Drought Update


Yes, in the past two weeks there has been significant improvement to the drought impacting California. But there is still a long way to go.  And in viewing the Drought Monitor,  and other drought products, it should be kept in the context that one-size-does-not-fit-all to measure hydrologic imbalance in California.

Defining drought in California is a conundrum of multi-faceted issues. One aspect is that drought impacts different users in very different ways and on very different time scales. While a local water district might fill all of its reservoirs and have a two-year reserve, another adjacent district might rely more on ground water and imported water and still have a deficit. Likewise, for some sectors of agriculture (the user of more that 75% of the water in the state) there might now be adequate supplies, the same is not true for a different crop.

And an overarching parameter is that drought must also be viewed in the context of the complex California water supply and delivery infrastructure. Consequently, even though the bulk of this winter's has been in the northern half of the state there will be some reduction of impacts statewide. 

Jan Null, CCM
Golden Gate Weather Services