the system tends to choke a few times before flipping to a new state.  If you think about it, that is what happens with things like computer networks which are in the process of crashing -- they stutter and then fail.

Jim

what you are saying is true to an extent, however we are not operating within a black box environment.  The 1976 and 2014 Gulf of Alaska blocking pattern has a distinct profile that is largely a result of varying upper troposphere aerosol loading.   I have been looking at this for a number of years now and the key indicator is that the Global Circulation Models (GCMs) used to model geoengineering (global dimming) show a strong and persistent blocking ridge in this region.

Therefore, while state-change activities are definitely happening, the drivers of specific systemic changes always have physical drivers.  It appears that the 2013/2014 cooler summers (and warmer winters in Alaska, drought in California and record snow levels on the east coast) are driven by regional shifts in high-temp process emissions of  aerosols (as happened in 1975 when Europe rapidly reduced their emissions but U.S. and Asia emissions were continued).

The 2013 event was similarly produced by reductions in U.S. emissions post 2007 crash but shifting this manufacturing to China who engaged in a command economy overproduction surge in 2013.

Without this knowledge this could appear to be a strengthening of natural variability under a shifting climate regime, but this is a black box analysis of a black swan event. 

This video has excellent analysis from people who were not aware of this aerosol driver.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on0QmcDFgrg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on0QmcDFgrg)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Jim Williams on May 05, 2017, 06:38:37 PM
My favorite chart, End-April volume, not even remarkable. A simple continuation of what looks like a linear trend, past a "plateau" that may have been random variability in hindsight.

This is good, however, it must also be suggested that the 2013 & 2014 'recovery' years were black swan events and are pushing the trend anomalously higher (straighter).  If these years effects did not occur and the volume gain during those years was removed then the trend would fall well below the long-term linear trend.

I believe for several reasons that these years events were a statistical outlier over 4 sig.

"Black Swan" seems a bit too extreme.  The paleontological evidence seems to indicate a bit of stuttering before the actual climate switch.  This is also consistent with how natural systems generally tend to undergo a change of state in General Systems Theory.  Most of the time the system tends to choke a few times before flipping to a new state.  If you think about it, that is what happens with things like computer networks which are in the process of crashing -- they stutter and then fail.

Jim

what you are saying is true to an extent, however we are not operating within a black box environment.  The 1976 and 2014 Gulf of Alaska blocking pattern has a distinct profile that is largely a result of varying upper troposphere aerosol loading.   I have been looking at this for a number of years now and the key indicator is that the Global Circulation Models (GCMs) used to model geoengineering (global dimming) show a strong and persistent blocking ridge in this region.

Therefore, while state-change activities are definitely happening, the drivers of specific systemic changes always have physical drivers.  It appears that the 2013/2014 cooler summers (and warmer winters in Alaska, drought in California and record snow levels on the east coast) are driven by regional shifts in high-temp process emissions of  aerosols (as happened in 1975 when Europe rapidly reduced their emissions but U.S. and Asia emissions were continued).

The 2013 event was similarly produced by reductions in U.S. emissions post 2007 crash but shifting this manufacturing to China who engaged in a command economy overproduction surge in 2013.

Without this knowledge this could appear to be a strengthening of natural variability under a shifting climate regime, but this is a black box analysis of a black swan event. 

This video has excellent analysis from people who were not aware of this aerosol driver.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on0QmcDFgrg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on0QmcDFgrg)

I've been working on trying to absorb your aerosols argument, and I am tending to bifurcate on the matter myself.  I climbed Mount St. Helens twice before it blew up.  I am not unaware of what Pinatubo did.  At the same time, your analysis can be misused to promote a geoengineering solution, and I see no evidence that we understand the system well enough to predict the results.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: jai mitchell on May 05, 2017, 09:39:24 PM
we already know that aerosols cool the earth that is the basic science of it and the basic science alone is sufficient to promote an argument for geoengineering. 

I am not sure what you believe my aerosol argument is.  In this case I am saying that there is very likely a large anthropogenic component that drove both the 2013/2014 and the 1975/1976 negative PNA periods that led to colder summers in the Arctic and hot/dry west coast weather.

I am also saying that, if this is the case, that our current schedule of reductions in fossil fuel emissions will not allow this long-term blocking to occur again (in the absence of actual geoengineering attempts - or tests)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Jim Williams on May 05, 2017, 11:44:40 PM
we already know that aerosols cool the earth that is the basic science of it and the basic science alone is sufficient to promote an argument for geoengineering. 

I am not sure what you believe my aerosol argument is....
You just stated it in the preceding paragraph, and as I believe we screwed up 200 years ago I am not inclined to agree with screwing it up once again.

I just don't believe we know what we are doing.  Therefore I am not inclined to agree with any sort of geoengineering "quick fix."

Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: jai mitchell on May 06, 2017, 06:56:50 AM
I am not advocating geoengineering though I sadly believe that it will be attempted in the next 15 years.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Jim Williams on May 06, 2017, 01:46:39 PM
I am not advocating geoengineering though I sadly believe that it will be attempted in the next 15 years.

I have to agree.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 18, 2017, 02:32:19 AM
21 Cities Emerging From Drought
Quote
After more than five years of drought in the western United States, above-average precipitation during the fall and winter months has finally delivered relief in 2017. While careful evaluation of the region’s primary water sources — surface water, snowpack, and groundwater — is still required to fully assess the recovery, California Gov. Jerry Brown officially ended in April the state of emergency in all but a few counties in the state.
...
Based on the latest Drought Monitor data, around 5% of the United States is in some state of drought, the lowest level ever recorded by the Drought Monitor, which started collecting data in 2000. There are 21 metro areas that recovered remarkably well from drought. In May of last year, 80% or more of the land area in each of these areas were classified as being in severe or worse levels of drought. Today, however, these 19 California and two Nevada metro areas are close to or completely free of drought.

...see the cities emerging from drought.

...see the detailed findings.

...see the methodology.
http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/05/17/21-cities-emerging-from-drought/ (http://247wallst.com/special-report/2017/05/17/21-cities-emerging-from-drought/)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Archimid on May 18, 2017, 02:39:20 AM
I'm so glad for California. They are on the front line of climate change. California is leading by example and if the drought extended for much longer the economic and social impact of droughts could have stopped them from leading.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 20, 2017, 03:40:12 AM
The Oroville Dam spillway was wrecked months ago. Here's where the repairs stand as rain season looms
http://www.latimes.com/la-me-ln-oroville-spillway-repair-20171109-htmlstory.html

Top image: current construction

Bottom image:  the crumbling spillway last February
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: ghoti on November 20, 2017, 06:44:41 PM
That is not the current condition of the Oroville spillway. They completed this year's construction by Novemeber 1. Next year they will replace the very top section and resurface the middle section and add higher walls on the middle section.

The state of construction can be viewed in the video of the overflight of the spilway on Novemebr 15.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F9irn-u6no
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 23, 2017, 03:07:59 PM
That is not the current condition of the Oroville spillway. They completed this year's construction by Novemeber 1.
...

Great video.  Thanks!
Love the “mighty Luscombe.”  8)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 16, 2017, 02:12:16 PM
New model run, same story. California is locked in an epic dry spell.
No rain until 2018.
     https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/941901703527485440
Image below.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 16, 2017, 02:57:12 PM
And the Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) from NOAA shows the effects of this persistent weather pattern with little to no precipitation. This is the wet season for California and it is behaving as the worst category drought.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 16, 2017, 03:04:19 PM
And the jet stream over this time frame.

https://atmos.washington.edu/~ovens/wxloop.cgi?npole_h250_wind+/-168//
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 16, 2017, 03:16:15 PM
And the 30 day sea level pressure anomaly showing persistent high pressure over the western U.S. which is driving much needed moisture north of California. I believe that this high pressure anomaly is the new normal under the emerging climate regime. It does not bode well for the Southwestern U.S.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 16, 2017, 03:25:00 PM
90, 180 and 365 day sea level pressure anomalies. Am I ill informed to be concerned by these trends? It is amazing to me that these high pressure anomalies are occurring over the oceans in both the southern and northern hemispheres. Is this the result of some natural oscillation?
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 16, 2017, 04:21:15 PM
And the Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) from NOAA shows the effects of this persistent weather pattern with little to no precipitation. This is the wet season for California and it is behaving as the worst category drought.

Thanks, SH — I was not aware of that tool.

I found this backgrounder useful:
http://wwa.colorado.edu/publications/reports/EDDI_2-pager.pdf

Image: Example of EDDI compared to the usual NOAA drought map, showing the development of drought in the central U.S. in 2012.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 16, 2017, 04:30:23 PM
90, 180 and 365 day sea level pressure anomalies. Am I ill informed to be concerned by these trends? It is amazing to me that these high pressure anomalies are occurring over the oceans in both the southern and northern hemispheres. Is this the result of some natural oscillation?

It looks like the return of the "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" off California.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Alexander555 on December 16, 2017, 04:33:52 PM
It's not about California. And i'm not realy familiar with the weather in this regon. But the snow seems pretty far south. Or is it correlated with the dry rainy season in California ?
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 16, 2017, 04:44:26 PM
I have a sister who lives in Flagstaff and this is their snowy season. There is some great skiing on the high slopes there.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: John Batteen on December 17, 2017, 12:25:47 AM
There was accumulating snow in Mexico.  Highly unusual.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 17, 2017, 01:57:58 AM
Have a bil who lives in Tucson. Snow routinely accumulates on peaks there.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: John Batteen on December 17, 2017, 07:14:39 PM
Sure but not in the low country.  This was pretty unusual.  Not unheard of but certainly uncommon.

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/snow-flies-in-the-north-with-first-winter-storm/

Quote
In Saltillo, the capital of Coahuila, the thermometer dipped to seven degrees below zero, and 10 below in the sierra to the east. The temperatures, coupled with the snowfall, forced authorities to close three highways to traffic, all going into Saltillo from Zacatecas, Monclova and Torreón.

It was on the latter highway that conditions caused a bus to roll over, injuring 14 people.

Earlier this afternoon there were more than 2,000 trucks stranded on highway 57 in the municipality of Arteaga, near Saltillo. Traffic began slowing Thursday night due to poor conditions.

Arteaga Mayor Jesús Durán Flores predicted that traffic would remain backed up through the afternoon.

Local Civil Protection officials delivered food and fuel to the stranded vehicles yesterday.

In the municipalities of Monclova and Múzquiz, snowfall reached the 25-centimeter mark, causing the roofs of three schools to collapse. Airports throughout the state had to cancel flights, while the roads to several ejidos were blocked by snow.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Martin Gisser on December 21, 2017, 12:25:48 PM
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01907-4
Quote
Future loss of Arctic sea-ice cover could drive a substantial decrease in California’s rainfall
Abstract
From 2012 to 2016, California experienced one of the worst droughts since the start of observational records. As in previous dry periods, precipitation-inducing winter storms were steered away from California by a persistent atmospheric ridging system in the North Pacific. Here we identify a new link between Arctic sea-ice loss and the North Pacific geopotential ridge development. In a two-step teleconnection, sea-ice changes lead to reorganization of tropical convection that in turn triggers an anticyclonic response over the North Pacific, resulting in significant drying over California. These findings suggest that the ability of climate models to accurately estimate future precipitation changes over California is also linked to the fidelity with which future sea-ice changes are simulated. We conclude that sea-ice loss of the magnitude expected in the next decades could substantially impact California’s precipitation, thus highlighting another mechanism by which human-caused climate change could exacerbate future California droughts.

Interview with lead author here:
https://www.ecoshock.org/2017/12/science-of-the-nasty-future.html

(https://media.springernature.com/lw900/springer-static/image/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41467-017-01907-4/MediaObjects/41467_2017_1907_Fig4_HTML.jpg)
(Fig. 4 loc. cit.)
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 21, 2017, 08:42:22 PM
There remains a (Southern) California-sized hole in the rainfall forecast for the next 16 days. Still no meaningful rain on the way for SoCal as far out as we can see (Jan 6, 2018)
     https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/943894897374920706
Image below.

Los Angeles:
Normal L.A. rainfall Oct 1 - Jan 6 = 4.66"
2017-18 L.A. rainfall Oct 1 - Jan 6 = 0.12" (projected) -- just 2.5% of normal
     https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/943897598435479554
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 23, 2017, 05:27:44 PM
“An AR [Atmosperic River] isn’t really a singular storm per se, it’s more like opening a narrow, long superhighway from the atmosphere to an indiscriminate point on the map on which extreme amounts of water travel.

Most of that is carried in the form of water vapor, but there’s so much water — on average 25 Mississippi Rivers’ worth in each AR — that when a storm system taps into one and makes landfall under the right conditions, the results can be devastating.”

“California is spending billions to protect the millions at risk of a megaflood, but thanks to climate change, it’s too little too late.”
http://features.weather.com/us-climate-change/california/
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 24, 2017, 02:52:38 PM
Graphs, for those who prefer them over tables of data. :) :o

California's Thomas Fire torches record books, as 'normal' climate burns away
Quote
The Thomas Fire is one in a long line of beyond "normal" events to hit the Golden State recently. Here's a list of some of California's recent whiplashing climate records:

- Record Dry. The worst drought in more than a millennia gripped the state from 2011 to 2016.
- Record Wet. That was immediately followed by the state's wettest rainy season ever recorded. During February alone, flooding caused $1.5 billion in damages and forced a tense evacuation of 188,000 residents downstream of the overflowing Oroville Dam.
- Record Hot. Then all that epic rain gave way to California's hottest recorded summer, by a long shot.
- Record Fire. This year brought the trifecta of wildfire misery to California setting records for the biggest, most-destructive and deadliest wildfires ever recorded in the state.
- Record Hot & Dry at same time. The region of the fire baked under it's hottest October and November ever. And the driest as well. The Ventura County Fire Department reported: "It has been over 250 days without any recorded rain in the area. Relative humidity is in the single digits." Eight months without any rain. Record heat. Winds gusting to hurricane strength at times.
- Record Forest Death. All that weather whiplash has been killing California trees in record numbers. Just last week the US Forest Service announced that "though California received record-breaking rains in the winter of 2016-2017, the effects of five consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and rising temperatures have led to historic levels of tree die-off…a staggering 129 million dead trees in the state." All those dead trees are increasing the fuel potential for more extreme wildfires in the future. ...
https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/23/analysis/californias-thomas-fire-torches-record-books-normal-climate-burns-away
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 16, 2018, 09:37:24 PM
Last winter's near-record rainfall in California means the state's reservoirs are still mostly full.
This year is a different story.
Record warmth and near-record low snowfall means a new drought may be beginning.
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/953356311428845574

Without some real snow (maybe this week?), overall water storage in the Sierra is seriously lagging despite brim-full reservoirs
https://twitter.com/mdettinger/status/953332825717026816
Image below.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 24, 2018, 04:54:44 PM
Length of present (nearly) unbroken #SoCal dry spell is remarkable. Los Angeles has only seen a single day of significant rainfall (>0.25 in.) since last Apr (2017), and only 2 days with precipitation above 0.5 inches since last Feb--nearly a year ago.#CAwx #LArain @NWSLosAngeles
https://twitter.com/Weather_West/status/955851892260618243
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: gerontocrat on January 24, 2018, 06:00:45 PM
Last winter's near-record rainfall in California means the state's reservoirs are still mostly full.
This year is a different story.
Record warmth and near-record low snowfall means a new drought may be beginning.

Without some real snow (maybe this week?), overall water storage in the Sierra is seriously lagging despite brim-full reservoirs

It must be more than 50 years ago I read a sc-fi novel about California and the Rockies, which did not have global warming, but did have a greatly increased population and industry making water demand and supply a matter of survival.

The Rockies and the water system had been taken over by the Water Police to monitor the snow-pack and prevent unauthorised access, with a licence to kill water-thieves. The shape of things to come?
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 27, 2018, 08:00:12 PM
“Record high temperatures possible Sunday and especially Monday throughout #SoCal; well abv avg for foreseeable future. Mid-winter snowmelt likely in #SierraNevada as spring-like temperatures arrive, possibly bringing snowpack to record low level for date. #CAwx #CAwater #CAfire”
   https://twitter.com/weather_west/status/957307875084267520
Image below.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 27, 2018, 11:05:01 PM
Setting the stage for another horrific fire season?
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: aperson on January 29, 2018, 12:41:59 AM
Setting the stage for another horrific fire season?

Looks like it. There's currently a very large anticyclonic wavebreak occurring over the Kamchatka peninsula region that pumps the ridiculously resilient ridge for the foreseeable future. It looks like this pattern will be stagnant until enough energy is built up to pump through the ridge like the last system that caused the Montecito debris flow. The placement of the high is also good to create Santa Ana wind events throughout the middle of winter.

Precip outlook across models is not good for the foreseeable future. Given California's already low snowpack, this could be another year of extreme drought and fire conditions.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Alexander555 on January 31, 2018, 10:37:35 AM
Looks like the snow will be gone fast if predictions are good. The first pic is for today. The other one for a couple days later.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 03, 2018, 04:07:47 PM
“This von Kármán vorticity is literally the coolest thing I've ever seen. ”
https://mobile.twitter.com/weatherdak/status/959437501743190018
GIF at the link.

Also: image of the map of the current wind at 250 hPa.
Live map:  https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/250hPa/orthographic=-126.86,31.87,399

Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: gerontocrat on February 08, 2018, 05:20:48 PM
California is getting dryer - last two weeks monitor maps below. Am I right in believing that the US uses soil moisture, not precipitation as the measure?
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 08, 2018, 06:06:02 PM
Gerontocrat, Yes soil moisture but also several other indexes. Satellite  plant stress , surface water flows,etc.
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/AboutUSDM/DroughtClassification.aspx
It's very dry and warm , we had one 2" rain and although that brought up the grass it is already yellowing. The main water reservoir, Lake Cachuma,  rose to 50% last year with last years rains but has already dropped below 40%.
 I haven't heard " ridiculous resilient ridge " as often as a couple years ago but it's there . The last time this happened we also ended up with the " blob " . I hope the " blob " doesn't return , it was very destructive to the West Coast marine nearshore ecosystems. The starfish dieoff, purple urchins barrens,kelp losses , and abalone starving in Northern Calif.
 
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: gerontocrat on February 11, 2018, 11:19:21 AM
From cci-reanalyzer for next Friday

Guess where the high pressure is.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: aperson on February 11, 2018, 08:57:35 PM
There's a little rain there at least, mostly due to a strange cutoff low forming from that high pressure ridge tilting heavily.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: gerontocrat on February 16, 2018, 12:50:37 PM
Two images

Califormia Drought Monitor 13 Feb 2018. Note how area of drought about the same - but also note how D2 drought has tripled in area (in SoCal).

cci-reanalyzer N. America Precipitation and pressure 23rd Feb. The high blog off the West Coast persists. cci-renalyzer then says things start changing - (note that's when they also say Arctic temps start dropping quite rapidly).
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 17, 2018, 04:10:26 PM
“It's late in California's rainy season, and things are looking increasingly dire.

Statewide snowpack: 20% of normal
L.A. rainfall: 21% of normal
S.F. rainfall: 54% of normal
Warmest year on record, so far, statewide
Drought worsening statewide
No meaningful rain in the forecast ”
https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/964568884585082880
Image below; more images at the link.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: gerontocrat on February 17, 2018, 04:43:34 PM
Hullo Sigmetnow,

I thought I would add to your post the image below. I wonder how the reservoirs are holding out whether Jerry Brown is being briefed?
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2018, 09:40:02 PM
Here you go.  Reservoir levels are quite good at this point — which may lead to complacency despite the mostly dry rainy season... until the snowpack cannot replenish the lakes this summer.

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/products/rescond.pdf
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 18, 2018, 11:34:22 PM
That is good news. I worry about the approaching fire season. There has still got to be a lot of ground fuel where fires did not burn last year.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: gerontocrat on February 19, 2018, 12:29:54 AM
Here you go.  Reservoir levels are quite good at this point — which may lead to complacency despite the mostly dry rainy season... until the snowpack cannot replenish ......
So maybe in 6 months it will be water rationing again unless the gods of water decide that california's dry season will be wet ?
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on February 19, 2018, 08:51:15 PM
In California, the long term solution is inevitable. California cities use a small fraction of the water consumed. The central valley agricultural miracle is on its last legs.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2018, 07:34:30 PM
“As of Feb 19... Los Angeles has now gone a full 365-day calendar year with only a single day of significant rainfall (>0.33 inches). While there's a chance of a few showers this week, there's still no significant precipitation in the forecast across #SoCal. #CAwx #LArain ”
https://twitter.com/Weather_West/status/965657762997792768
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: gerontocrat on February 24, 2018, 11:56:30 AM
California Drought Monitor map for Feb 20th below. Note how extent has spread to Northern California - but intensity D2-D4 area not increased.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 02, 2018, 09:43:00 PM
“California's Tahoe snowpack has never clawed back to normal by season end after being this low on March 1. The worst year that did, '85, had more than twice as much March 1 snow.  h/t @NRCS_Nevada ”
https://twitter.com/ClimateSignals/status/969672912750886912
Image below.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 08, 2018, 06:47:30 PM
“We just wrapped up the 3rd driest February in modern California history... #CAwx @CBSSF “
https://twitter.com/PaulDeannoKPIX/status/971570029627084801
Image below.

“Also worth noting that in some key hydrological regions in California (in Southern Sierra Nevada, and upstream of Shasta Dam), DJF 2017-2018 was indeed the singularly driest winter on record. #CAwx ”
https://twitter.com/Weather_West/status/971441816422592512
Image below.

“2017-2018 was only the third warmest winter (DJF) on record in California (rank dropped a bit due to late Feb cold snap). Still, California's top 3 warmest winters have all occurred in the past 4 years. #CAwx #CAwater ”
https://twitter.com/Weather_West/status/971434906768179200
Image below.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 08, 2018, 06:48:55 PM
“Interestingly, for the season-to-date (Oct-Feb), California just experienced one of its widest year-to-year precipitation swings on record: extreme whiplash between record-wet start to 2016-2017 and extremely dry start to 2017-2018. #CAwx #CAwater ”
https://twitter.com/Weather_West/status/971435543257952256
Image below.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 19, 2018, 12:32:44 PM
Quote
Major #AtmosphericRiver event forecast for Wed. Mar 21, impacting #SoCal w/ potential concerns for #ThomasFire area. At landfall, PWV (Precipitable Water Vapor) ~30mm. Broad tap into tropical wv reservoir. #CAwx #CAstorm #PineappleExpress
https://twitter.com/atmosriver/status/975574964811194369
Image below.

Quote
A cutoff low located over the eastern N Pacific is assoc. w/ persistent southwesterly flow toward the West Coast and the transport of anomalously high PW values toward California. PW anomalies >5σ are forecast along to coast of California during 21-22 March. #AtmosphericRiver
https://twitter.com/AliciaMBentley/status/975525520006963200
Image below; GIF at the link.

Quote
"5σ PW anomalies" translates to "huge amount of water vapor in the column of air above your head, of a magnitude that is historically rare." This is why there is so much concern regarding #ThomasFire burn scar in #SantaBarbara and #Ventura. #AtmosphericRiver
https://twitter.com/Weather_West/status/975527708644884480
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 20, 2018, 08:01:41 PM
Yikes.

NWS Los Angeles forecast:
“Updated rainfall storm totals.  Steady rain with periods of moderate to heavy rainfall expected especially Wed afternoon through Thu.”
https://twitter.com/NWSLosAngeles/status/976140730275069952
Image below.  7.04 inches = 179 mm


Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 20, 2018, 08:37:01 PM
“Mandatory evacuations are now ordered for parts of Santa Barbara County, in advance of the strongest coastal storm of the season -- mudslides + debris flows *expected* near recent burn scars.”
Current Map:   https://sbc-gis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=0d9fc497afef4aec86ccb4d6a6068161

https://twitter.com/ericholthaus/status/976178979806859269
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 21, 2018, 02:06:27 AM
NWS:  “This is the beginning of a long duration very heavy rainfall event, with rainfall totals exceeding those that caused the mud/debris flow event Jan 9th of this year. Check out the size of the Thomas Fire, and all the other red and orange outlined burn scars.“
https://twitter.com/NWS/status/976259442131046400

NWS Los Angeles:  “Rain began about 2 hours ago, and here are totals since then. It's mostly light so far, but we expect the intensity to pick up this evening and overnight. You can see the recent burn areas outlined in red, which are primary areas of concern. #CAwx #SoCal #CAstorm“
https://twitter.com/NWSLosAngeles/status/976250845284139008
Image below.

Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 01, 2018, 07:11:29 PM
NWS WPC: 
“Heavy precipitation is expected to return to California Friday into Saturday, much of which could occur in 12 hours.  Area reservoir levels are near to above historic averages, so the forecast is worth monitoring.”
https://twitter.com/nwswpc/status/980483060222349318
Image below.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 01, 2018, 07:25:54 PM
NWS WPC: 
“Heavy precipitation is expected to return to California Friday into Saturday, much of which could occur in 12 hours.  Area reservoir levels are near to above historic averages, so the forecast is worth monitoring.”
https://twitter.com/nwswpc/status/980483060222349318
Image below.

Certainly worth monitoring but, given the situation, not bad news.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Daniel B. on April 02, 2018, 04:36:29 PM
NWS WPC: 
“Heavy precipitation is expected to return to California Friday into Saturday, much of which could occur in 12 hours.  Area reservoir levels are near to above historic averages, so the forecast is worth monitoring.”
https://twitter.com/nwswpc/status/980483060222349318
Image below.

Certainly worth monitoring but, given the situation, not bad news.

Agreed.  California has always been boom or bust, when it comes to the rains.  With its bulging population, lack of rainfall is the bigger issue.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 02, 2018, 08:44:20 PM
Weird to be worrying about floods, and drought, at the same time.

“There are two important dates for California #water: Oct 1 (the beginning of the "water year" & April 1 (the benchmark metric for the end of the snow/rain season). By all April 1 data, the 2018 water year is a very dry one. Here are the data from DWR.“
https://twitter.com/PeterGleick/status/980636621937655809
Image below; more at the link.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 05, 2018, 04:48:57 PM
“Whoa: amount of atmospheric moisture near Bay Area could approach *all time* record high level on Sat w/incoming #PineappleExpress #AtmosphericRiver at exact time of year when it typically reaches *minimum* value. That's incredible! #CAwx #CAwater h/t @NWSBayArea ”
https://twitter.com/wunderground/status/981639947873542144
Image below; more at the link.

Near-Record April Rains to Drench Central California, Soak Sierra Snow
https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/near-record-april-rains-drench-central-california-soak-sierra-snow
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: TerryM on April 05, 2018, 05:37:16 PM
“Whoa: amount of atmospheric moisture near Bay Area could approach *all time* record high level on Sat w/incoming #PineappleExpress #AtmosphericRiver at exact time of year when it typically reaches *minimum* value. That's incredible! #CAwx #CAwater h/t @NWSBayArea ”
https://twitter.com/wunderground/status/981639947873542144 (https://twitter.com/wunderground/status/981639947873542144)
Image below; more at the link.

Near-Record April Rains to Drench Central California, Soak Sierra Snow
https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/near-record-april-rains-drench-central-california-soak-sierra-snow (https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/near-record-april-rains-drench-central-california-soak-sierra-snow)
JH Christ!
Stay safe Bruce.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Bruce Steele on April 05, 2018, 06:09:56 PM
If the same Pineapple Express hit last April we would have lost Oroville. A late season rain that melts the Sierra snowpack is a JH moment. Oroville is probably going over the spillway this week , ready or not.
 Here in SB county we are only at ~ 50% of average rainfall. Last year we had average precipitation but we are still stuck in a very long drought. This weeks atmospheric river is forecast to miss us although the half inch of rain forecast is better than nothing. Our reservior ( Cachuma ) is at 40%.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: wolfpack513 on April 05, 2018, 07:51:32 PM
If the same Pineapple Express hit last April we would have lost Oroville. A late season rain that melts the Sierra snowpack is a JH moment. Oroville is probably going over the spillway this week , ready or not.
 Here in SB county we are only at ~ 50% of average rainfall. Last year we had average precipitation but we are still stuck in a very long drought. This weeks atmospheric river is forecast to miss us although the half inch of rain forecast is better than nothing. Our reservior ( Cachuma ) is at 40%.

Oroville is at 60% of capacity right now with 1.25 million acre feet of storage space left.  What makes you think it’s going over the spillway?
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: jmshelton on April 05, 2018, 09:02:27 PM
The California Department of Water Resources release a statement that they may use the main spillway at Oroville https://www.water.ca.gov/News/News-Releases/All-News-Articles/Lake-Oroville-Operations-Update-April-4 (https://www.water.ca.gov/News/News-Releases/All-News-Articles/Lake-Oroville-Operations-Update-April-4).

"Forecasted storms expected in the Feather River basin this weekend may require using Lake Oroville’s flood control outlet spillway (also known as the main spillway) this week or next.

After last year’s spillway incident, the Department created the 2017/18 Lake Oroville Winter Operations Plan to ensure public safety in the event of major storm events. This plan triggers more aggressive outflow from Hyatt Powerplant and potential use of the main spillway should the reservoir’s elevation reach 830 feet during the month of April. The current forecasts show the potential for inflows to raise the reservoir to near the 830-foot trigger elevation by the middle of next week. Currently, the lake elevation is 794 feet.

In anticipation of the incoming weather, DWR is increasing outflows from Hyatt Powerplant. Outflows were increased from 9,500 cfs to 11,500 cfs at noon, and will be increased to 13,000 cfs at 1PM. Feather River flows are expected to increase as outflows increase. These numbers are approximations."


They are not expecting problems though.  Also, this is not their emergency spillway that is earthlined.  It is the one they had to repair the concrete lining.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: TerryM on April 06, 2018, 10:01:51 AM
Bruce
Relieved to hear that it's not forecast to do you harm. I don't want your Agave Roasting experiment to be washed into the Pacific like the Big Sur Bridge was. 8)
That graphic looked horrific.


My best to the Mrs and the piggies.
Terry
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Alison on April 06, 2018, 11:10:22 AM
Seconded!
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: wolfpack513 on April 07, 2018, 07:36:49 AM
New NCDC release this morning.  last 12 months were the 2nd warmest April-March in 123 years of records for California.  Last 6 years were all the top 6.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: gerontocrat on June 29, 2018, 07:15:38 PM
Summer is here,
Drought area and intensity accelerating ?
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 15, 2018, 12:56:23 AM
Latest snowpack numbers from 104 automated stations throughout California. Percentages are based off today's long term average of snow-water content. #CAwx
https://twitter.com/RobElvington/status/1073406053981642752
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: Bruce Steele on January 10, 2019, 05:00:47 AM
We are suppose to get over 7 inches of rain here in Southern Calif. over the ten days with long term forecasts looking wet. I am happy but those people near the burn scars in Malibu may take a bit of a beating. Our reservior is finally going to be filling . Maybe we can break this drought even if the El Niño
has stalled out.
Title: Re: California weather extremes and climate
Post by: TerryM on January 10, 2019, 09:11:25 PM
We are suppose to get over 7 inches of rain here in Southern Calif. over the ten days with long term forecasts looking wet. I am happy but those people near the burn scars in Malibu may take a bit of a beating. Our reservior is finally going to be filling . Maybe we can break this drought even if the El Niño
has stalled out.
That's a huge amount of rain fall interacting with lands that have had no time at all to recover from the recent burn.
It looks as though lots of very expensive real estate is going to be heading incrementally westward towards that most inappropriately named ocean.


Should we be expecting more insurance companies to discover that they themselves hadn't purchased adequate coverage? ::)
Terry