Tonight’s snowpack in the Sierra Mountains averages a melted two feet of water. In the spring much of that will be harvested in a series of huge reservoirs. Wherever you live you’ll benefit because California grows most of America’s nuts, fruits and veggies with that water.
Water is a constant concern and battle in California. If you live elsewhere and have somehow heard how thirsty almond trees are, that’s one of those water battles that escaped state lines.
Farmers vs city dwellers. Lettuce versus grass (the fescue kind).
During our last drought you couldn’t take a shower to wash off at California beaches, a ridiculously ineffective water saving example of political theater. As it turns out making a gesture isn’t the same as making a difference.
With 2018-19’s bumper crop in the mountains (and more to come) the pressure will be off for a while. A very good year can fill reservoirs for a much longer run.
Here in the OC rain is more a curiosity than anything. Yes, we stop watering but not for long¹. Same goes for the strawberry fields scattered about the area in two and three acre chunks.
Most of our drinking water comes from elsewhere. We don’t even collect rainwater here. Quite the opposite. We have concrete lined river beds and washes to speed Santa Ana Mountain runoff to the sea.
California’s water year begins in October and follows what are usually six or more nearly rain free months. So far this season we’ve gotten a lot. Five months in we’re already well over an average full year.
The strawberry farmers are probably pleased, but I’m ready for the rainy season to end.
¹ – Our city, Irvine, being a recently built and well planned city has two water mains. The purple main contains recycled water not good enough for drinking but perfect for plants.